City Council tightens security

2011-01-20T00:00:00Z City Council tightens security Arizona Daily Star
January 20, 2011 12:00 am

Tucson stepped up security at its City Council meeting Wednesday in the wake of the the shooting rampage that killed six people and injured 13, including U.S. Rep Gabrielle Giffords.

The council, which typically sits around a table close to the audience for its afternoon study session, moved up to the dais for its entire meeting, instead of just for the more formal regular meeting. Assistant City Clerk Suzanne Mesich said this provides additional security for the council members and it will continue indefinitely as the city continues to evaluate security.

In addition, the Tucson Police Department locked some entrances to the council chambers and redeployed some of its officers at the meeting to better cover other entrances. All city employees and members of the press were also required to wear their identification badges or credentials, Mesich said.

More security could be in store as well, she said, as the city will look at implementing measures such as bag searches or metal detectors in the coming weeks and months.

At Pima County, which has long maintained a higher level of security screening than the city, security for Tuesday's Pima County Board of Supervisors meeting was up even tighter.

The metal detector all audience members must pass through was more sensitive than usual, and the security staff looked inside coffee cups before people were allowed to bring them into the meeting.

During call to the audience, a Pima County sheriff's deputy was stationed near the supervisors' dais, a new move initiated last week.

And in Maricopa County, Sheriff Joe Arpaio is offering to provide security for elected officials and judges during public events.

On Wednesday, Arpaio sent letters with the offer to members of Congress, leaders of the state House and Senate, county supervisors and Superior Court judges.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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