Too much security? Metal detector at bank offends residents

Too much security? Metal detector at bank offends residents

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Some residents who live on Chicago's South Side are complaining about the security at their neighborhood bank. They say there's too much of it.

The Chase Bank branch in the Grand Crossing area has a metal detector. It's the only branch in the city to have one and residents say that sends the wrong message.

Officials, however, say the metal detector was installed to keep employees and customers safe.

It has been ten years since that branch opened. In that time, there has been one robbery. Now, one community group says it's time to remove the metal detector so customers aren't treated like crooks.

Roosevelt Vonil doesn't make deposits or withdrawals at this chase bank in his neighborhood because the president of the Greater Chatham alliance says he can't stand the metal detector at the entrance.

"You're a business person and you come to the community it's an insult to make your money off the very people you've disrespected," says Vonil.

It's the only one in Chicago and anyone trying to do business here must walk through these doors.


"Why is it that our neighborhood has the only metal detector yet we have nowhere near the highest crime rate in the city?" he adds.

Chase opened 10 years ago when bank officials say there were a number of bank robberies occurring in the area. The metal detector, they say, was installed to keep everyone safe.

When someone walks through with a weapon, the alarm sounds off and the guard who is always present will ask that customer to leave or remove their weapon.

At one time, there was a door-closing feature that would lock when customers entered. The second door would only unlock and open after the first door closed. Bank officials say customers didn't approve of that safety measure and it was immediately disengaged.

In a statement from Chase, the bank says they have not had any serious incidents at this location and that the safety of its employees and customers are a priority, adding they want to hear from anyone with questions or concerns about the metal detectors. So far, no one has contacted them.

Customers we talked with say they don't mind the extra security.

"No, it doesn't bother me," says Dianne Bullock. "There's too much crime going on in the city, so anything that's going to help, doesn't bother me."

"It's a form of security and if that's what's needed, if that's what necessary, so be it," adds another.

The president of that community group says he has not contacted chase about the metal detector but will do it sometime this week. He says he wants to see how most people who work and bank at the branch really feel about that extra security measure or if they would like to see something else in its place.

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