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From the Archives: 1928 pistol training for bank tellers

Feb. 18, 1928: Los Angeles Police Chief James Davis, left, with First National Bank teller Madeline Morneau at the police shooting range in Elysian Park.
Feb. 18, 1928: Los Angeles Police Chief James Davis, left, with First National Bank teller Madeline Morneau at the police shooting range in Elysian Park.
(Los Angeles Times)

About 100 police officers and bank officials attended the “school for training in methods of thwarting holdups.” Another subhead in the Feb. 19, 1928, Los Angeles Times announced, “They aim to welcome bandits with hot lead.”

The accompanying Los Angeles Times story reported:

More than 100 officers and managers of banks and their branches attended a demonstration school for the protection of banking institutions against hold-ups at the police pistol range in Elysian Park yesterday afternoon. Chief of Police Davis was in charge.

With a special teller’s cage which had been erected on the range, and dummies placed in front, two blindfolded to represent the bandits and the rest customers of the bank, it was demonstrated how two bank employees could cover the bandits and shoot if necessary without harming any of the patrons. Experts of the police department explained with practical illustrations the methods of protection to be used.

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With the co-operation of the banks, employees will be given a course of instruction in the accurate use of pistols and methods of action to be pursued in time of hold-up. Training in handwriting and identification work to aid in apprehending check passers also are included in the course. Following the demonstration, the visitors were guests of Chief Davis at a barbecue at the range.

A similar photo to these two accompanied this story in the Feb. 19, 1928, Los Angeles Times.

Teller Madaline Morneau was mentioned in two 1926 Los Angeles Times stories as a crack shot and member of the First National Bank pistol team.

An avid shooter, Davis’ nickname was “Two Gun.” The June 21, 1949, Los Angeles Times obituary on James Davis mentioned that, ”In 1932 he won both the right-hand and left-hand pistol championship of the United States.”

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Feb. 18, 1928: Los Angeles Police Chief James Davis, left, with First National Bank teller Madeline Morneau at the police shooting range in Elysian Park.
(Los Angeles Times )

See more from the Los Angeles Times archives here


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