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                        Let’s Be Bank Robbers! The True Keys to Successful Performance in Potentially Deadly Encounters

                        Let’s Be Bank Robbers!

                        Do You Know Just How Simple and Inexpensive Armed Robbery Prevention Can Be?

                        Do you know that all of your cameras, alarms, and technology-related security tools have very little to do with preventing an armed robbery, or keeping people safe during an armed robbery?

                        So Exactly What Creates Successful Security?

                        I have asked this question at every training session that we have ever conducted:

                        “What is your company’s most critical asset?”

                        And, I have yet to have anyone ever disagree with this answer:

                        People – Employees, clients, patients, students……”

                        So the questions that needs to be asked in relation to your security policies and procedures are:

                        1) Can Your Employees Truly Do What Your Organization Asks of Them?

                        2) Are you truly interested in keeping your most critical asset’s safe?

                        You see, there are many ways in which we attempt to establish a safe and secure workplace:





                        The problem is that if you are not an expert in a given topic, you really have no idea whether, or not, your attempts at educating or improving the skills of your “people” are practical and effective. Do they truly work or do they just sound good? Do your policies and procedures really work or are they “just doing something”? Are they practical under stressful circumstances?

                        So you hire what you believe to be experts, or embrace a training program that you trust is providing you with the safety aspect that you hope for when, in reality, you are getting little if any value.

                        Think about it like this:

                        I could attend a training seminar on banking, a field that I know nothing about, and I would likely accept whatever it is that I am being taught because I have no idea whether or not it’s good training, bad training, practical, effective, etc.

                        So many of our safety solutions, without you ever really knowing or realizing it, may turn out to be more “formality” than they are designed to truly make our “people” safer. We also do many things simply in order to “comply with regulations” or, at minimum, that allow us to say that “we did something”.

                        Doing something, however, is far better than doing nothing, especially when you have the best of intentions. And finally, we just don’t think about it or it is not high on our list of priorities.

                        It All Makes Sense – On Paper!

                        Let me give you one of many examples:

                        Many banks require a “code” to be input into a locking device or keypad in order to access money. If this is the case, how easy (or difficult) will it be for an employee under severe stress, with a heart rate 180+ beats per minute, to not only remember the code, but have the fine motor skills and finger dexterity to input that code? Time is the “bad guys” only asset and its extremely short to begin with. An employee that is physically unable to get them what they want quickly will build pressure extremely rapidly.

                        So is that a policy and/or procedure that was truly thought through? Or do you use it because “that’s what every other financial institution does”?

                        It makes sense on paper but is it reality; is it practical; and is it effective in real life.

                        So, I would ask that you really consider your current policies related to security, armed robberies, aggressive clients, problem employees, and general safety and ask yourself the following questions:

                        - Are they truly effective?

                        - Are they truly practical?

                        - Are safety and security truly a part of your organizations culture?

                        - Are your employees truly concerned about safety and security?

                        - Does your security plan and related policy include a consequence for non-enforcement?

                        Again - The bottom line is this:

                        Can your employees really do what you are asking them to do under the conditions that will exist in such an encounter?

                        The Policy of Compliance

                        Almost every bank that I have worked with or am even aware of utilize policy that requires employees to comply with armed robbers. “Give them what they want and get them out of the facility or away from your people as quickly as possible”. After all, the money is insured, so the only thing that is really at risk is the safety of employees and clients. And it is just as critical to keep clients safe while they are patronizing our business as it is to keep our own employees safe.

                        So this being the case, we need to make sure that our policies, procedures and training are focused on giving our employees the tools to be able to accomplish this goal easily and quickly.

                        One other thing to consider when considering compliance:

                        There are bank robbers that are going to either kill, or attempt to kill , regardless of whether or not one complies, yet, most policies basically require compliance as an only option. What if an employee feels or clearly sees that the bank robber is creating a highly volatile and dangerous situation that could result in their death or the death of another, even if unintentional? Do they have the option, by policy, to defend themselves and/or others?

                        So, Let’s Be Bank/Armed Robbers!

                        In any competition, the one thing that we must know to have any chance of victory, is our adversary. In the case of a bank robbery or other types of victimization, our adversary is our competition. And our competitor is a criminal committing a criminal act against us. Therefore, it is critical in any security and safety related program that it focus on our adversary or, the competition. So we need to know everything that we can about who are adversary is likely to be, what they look like, what they act like, how they choose their victims, what they expect of their victims, and what they will do if they don’t get what they expect, etc.

                        One of Many Good Examples:

                        Bank Robbers/Armed Robbers Work Against Themselves

                        Bank Robbers do little to help themselves accomplish their goals quickly.

                        Think about it:

                        On one hand, some bank robbers are attempting to create chaos in order to frighten their victims into compliance. Others make every effort to stay low key and not be noticed. There is a huge difference between the two. The latter tends to keep victims calm and therefore its easier for them to do what is being asked of them; the danger level is much lower than that of the former.

