Related to this post in a way (Is the guy with the shotgun at the start of Dark Knight a regular comic character?), during the robbery, we see that one disables the alarm on the rooftop. Here is the quote taken from the screenplay:


Here comes the silent alarm.

(touches a button)

And there it goes. That's funny. It didn't dial out to 911- it was trying to reach a private number.

(Behind him, Happy RAISES his silenced HANDGUN.)


Is it a problem?


No, no. I'm done here.

Why a private number and not the police? I understand from the post linked above that mobsters control the bank, so is the phonecall to them? And if so why? It's not like they're going to rush in and save their money while the Feds will be coming in (which they do eventually, I'm guessing someone called them by phone since the alarm was off). Is there someone else to call apart from mobsters?

  • 3
    You've answered it yourself. Because it's a mob bank. They're calling in mob enforcers.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 19, 2015 at 21:09
  • 10
    Plot goof : No silent alarm dials 911 since that's a voice number :-) What would be the point?
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 19, 2015 at 21:11
  • 1
    D'oh! Thanks @Richard, you're right. I was also thinking about panic buttons but yeah...the operator wouldn't be of much use -_-
    – user35594
    Commented Jan 19, 2015 at 21:16
  • 1
    Also, it could be something like ADT thing in USA - private secrurity company that ascertains the situation and then gets the police involved Commented Jan 19, 2015 at 21:21
  • @Richard: Make it an answer, future President/ moderator. You're right. Commented Jan 19, 2015 at 23:51

1 Answer 1


Interestingly, this was something that was corrected in the official novelisation. In the script (and film) the line is :

DOPEY : And there it goes. That's funny. It didn't dial out to 911- it was trying to reach a private number.

Whereas in the novel, the line is:

“What’s that?” Happy asked. “Here comes the silent alarm, just like we figured,” Dopey said. “And there it goes. Funny thing is, it didn’t dial out to the cops. It was trying to reach a private number.”

which obviously makes more sense because 9-1-1 is a voice line.

Since this is a mob bank, the implication is that their silent alarm phones the mob to request additional enforcers rather than calling the police. The robber is unaware that they're a mob bank, hence his (and our) surprise.

  • it's still an official bank, isn't it? wouldn't it make more sense to let the cops soak up the bullets?
    – ths
    Commented Jan 20, 2015 at 9:23
  • 2
    @ths - The bank is largely a front for the mob to launder (and store) money. I think we can assume that they'd want to hide the books and unwire the vault from the mains electricity before calling the cops. Also, the main priority of the cops is the safety of the customers, not the money. The mob probably feel that that's the wrong way round.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 20, 2015 at 9:27
  • Awesome answer, cheers for making it all clear!
    – user35594
    Commented Jan 20, 2015 at 20:39

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