Re: "Mock Hold-ups: A Good Idea?"
With regard to the article in your last issue on mock holdups, I'd like to share with you an incident that happened to a local bank.
This bank participated with local law enforcement in imitating a robbery exercise. The police arrived at the branch simulating a robbery/hostage takeover.
While police were "negotiating" with the "robbers", two elderly ladies walked up to use the ATM.As one of the ladies placed her ATM card in the machine, a police officer pointed an AR-15 rifle at them and forced them both to "grab a piece of the ground!"
The lady's attorneys are talking to the bank's attorneys...who are talking to the city's attorneys...Name withheld on request
Cooperative mock hold-ups between financial institutions and local police jurisdictions may have seen their days. Due to today's litigious society, the practice of being a "good guy" and allowing the local police or sheriff's department access to your branch to simulate realistic training exercises may no longer be in the security manager's, or the bank's, best interest.
The incident described in your last issue of BANKERS' HOTLINE is atypical. There are just too many intangibles beyond the security manager's control. Just to identify a few; the off-duty police officer driving by and thinking the simulation is real; customers and the public thinking the branch is under siege because the police are around the branch; over-zealous actions by law enforcement officers during the simulation.
I believe through the simple management process of listing all of the positive factors on one side of the page and all of the negative factors on the other, mock hold-ups create too many variables to control, too many opportunities for negative publicity, and too many situations which may create bank liability, to be an effective training tool for the '90s.
Please sign me:
A Concerned Security Officer
Copyright © 1990 Bankers' Hotline. Originally appeared in Bankers' Hotline, Vol. 1, No. 2, 2/90
First published on 02/01/1990