Business: Supermarket: Cash Register
POS Panic Key   (+7, -3)  [vote for, against]
Safety for late-night convienience store operators.

I don't know if I am the only one who tends to watch security camera shows where you see criminals rob convieience stores, jewelry stores, and other establishments. In the case of convienience stores, it is a prime target for theft because there is usually only one person attending during the later hours, and it is convienient for the burglar to get in quickly and out with the money quickly.

With this system, integrated with a POS(That's Point-Of-Sale, for you less acronym-inclined) console, if a convienience store was being robbed, a single press on the Panic Key would open the cash register, and silently send a message to another unit in the back where it autodials 911 and notifies them of the robbery. It could also be triggered to have a camera (not a poor-quality video camera, a good-quality film camera) take a picture of the offender and also have another camera in the parking lot take a picture so the police can quickly identify the criminal and his car.
-- BinaryCookies, Aug 21 2002

POS also means "Piece of Shit"... Most convenience stores already have a 911 panic button. Cameras? Never heard of 'em...
-- Mr Burns, Aug 21 2002

Yes, but this would:

a) Satisfy burglars demands for cash immediatley without any fumbling to open the cash register.

b) Notify police faster and collect better evidence.
-- BinaryCookies, Aug 21 2002

Yes, but you can already:

a) get a burglar button from any alarm company.

b) show cashiers how to open the register properly.

c) buy higher resolution security cameras

I was hoping to read about a button that causes a door in the counter to slide open, and a large boxing glove on a hat rack to fly out and punch the offender in the 'nads..
-- Mr Burns, Aug 21 2002

No, [thcgenius], most lowly trained and paid cashiers fold under panic, and still have to ring up an item to get it to open.

Plus, if a thief saw the person move toward something that was _not_ the cash register, he would become angry and threaten to kill. If it was integrated with the POS console, it would be discreet and effective.
-- BinaryCookies, Aug 22 2002

Another measure that can improve the safety of convenience store clerks is for the store manager to ensure good visibility of the store interior from outside the store. In some cases this means replacing intermittent or half-height windows with floor-to-ceiling glass across most or all of the front wall, and in every case, removing the huge sale banners and posters from the windows. I try to boycott convenience stores that obscure the point of sale, both because it endangers the clerk, and because it also endangers me.
-- beauxeault, Aug 22 2002

One idea would be for the POS panic button to release a secondary cash drawer with just enough cash for a robber to be satisfied with.
-- Aristotle, Aug 22 2002

<apu> Ah, they used nylon rope this time. It feels so smooth against my skin... almost sensual... </apu>
-- NickTheGreat, Aug 22 2002

The Panic Key is also known as "No Sale."
There's a garage-door-opener-sized device which fits in registers - a dollar bill fits between it's contact points & it's been around for quite some time. Pull bill > contacts meet > inaudibly page police > indicate exact location.
Cameras are baked as well.
-- thumbwax, Aug 22 2002

I think any cashier that can't figure out how to open the cash drawer when their life depended on it would be a fine candidate for natural selection.
-- Mr Burns, Aug 22 2002

Certainly, but there are also many cashiers with the admirable, though often misguided, notion that theft is wrong and should be prevented. Occasionally it works out OK. Any scheme that assists such people should be encouraged.
-- angel, Aug 23 2002

When was the last time any one of us had a gun to our heads?

Hmmm... how about a debit-only convenience store, where cash is strictly prohibited?

How about designing such stores so that the windows are right at street level, instead of set back behind the gas pumps? And all of these problems apply to employees at fast food restaurants, even McDonalds. That's an awful lot of natural selection taking place.
-- polartomato, Aug 23 2002

random, halfbakery