How to catch a bank robber (and keep bank employees safe)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Bank personnel, police, and City employees
from the 2013 Robbery Response training
Photo by Steven H. Robinson

Fifteen local bank employees from Shoreline, Kenmore and Lake Forest Park attended an early morning training session presented by the Shoreline Police Department on Thursday, February 14, 2013.

The session was designed to teach bank employees how to stay safe in a robbery situation and how to learn to gather information which would help the police catch the robbers.

Officer Todd Morrell from the SWAT team
Photo by Steven H. Robinson

Captain Scott Strathy conducted the training, with participants from 9-1-1, patrol, hostage negotiations, SWAT, and Major Crime Investigations.

Officer Cooper is a trained hostage negotiator
Photo by Steven H. Robinson

The bank employees were told to practice making observations about people - learn to remember height, clothing, eye color, posture, gait - anything that would help identify and separate that person from others.

What is happening with the man on the left?
Is he a robber? Can you describe him after he leaves?
Photo by Steven H. Robinson

At one point during the presentation, a person ran into the room, yelling something about money. The person took "money" from the "bank teller" and ran out. The startled participants were asked to describe the "robber" in writing. Then the "robber" was brought back into the room so they could see how they had done.

The evaluation from the participants was very positive. One bank employee shared that she had been through numerous robberies and appreciated the training and the opportunity to hear from the police.


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