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City Official Opposing Armed Security At Repeatedly-Robbed Bank

A Madison alder told her constituents that arming bank security could lead to an "arms race" with the criminals.

Madison, WI – A member of the city’s common council has questioned the wisdom of having an armed guard at a Chase Bank that has been robbed repeatedly.

The Milwaukee Street branch of Chase Bank has been the victim of four armed robberies since January of 2017.

Most recently, it was the scene of a deadly shooting during a March 1 attempted bank robbery, WMTV reported.

Police said a masked man entered the bank at about 4:50 p.m. and postured as if he had a weapon, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

Madison Police Chief Mike Koval said the man handed an employee a bag and demanded cash.

The armed security guard saw the robber acting as if he had a gun and fatally shot him, Chief Koval told the Wisconsin State Journal.

None of the other employees or customers in the bank were injured in the attempted robbery.

Alder Amanda Hall, who represents the district where the beleaguered bank was located, expressed her sympathies for the bank robber in the wake of the incident.

“What this looks like to me is we have a young man, who didn’t have the community support and the community opportunity to make a different choice with what he was going to do with his Thursday,” Hall told the Wisconsin State Journal. “And now he’s dead.”

Hall sent out a long letter to residents of her district calling for additional “expensive” security measures to be taken by Chase Bank rather than permitting the financial institution to continue to have an armed guard, WMTV reported.

In the letter, Hall questioned whether having armed security made the neighborhood safer, and posited that instead, it created an “arms race” with criminals.

“I am concerned that if there is one armed guard at the branch, that instead of one person trying to rob the bank without an actual weapon, as we saw frequently before now, that we might see a group of assailants, armed with powerful guns, attempt a robbery,” she wrote.

“We do an okay job setting up our officers with weapons, but we don’t need to get into an arms race with would-be robbers. That would be terribly unsafe for everyone in the vicinity, not least our officers,” Hall wrote.

The alder also expressed concern about stray gunfire into the neighborhood from the armed security guard defending the bank.

“You know me, I’m not scared of much, but I would fear everyday that an attempted robbery and a stray bullet from either an assailant or even an officer would lead to tragedy in our district,” Hall wrote. “While an armed guard, a highly trained MPD officer, would increase security in many ways, of course we must admit that more weapons equals more risk.”

SandyMalone - March Thu, 2018


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