Employment Commission addresses security at VEC offices

By Gene Cox - bio | email

MECHANICSVILLE,VA (WWBT) - Tracy Givens has spent a lot of time in this office since he lost his job on Christmas Eve.

"I came on a Monday and the line was out the door, kind of reminded me of the voting line," said Givens.

The long lines and long waits are frustrating for many who come through these doors. Tracy believes that extra security might be necessary to keep tempers from flaring.

"To deter the mayhem that might could erupt. I've felt that. I've felt a little bit of that. Somebody might blow the gasket," he says.

That's why the Virginia Employment Commission is looking at hiring a private security firm to staff up to eight of its offices across the state, including the one in Mechanicsville. Office manager William Walton says his staff is trained to handle disputes, but recent economic woes have created more traffic, and more concern about safety.

"We are a high volume office and of course the more volume, the more potential there is for those who are disgruntled or upset given the circumstances they're in to voice that here," said Walton.

Walton says that there have been no serious incidents at his location. He says that the VEC is taking a proactive approach to security, rather than waiting until it's too late.

"It's a good idea because it's not going to get any better. It's going to get worse and more people are going to end up down here," said Givens.    
In the meantime, the staff can only help... one person at a time.

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