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Bank Alarm Safe Response Program - Development of a Positive Program Through Mutual Cooperation With Local Banking Institutions

NCJ Number
Police Chief Volume: 48 Issue: 9 Dated: (September 1981) Pages: 64-70,77
D R Scalf
Date Published
8 pages
The procedures, training, and results of a cooperative program between police and bank officials for handling alarm responses in Lynchburg, Va. are described.
The problems resulting from an excessive number of bank false alarms in Lynchburg prompted the police to develop procedures for bank officials and police to follow in cases of false and genuine alarm activation. The overall purposes of the program are (1) to ensure the safety of bank personnel, citizens, and police officers if a bank robbery is actually in progress; (2) to promote a uniform response procedure by the police and to delineate alarm procedures by bank personnel; and (3) to resolve past confusion about police response to bank alarms. Notable in the specified bank procedures is the requirement that a designated bank official stand outside the bank to greet police officers in the event of a false alarm. The official would identify himself with a bright orange card and provide personal photographic identification. Bank officials may also telephone police to notify them of the false alarm; however, police will still respond in person to verify the communication. Detailed instructions are provided for bank personnel in the event of a robbery. Police are given procedural instructions from the time of receiving the alarm notification. Emphasis is given to the safety of personnel and citizens in the bank by instructing officers not to enter the bank in the event of either a false alarm or an actual robbery in progress. All contact with the robbers and the police is structured to occur outside the bank. The program has significantly reduced the number of false alarms and narrowed the number of unpredictable and hazardous encounters in police bank alarm responses. Diagrams are included.