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Why Banks Choose to Have Armed Guards

August 16, 2018

3d illustration of opened steel safe with money insideIn response to a wave of heists in the early 2000s, many banking institutions amped up their security measures by installing bullet-resistant plastic in teller windows and placing armed guards and video cameras on the premises. “When you rob a bank, you’re robbing an industry where tellers are trained to comply. If I were a criminal, that would make a bank a more attractive target,” Gerald Buten, former chief of the FBI’s violent crimes program told the Washington Post.

Criminals always seek out the easiest opportunities, and over the past 20 years the majority of bank branches have strengthened their security and become much harder targets. From time-delayed vault locks and weapons detection systems to cash drawers that automatically lock, such measures are standard practice in much of the banking industry.

Maryland Security Professionals recognizes the ongoing security threats facing today’s financial institutions. For more than a decade, our team has been providing customized solutions for banking institutions across the Mid-Atlantic region, and we are proud to be among the area’s leading providers of security services and camera installation.

Bank crime statistics

According to FBI statistics on bank crimes and violations, there were 4,251 robberies in 2016, including commercial banks, savings and loans associations, credit unions and armored carrier companies.

A comprehensive security strategy for financial institutions must take into account the following factors: location, physical environment, layout and prior history of criminal events. Inner city banks located in high crime areas will have different security needs than rural, low-traffic branches where crime rates are low.

Armed Guard Services

In numerous urban areas, or locations that are deemed high-risk, financial institutions have deployed professionally-trained armed guards to great benefit. The presence of an armed guard has been shown to deter crime and guards with the right training and real-world experience in de-escalation tactics can resolve threat situations non-violently, ensuring weapons are used only as a last resort. The most effective armed guards are those who have a background in military or law enforcement and are well-versed in crisis management.

Surveillance Systems

Surveillance systems, both interior and exterior, are a staple in most financial institutions. High-definition cameras are installed in important locations to monitor and record activity from various angles. Security cameras provide round the clock surveillance and add another level of protection against both fraud and robbery. Many institutions employ wireless surveillance, which provides live video that can be monitored from remote locations. If a criminal act takes place on the property, the footage captured by these cameras can assist authorities in subsequent investigations.

While some banking institutions eschew armed guards entirely in lieu of high-tech alarm systems, cameras and other devices, others employ multiple layers of security – both technological and physical – to prevent robbery and better protect their assets.

Security Services for Financial Institutions

When it comes to securing financial assets and protecting the lives of people, there’s little margin for error. At Maryland Security Professionals, we provide flexible solutions for a variety of banking security needs. Our highly skilled security professionals are trained to identify threats and respond quickly and appropriately. To learn more about our armed guard services, please call 410-224-3028.

Additional Resources:

  1. Small Business Chronicle, Benefits of Having a Security Guard at a Business https://smallbusiness.chron.com/benefits-having-security-guard-business-2386.html
  2. Wall Street Journal, FBI Presses Banks to Boost Security as Robberies Rise https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB1034030710746936680
  3. FBI Gov, 2016 Bank Crime Statistics https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/bank-crime-statistics-2016.pdf/view
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