Good Question

Jul 17, 2013 11:57 PM by John Reger

GQ: Why don't banks have security guards anymore?

Tuesday's robbery at the Golden One Credit Union in Paso Robles was the Central Coast's 6th bank robbery in since the end of May. That brought up this question: Why don't banks have security guards anymore? Good Question.

Bank management people I talked with say, it's a question of money (no pun implied).

Robberies usually happen at small branches that can't afford security. They'd need two guards to cover when one takes a break. Also, electronic banking has cut down on how much money banks have on hand so a robber's not going to get away with that much, perhaps less than the weekly cost of a guard.

Most robberies happen quietly with a not or words between the thief and the teller. A guard isn't certain to see anything unusual until after the event.

Tellers are told to hand over money to keep them safe. Banks depend on dye packs that explode later or surveillance video to help catch the robber.

Banks have insurance so they're not necessarily going to lose much, if anything.

A guard doesn't guarantee safety; an addict in need of a fix will probably still take a chance.

If a guard with a gun confronts a robber with a gun, there's more chance of someone getting hurt or killed.

If you've got a Good Question, send it to facebook.com/johnregerksbynews. The only bad question is the one you don't ask.

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