Security guards

The bank I go to is the one my mom used to go to. Back then there was a security guard. I noticed this guy wasn’t around for the past few months. However, this bank literally had one. So, sometimes you’d see him and sometimes you wouldn’t, depending on the time. :rolleyes: Where I live, it’s gotten very cold and snowed. Now, bums are flocking to the atm area and making a home there. They’ve also taken to harassing people who are using the atm and starting verbal fights with threats of violence. :mad: I had a talk with someone about this and asked where’s the security guard. Well, they no longer have one and there’s nothing they can do about these possibly insane squatters.

So, does the bank you frequent have a security guard?

When I worked Armored and serviced ATMs and Banks, my experience was that only a few banks had a Security Guard. The ones that had them were generally the ones in the downtown Minneapolis Skyway system, and their purposes was to stand at the door and deter the wandering bums from coming in to cause trouble.

Generally speaking, the Police tend to respond rather quickly to calls from Banks.

All I can advise is taking it higher up the food chain at the Bank. The manager has likely told his bosses that he needs the guard, but they’ve overruled him on costs. If customers start complaining directly to corporate, that may change.

Bank of America keeps an armed security guard at my local bank. Wells Fargo doesn’t seem to need one.

Some people like to greet the guard, and some guards don’t respond.

What is their job, exactly? Is his gun just for his own protection?

I rarely go to a bank anymore, but the one where I have my account doesn’t have a guard.

Whoop. Just noticed “BANNED” under the O.P.'s name and realized I was replying to a zombie.

Probably the same as any other security guard: Act as a visible deterrent, prevent the place from being robbed, prevent any other crimes from happening (for example, if someone assaulted a teller or another customer) and throw out customers who are no longer welcome.

As for the gun, he protects himself, his employer’s property, and the customers on the premises. Businesses have been found liable for crimes committed against customers on their premises, and the security guard has the right to intervene if he witnesses someone else being harmed.

I know OP is a zombie thread, but FWIW: If one of those bums assaults a customer or robs them, they can sue the bank for being negligent in providing security. The bums can also be detained and arrested for trespassing on bank property. If the bank chooses to look the other way, it’s because they don’t want to bother with the hassle and are afraid of being sued. Most businesses eventually figure out that the up-front investment in security is cheaper than the costs of NOT having security… Usually after someone gets hurt.

I’m happy to see them. My branch of Bank of America has one, and I always greet him, to which he smiles and waves right back. Every once in a while I stop to chat with him a bit. It feels a lot safer using an ATM with a guard watching over me. Guardian angel.

If someone acts very disruptive or rowdy or whatever in a bank, it’s probably better to have a uniformed and armed security guard ask them to leave and escort them out than a teller or manager. Not that a teller or manager didn’t give the nod to security, but still.

If he’s chatting with the customers, he’s not watching for trouble.

I don’t recall ever seeing a security guard in a bank. There are certainly none in any of the banks near me now, but I live in a rural area.

Hogwash. You might as well say, “If he’s looking eastward, he isn’t watching for trouble to the west.” He’s there. He’s on site, alert and aware, and ready to respond to trouble. He isn’t Robocop!

The bank branch where I go has an off-duty Minneapolis police officer as a guard.

And the ATM area is the entrance lobby. When the bank is closed, you have to insert your ATM card to unlock the outer doors and get into that area to access the machine. (The inner doors are completely locked.) And only 1 cardholder is allowed into the ATM lobby at a time – if someone is in there using the machine, your card won’t unlock the outer doors. So bums could only make a home there if they had a valid ATM card. Most banks around here are like that now.

That is quite a step up in security. Most banks where I live have their ATMs outside, many have them only in the drive up lanes. A few have an ATM lobby where you can enter by inserting your ATM card, but the card reader will take ANY card with a magnetic strip: a grocery store gift card, a store loyalty (frequent shopper) card, a frequent flyer card, etc.

But how do they determine how many people are in the lobby? Do they have a motion detector or something? I imagine if a bird or a rat got in, the lobby would be blocked off if that were the case.

Well, they don’t actually count people in the lobby; all they check is that there is only 1 ATM card in use at a time. If someone is inside using the ATM, another person can’t use their card to open the door.

I suppose when you open the door with your card, you could let your spouse or child or someone inside with you, so there could be more than 1 person inside. (But here in Minnesota, in the winter, you would leave them out in the car, to keep it running so the heater keeps going!)

I presume there is some default timeout period to handle situations like someone going into the lobby, but then deciding to exit without using the machine. And there is probably a period of time between when a person uses their card to open the outer door, and when they begin using their card in the ATM – during that time, a 2nd person might be able to come up and use their card to open the outer door, thus allowing 2 cardholders into the lobby at once. But given our ‘Minnesota Nice’ culture, I’ve seen the first person hold the door open for the next person coming in – rather undercutting this security measure. But then, they have multiple cameras in this ATM area. Between them and the info they read from the card you used, they should have enough to identify you if needed.

Of the banks I use, US Bank and Citibank have guards, Wells Fargo does not. All have ATMs outside, most have maybe one ATM inside that is only available in office hours. Since this is San Francisco, it never gets that cold that people wouldn’t use an outdoor ATM.

I’ve never had a problem with anyone hanging out around any ATM, if I did I wouldn’t use it. San Francisco has pretty strictly enforced laws against aggressive panhandling, let alone assault (i.e. threat of violence).

The credit union I use doesn’t have one, but they don’t have safety deposit boxes there. Maybe that’s a factor?