Preparedness, Good Service Key for Robbery Training

Unfortunately, robberies are usually referenced in the past tense. Tellers hurriedly recounting details to law enforcement. Member resources staff reaching out to members to ensure the safety of their data and accounts.

However, for many credit unions, it’s a ‘top of mind’ thought that they prepare for ahead of time so they can handle the situation should it arise.

Such was the case with USAgencies Credit Union (Portland, OR) which took part in NWCUA robbery training recently with Katie Clark, Compliance Analyst for NWCUA. For USAgencies, it’s part of an ongoing effort.

“For the last several years I’ve asked Katie to come in and provide our entire staff with robbery training,” said Cindy Packard, Director of Member Service for USAgencies. “It’s great to have someone with an ‘outside perspective’ come in and give the training.”

Clark, who worked in both bank security and credit union compliance before joining NWCUA, agreed.

“I have helped stage mock robberies and just talked robbery basics and procedures in credit unions,” said Clark, who noted that everyone reacts differently in such traumatic situations. “Having a plan in place ensures continuity and helps everyone stay calm.”

Packard added that personal history helps add a layer of engagement with employees, giving them another tangible and relatable takeaway.

“Beyond the actual training piece, she provides statistics, best practices and usually a few stories which helps to engage the staff. The staff comes away with some really great information and a renewed sense of awareness of how they can help prevent a robbery, as well as what to do during and after a robbery.”

Clark also added that simply providing great regular member service can go a long way in deterring robberies.

“Employees should acknowledge everyone who walks into the branch, whether they are a member or not. Most robbers hope to stay undetected.”

Of course, even the most prepared teams can still be affected. Clark always cautions them to stay calm, and focus on their training.

“The most important thing for you to do is to get the robber out of the branch as quickly as possible, she said.”

Contact the NWCUA Compliance team for more information on how your credit union can be best prepared through robbery training at 1.800.546.4465,

Questions about this story? Contact Eric Horvath at 503.350.2222,

Posted in NWCUA.