CHICAGO — Safeway, Pleasanton, Calif., recently became one of the first mainstream food retailers to join the Law Enforcement Retail Partnership Network (LERPnet), a national database designed to collect data on retail crime, according to Kathleen Smith, Safeway’s corporate vice president of loss prevention. During a session on Organized Retail Crime (ORC) Monday at the Food Marketing Institute Show/Marketechnics here at McCormick Place, Smith said Safeway joined LERPnet as one of several steps the chain is taking to deal with the growing problem of ORC. “We’re just now getting involved [with LERPnet],” she said. “It will be a real benefit.” LERPnet was launched last month by the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association, in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The database allows retailers to share information on retail crime incidents in an effort to help each other and law enforcement gather intelligence on ORC.