Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Robbery! What Do You Do Afterwards? Some Surprising Answers

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Robbery! What Do You Do Afterwards? Some Surprising Answers

Article excerpt

Chances are, if one of your employees was the direct victim of a bank robbery, you might offer him or her a brandy. Actually, two experts say you'd do better to pour the victim a good, stiff... glass of water.

Robberies, not surprisingly, make excellent adrenaline generators, according to Donna Tona-O'Reilly, a former Canadian cop and now a partner in Cooperators Communications and Education Services, a security consulting firm based in Guelph, Canada. Water dilutes the adrenaline and helps calm the person, she explained, while alcohol, particularly when gulped down (as everyone does because that's what they do in the movies), can disorient a victim.

Tona-O'Reilly and her partner, Laurie M. Martin, gave some tips at ABA's National Security, Audit, and Risk Management Conference earlier this year for bank officers sent to handle the aftermath of a robbery:

1. Ask questions, don't bark orders. People who have been staring down a gun barrel or worse for hours won't respond well to being herded. Ask neutral questions, such as "What would you like me to do for you? and "Where are you comfortable being interviewed?" Such questions can begin to help a victim feel as if they are regaining some control. …

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