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Northside Branch Incident December 1, 2016

By: John Hirabayashi

Posted on 12/1/2016 9:05:00 PM

CEO and President John Hirabayashi

“The Community First Credit Union family of employees and members is grateful for the safe rescue and release of 11 people taken hostage by gunpoint this morning at our Northside branch on Edgewood Avenue. Seven of them were our devoted employees and four were our members.

I have personally met with all our Edgewood employees, their families and the members involved. It was a very tough day for everyone on the scene and for our entire credit union family. All our employees, members and their loved ones have been reunited and we extend our support and appreciation to them while they recover. We will extend crisis counseling and have activated our employee assistance program (EAP) to further help our branch employees in their emotional healing.

Our Northside Branch will remain closed until Monday, December 5 so we can repair the physical damage done by both the suspect and the law enforcement intervention. The nearest branch is located at 11907 Lem Turner Road.

I am personally grateful for the amazing professionalism and strength of our branch team who had to endure a situation we’ve not seen in many years. An active shooter is something we all know can happen and we hope never does, but these employees used their training to save lives today. We are also appreciative of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office’s quick response and intervention that prevented physical injuries. This is the best possible outcome.

I’m proud of our Community First Credit Union family today more than ever. And I’m thankful beyond words that this situation ended peacefully with the suspect in custody. We graciously ask for the community’s understanding and respect of our employees' privacy while they heal.”

Community First Credit Union of Florida is a state-chartered credit union based in Jacksonville serving anyone who lives or works on the First Coast. Community First is one of the 10 largest credit unions in the state, serving more than 119,000 members and with assets of $1.4 billion. Community First has 18 locations and 300 employees. A not-for-profit, Community First is a full-service financial institution offering banking, loans, mortgages and investments for consumers and businesses throughout the First Coast.