Councilwoman wants metal detectors at City Hall

By Ben Garbarek - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The tragedies in Tucson have many people rethinking security. One Richmond council member is calling for new measures to beef up security at public meetings here.

There used to be metal detectors in City Hall and Councilwoman Reva Trammell wants to bring them back. She says there needs to be more security to prevent a shooting like the one in Tucson.

"We need to look at it," she said. "Not only for the safety of us because we don't have protection like the mayor does. We don't have that here or outside the building."

We talked with some people running errands inside City Hall. Some say the tragedies in Tucson show the need for metal detectors while others think that's going too far.

"You got a lot of people going to council meetings and you don't know the state of mind people are in and how they feel about city government sometimes," said Ronald Lott. "Just like in Tucson, this guy snapped. We'd rather be safe than sorry."

Van Shelton works in City Hall. She says more security is needed but only to a certain point.

"I'm not sure metal detectors are necessary," she said. "They'll probably make you have to check your pocketbooks and that kind of stuff."

Councilman Bruce Tyler says he keeps a watchful eye when out in public. He's afraid where there's a will, there's a way when it comes to security at public meetings.

"If someone wants to bring something in here, they're going to do it," he said. "There's a problem with everything and a way around it. As much as I appreciate the thought, it may be overkill."

Trammell also tossed out the idea of moving the police officers assigned to council meetings. Often these officers sit in the back of the council chambers.

Trammell thinks they'd have a better vantage point sitting in the front of the room.

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