By Grant Bissell
ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Many delivery drivers are trained to handle situations where they might be in danger, but it's easy to overlook the risks of a delivery job.
A driver never knows who he or she will meet or what that person has in mind.
On Friday night a driver from Fortel's Pizza Den showed us the extra steps he takes to stay safe.
Take a ride with John Holleran and you'll find a pizza delivery guy with safety on his mind. He's heard the news about drivers being beaten and robbed.
"You know it's scary to think about it. Most of these drivers are guys working two jobs just to pay their bills," said Holleran.
He knows taking steps to protect himself is one of the most important parts of his night.
"Yeah, I try to light it up, you know. Yeah, that's it, 38. You can see no one's around. Looks pretty safe," he said. "If I'm busy I'll drop off my cash. We'll make drops between our runs so we don't have a lot of money on us. You've just got to be on your toes, turn off the car, keep your eyes open, recognize who's around you, where you're at."
Back in the kitchen, Shelly Fortel drills safety into her drivers' heads.
"If you pull up to a dark house you need to observe what's going on. And if you're not sure about going up to that house you call first," said Fortel.
She says the delivery business has changed to the point where robbing the average driver will likely get you little more than a criminal record.
"A lot of our business is paid with credit card. So my drivers don't carry that much cash," she said.
When asked if they think city police should start putting undercover officers in delivery cars, the way St. Louis County police are doing, both Fortel and Holleran say they're in favor of anything that adds another layer of protection.
St. Louis police said Friday they're using their own approach to tracking attackers.