Local News

Local Bank Takes Security To New Level

Posted December 3, 2002

— Cameras and dye bags can help track down a bank robber, but Fidelity Bank is trying to keep the crime from even happening.

Fidelity is the first bank in this part of the state to take security to another level. Metal detectors have been installed at six of its branches in the Triangle.

"It's the same metal detector equipment used in airports," said Mike Whitley, bank president.

The bank started putting them in branches a year ago. Whitley said it is not about robbers leaving the bank empty handed.

"It's the peace of mind on the part of our associates and our customers and hopefully they can avoid some of the stress and the trauma they go through when they look down the barrel of a gun," he said.

The metal detector is located between two front doors. Customers pass through the first door, then the detector. If the light glows green, they can enter the bank. If it glows red, the door locks and the person attempting to pass through must empty their bag and pockets and try again.

"Anything that any bank or financial institution can do to harden their target and make themselves less vulnerable to these kinds of attacks would be the right thing to do," Whitley said.

Teller Barbara Perry said she would not work without one.

"It makes us feel secure and also for the people coming in here. I just think it's a plus for us," she said.

The detectors cost about $65,000 installed.

Three more branches are getting the metal detectors, and bank officials are considering putting them in all new branches.

Fidelity had three banks robbed in last month's rash of robberies in Wake County. None of them had metal detectors.

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