City Hall adds metal detectors, police officer

2013-05-28T00:00:00Z 2013-05-28T11:20:02Z City Hall adds metal detectors, police officerDarren DaRonco Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
May 28, 2013 12:00 am  • 

The public will have to jump through a few more hoops before accessing City Hall in the near future.

Remodeling of City Hall's first- floor lobby began a week ago in an effort to beef up security.

"We want to ensure there are no guns or knives that come into the building, and this is the best way to assure that," Mayor Jonathan Rothschild said.

Some of the security improvements will include metal detectors, cameras, additional security personnel and new procedures on how people enter and exit the building, at 255 W. Alameda St. The city anticipates implementing the procedures by next Monday.

Once the new system is up and running, visitors who want to enter City Hall will only be allowed to enter from the north-side doors.

Once inside, they will pass through metal detectors, and any bags or purses will be searched by security staff.

City officials and the Tucson Police Department have been discussing ways to improve security at City Hall for months. City officials were unable to say how much the changes will cost.

But plans began taking shape last February after a series of events, which officials declined to discuss, occurred, forcing them to take a closer look at how security is conducted on a day-to-day basis.

In addition to the structural improvements, the city will add one extra security guard and keep a uniformed TPD officer on the premises for backup and to accompany the mayor to his appointments and appearances.

The city has had a private security guard roaming the lobby of City Hall for years.

About eight months ago, a uniformed TPD officer was added to the mix in response to threats from a disgruntled former employee.

But that position, which was considered a temporary special assignment, was being filled by officers working overtime.

The new plan makes the officer a regular part of the security team.

Contact reporter Darren DaRonco at 573-4243 or ddaronco@azstarnet.com

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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