ABA Banking Journal - December 2008 - (Page 35)

Tech topics With physical security Complacency is the enemy astman, Ga.-based Charles Williams trains bank executives on best practices in physical security. While it’s his vocation, Williams admits that initially, his career wasn’t planned. “I was working in a community bank when I got the responsibility of getting the bank compliant with FDIC regulations,” he recalls. “In those days, banks had a black and white film camera that would come to life with raucous clicking only when tested—or in the case of that rare event—an actual robbery.” Williams, whose website can be found at www.charleswilliamslive.com, jokes that he was surprised to see a series of photos of his predecessor on the security detail. “He was a handsome young devil in those years after World War II, who, over a series of annual photos, became a crotchety old bast—d,” he says.“These spot tests of the camera sat in a file, and that constituted the security program.” Williams wanted to take a more active role. And so he looked up the regulations and, over time, developed a program that mingled common sense with emerging technologies—and ample training. These days during his regularly scheduled classes on security, or in his evaluation of new branch builds or renovations, Williams first advises staying alert. “If you’ve never experienced a robbery, you tend to think you never will,” he says. “Having that mindset can get you in trouble. And, while it’s rare, robbery does happen.” Williams spoke with ABABJ about his approach and notions of physical security. What do you see banks doing wrong? Are there common mistakes? I see banks that are over protected, with video cameras coverBy Lauren Bielski, senior editor E ing activity from every conceivable angle, and I see banks that still operate with a single black and white camera. Balance would be a good thing. The idea is to signal strength and control, but not to go overboard. But that isn’t the biggest concern. Mostly what I see are issues of complacency. A hedge, for example, that used to be knee high that’s now tall enough to hide a pig and three fat men blocking a front view of the bank. Or a routine lock-up or check-in of the bank at night without a police officer on the premises to protect the bank officer doing the checking. Or walking from the branch down to the standalone ATM a half block a way with cash in a Piggly Wiggly grocery bag. All are routine actions. When you get out of a habitual mindset and really think about them, and think about the risk of doing them over time, you obviously see the exposures. But talk to a teller who’s experienced a robbery and—even if it’s 20 years ago—I’ll bet that teller can recount every detail of what happened. If you’ve been robbed at gun point you never forget it. You’re scared wide awake. I admit, I tend to think of robberies as a thing of the past, what, with all the video surveillance and electronic locks. No ma’am. They are sporadic but they are still a reality. Unfortunately, robberies are still holding strong in the South. You have professional robbers—they want to be in and out in less than two minutes. Then, you have your drug addicts or disturbed people or amateurs who get overwhelmed with the financial obligations in their life and just snap. It’s that latter group that can be especially unpredictable. If you have a crack head who is nervous as a cat and you don’t handle things right, it could go bad very quickly. Unfortunately, many of those amateur crooks don’t understand that there are automatic locks on Subscribe at www.ababj.com ABA BANKING JOURNAL/DECEMBER 2008 35 http://www.charleswilliamslive.com http://www.ababj.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - December 2008

ABA Banking Journal - December 2008
Contents
Editor’s Column
Cover Story
ABA Resources
ABA Chairman’s Position
Community Banking
Pass the Aspirin
The Bank that Hates "Customers"
"Ivan the Terrible"Wreaks Havoc, but Adds New Business Line
New Twist on Philanthropy:the "Second-Chance" Account
Risk Management
Tech Topics
Webnotes
Compliance Clinic
MailBox
Banker’s Mart
To Advertise/Index of Advertisers
The Economy

ABA Banking Journal - December 2008

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