Nearly 25% of the world’s gold is stored at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. While the unparalleled reliability of the Federal Reserve is a compelling reason for foreign governments to store their gold reserves there, there is another interesting reason: unmatched security systems.
It takes a combination of highly trained individuals and top-notch technology to protect all of that gold. First off, the Reserve employs its own security force and rigorously trains them throughout the year. Not only do they have to memorize extensive security procedures, but they must also maintain a marksmanship certification badge twice per year for handguns, shotguns, and rifles. Certification badges have three levels: marksman, sharpshooter, and expert. Although the Federal Reserve only requires a marksman level score, nearly all of the security employees maintain an expert qualification in all three weapon types. With just the security team alone, the gold is already well-protected.
Technology and vault-design add even more security for the gold reserves. Not only are there the to-be-expected cameras, alarms, and locks (which must be deactivated by several people – no one person knows all the combinations), but the vault itself can only be accessed via a 90-ton revolving steel cylinder. If anything is tripped, guards are signaled to seal the entire building – which takes less than 25 seconds.
The bank is so secure that hardly anyone requests to inspect their gold. But if they do, they have to plan ahead. Once a request is made, it takes a whole day to get through all of the time and combination locks!