Banks safety an issue this holiday season
COLUMBIA - With recent bank robberies at numerous locations throughout the Columbia area, some might be concerned with bank security this holiday season.
The most recent robbery took place Monday, December 15, at Boone County National Bank at the 1916 Paris Road branch. This was the sixth bank robbery this holiday season.
Although there is no indication that these robberies are related, there have been no arrests in any of the six robberies.
The lack of arrest may make some people that bank within Columbia uneasy.
"I don't necessarily feel unsafe at banks here in Columbia but I wouldn't feel comfortable sending my wife or mother to a bank alone anymore," Columbia resident Darren Morton said.
Morton said he thinks banks should increase their staff during the holiday season.
"I definitely think there should be more eyes, maybe the ratio to how many people are in the building to how many staff are in the building. I think there's something that could be done to help the cause," Morton said.
Local bank executives offered their opinions on the recent robberies and how they're combating the issue, especially during this time of year.
A statement from Cheryl Jarvis and Keith Whitney of Landmark Bank expressed that Landmark employees are extensively trained in security and with occurences such as these robberies, the banks remind their employees of their training. The bank said they have also implemented extra security measures but declined explanations of these measures.
Mary Wilkerson, the senior vice president of marketing at Boone County National Bank, says that the issue of security is closely addressed throughout the year.
"What we do every single day is try to make sure that our bank is safe for customers and employees. It's part of the price of doing business when you are in banking. So, from the moment we open the doors in the morning to the moment we close them at night, safety and security is at the top of the list," Wilkerson said.
Boone County National Bank security representative, Reggie Wilhite, reffered to a list of rules the FDIC requires banks to follow. The bank uses these as a guideline to keep customers safe.
Both Landmark Bank and Boone County National Bank had their employees review security training and say that employee and customer safety is their top priority this holiday season.