FBI creates new initiative to better secure banks

POSTED: Friday, February 3, 2012 - 3:33pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:54am

WACO -- This week the FBI's San Antonio branch announced a new security initiative called the Bandit Shield Program.

"It's a collection of best practices in the banking security field to help, one, deter bank robberies and two, if bank robberies occur, that we help catch the bad guys quicker," said Erik Vasys, FBI Special Agent.

In a game of cat and mouse the program picks up on techniques used by bank robbers to outsmart them.

"These things for the most part are no cost, simple common sense methods that frankly we have learned from bank robbers," said agent Vasys.

Part of the training is keeping banks up to date on current trends.

"A lot of it is just going over what they should and shouldn't do, how to train. Things that they can do even in the environmental design of a bank that can make it a little bit safer," said Sgt. Patrick Swanton, Waco P.D.

And the most important tip, a watchful eye.

"In banks everyone knows that there's cameras there. So what we encourage banks to do is have the best resolution camera they can afford," said Vasys. 

There were roughly a dozen bank robberies in Central Texas in 2011 but so far Alliance Bank on Bosque Blvd. is the first bank in Waco to join the initiative.

The FBI encourages every bank to participate in the program and hopes it will reach the national level.


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