Apologies that heavy traffic crashed our main site – it is the result of an underlying problem we are working very hard to permanently fix. We have been reporting on Twitter and Facebook but in the meantime, the bottom line:
A “duress alarm” was triggered at AmericanWest Bank at 4022 SW Alaska. It was false, but that kind of alarm requires an in-person response by police – it cannot be remotely (by phone, etc.) confirmed as false. That tied up traffic and led to tense moments, because the huge police response – necessary in case someone really had been in trouble – required officers to clear people away from around the bank. A TV helicopter showed up and, according to scanner traffic, was asked to back off. Finally, the manager of the bank got to the scene and went in with police to verify that everything was OK. Officers stayed a while longer at the bank to be sure everything was OK, and also to try to find out how the alarm was triggered; there was a scanner suggestion that a cleaning person might have been to blame, but we don’t know if that has been confirmed.