                        The former, on the other hand, produces fear and, ultimately, fear contributes significantly to an inability to perform.

                        As a result, it will not only take longer for your employee to get them what they want, but may even prevent them from doing anything at all. This has the danger of creating significantly heightened aggression in your adversary because they are on a very short time schedule. The aggressive bank robber is extremely dangerous and a blanket statement of compliance can also be dangerous.

                        So we can only solve this problem in one of a few ways, or possibly even a combination of all of the following:

                        1) Change the ways in which bank robbers operate (Not Likely)

                        2) Through training and drilling, attempt to create confidence and calm in employees

                        3) Make it easier for our employees to perform while in a state of fear and condition of chaos.

                        Understanding Aggression and De-Escalation

                        Another really key aspect to successful performance during a sudden and traumatic incident of violence is understanding the psyche of your opponent. The bottom line here is quickly making a determination regarding whether or not that person has intent to harm you, or not. And to take this a step further, will they harm you regardless of whether you comply, or not? There are ways to determine this and it’s critical that your employees know exactly what they are and that they spend time getting as close to mastering this as possible.

                        The problem is that with no training or work in this area we automatically assume that every armed robbery will injure or kill us and, therefore, we fall apart due to things like fear, tunnel vision, etc. This is far from necessary if you know what you are doing and know what to look for.

                        When you have an aggressor in which it is clear that they are not there to do you harm, we can relax and our performance level improve. On the other hand, there are those who either won’t hesitate to injure or kill you, regardless of your complete compliance, OR they simply create situations that could unintentionally result in injury or death.

                        Your employees MUST understand these circumstances and not only be free to make life saving decisions if necessary, but know how to make them effectively and “in fractions of a second”.

                        The Best Training?

                        There are several books that are considered “classics” in the world of combat stress, combat performance, and warfare. These classics are all theory and strategy based, NOT technique based. Again, 90% of success in a sudden incident of fear and violence is mental and only 10% physical. Study the theory and strategy behind self-defense, not the technique of it! In theory, you should not have to spend much if any time learning to defend yourself outside of a classroom setting and lecture-style course.

                        Site Security and Realistic Policy and Procedure Analysis

                        Real success in security and safety is 90% dependent upon the human element and only 10% on technological enhancements. The problem is that most rely way to heavily on the technology.

                        - Your policies and procedure must be based on reality rather than hope.

                        - Your policies and procedure must allow for choice

                        - Your policy and procedures should effectively combine with training to form a realistic plan that significantly enhances chances of safety and survival

                        And FINALLY


                        Security training must be focused on the 90% that is human element. This means that we must understand the psychology of a violent encounter to include what we must do to prepare ourselves to “make good decisions in fractions of a second”. A great deal of this training must be focused on our adversary and the things that they are trying to accomplish; the ways and means of which they use to obtain theirs goals, and how understanding these things can give us the absolute best opportunity to survive. Being able to quickly determine this can calm us and enhance our performance in such a situation. Conversely, there may be times when your chances of survival are extremely low, whether it’s because your adversary is intent upon seriously injuring or killing your, or because their actions, even without intent, could produce the same results. Seeing this requires action!

                        Training must include realistic policies that mirror training and training that mirrors policy.

                        Take the time to learn about exactly what happens to both you and your adversary during a violent encounter and how it impacts performance. Until you truly understand this your training, policy and procedure will likely be severely limited.

                        Blue-U Defense High Risk Business and Active Shooter Training

                        For training to be truly successful, its takes an unusual, yet highly sensible approach. It also requires training to be extremely engaging! If you do not present a course that not only keeps attendees attentions for 3 hours, but actually has them wanting more, it will not have the proper impact, even if the material is top quality. Training must provide an experience equivalent to that of an excellent film that you don’t want to end.

                        Training must provide for true practicality. This means that it must work quickly, instinctually and without thought regardless of what your opponent does or what the situation is.

                        And training must provide for real effectiveness. How you respond to a potentially deadly, unexpected encounter must be truly effective regardless of the type of incident or where/when it happens.

                        Our training is truly an experience! An educational revelation!

                        This is why, in two short years, we have amassed over 100 corporate, insurance, government agency, financial institution, hospital, and national and local trade association clients. This is why, after presenting our training courses to thousands of people we have 99.999% positive feedback. And it’s not simply positive feedback….It’s raving feedback. This is why I can provide you with references to companies and not even need to give you a contact name – I simply tell you to ask anyone who answers the phone!

                        Our High Risk Business; Active Shooter and Workplace Violence training is truly unique. If you think that your employees have already had an abundance of training; the same old stuff:

                        Think Again!


                        Or Contact:

                        Lt Terry L Choate



                        Published Jun 01, 2016

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