Keeping money safe from thieves and robbers today is very different than it was in the Wild West. Today, we have technology and lots of security features that protect our money. Police use everything from trained dogs, to fingerprinting, to computer databases to track down criminals. Stagecoaches have been replaced by armored cars, banks are protected by alarms and video surveillance equipment, and people carry plastic credit cards instead of gold coins.
Keeping money safe at the bank
Banks use simple precautions like keeping the inside lights on at night, and keeping the windows uncovered (most banks don’t have any window blinds or curtains). This makes it so that people passing by outside can see inside, and report any unusual activity.
Bank personnel (people that work there) are highly trained. They are careful to protect people’s financial information. They don’t even keep papers out on their desks that might give out personal information to a thief. In the event of a robbery, bank workers are trained to know how to react. They might even have height markings near the exits so that they can get more accurate descriptions of robbers. If any money is stolen, the bank is insured against theft and the insurance company will replace the missing amount.
Keeping the nation's gold safe
The government has used the building to store more than just gold. During times of war, it has even been home to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, which were stored there for safekeeping. Leaders of other countries have stored their jewels there, too.
The Depository was built in 1936. It is built out of granite, concrete, and reinforced steel. Inside the forty-two foot tall building is a two-level steel and concrete vault. The vault is divided into compartments. The door to the vault weighs twenty tons, and no single person has the combination to open it. Different members of the Depository staff have to dial in separate combinations.
There is a guard box at each of the four corners of the building. The building is patroled by armed guards. (The guards even have a shooting range in the basement of the Depository where they practice their marksmanship!) A driveway goes all the way around the Depository, and the entire site is encircled by a steel fence.
If you'd like to visit the Depository some day, take a pair of binoculars along, because no visitors have ever been allowed inside the building--not even the Queen of England! Not even Hillary Duff! You couldn't get in even if you had just won a million dollars!
Transporting money today