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Broward commissioners look to increase security at government buildings

Broward County Commissioners have agreed to explore options to increase security at the Broward County Governmental Center and possibly other county government buildings.

“We’ve had some very angry people pass through these doors,” said Commissioner Stacy Ritter, who initiated the discussion at Tuesday’s Commission meeting in light of the shooting incident that occurred in Tucson, Arizona.  “I would like to look into installing a metal detector at the entrance. I think it would give us a little bit more of a comfort level.  I don’t think it would do anyone any harm.”

Just last week as the commission was deciding this, a gunman ran through the Broward County courthouse.

Commissioner Lois Wexler noted that the School Board of Broward County has recently upgraded security procedures prior to public meetings. “It would allow us to ascertain if there is something in someone’s purse or in the back of someone’s pants.  This incident in Arizona on Saturday should have gotten everyone’s attention.”

Commissioner Kristin Jacobs suggested increasing security with resources that are already in place within County buildings. “We are very public.  A metal detector may make us feel safer, but I don’t think we would be.  I think we can enhance our safety in other ways with the resources that we have now.  Each time there is an incident we think that more security is going to make us safe and I don’t know if that’s necessarily the case,” said Jacobs.

Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness supported increasing security to insure that the entire Governmental Center building is protected.  “I wouldn’t support just having a metal detector here in the Commission Chambers and not have it elsewhere for the rest of the people who work in this building.”

“I put 100% faith in our police and deputies that take care of us here in Broward County and in Fort Lauderdale,” said Commissioner Chip LaMarca.   “But if you look at other buildings like the courthouse, there’s a metal detector. In the Capitol Building, there is a metal detector.  I don’t want it took look as if we’re doing something different, but if you’re looking to secure the whole building, that’s a different story.” said Commissioner Chip LaMarca.

Vice-Mayor John Rodstrom directed County staff to explore cost effective security options and report back to the Commission at a later date.   “As elected officials, we make decisions and at times we aggravate people.  I would like to look at a variety of security options that would not be too expensive, but would better protect us and the public.”

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Posted by Andrea Freygang on Jan 18 2011. Filed under Broward County, Fire/police, Fort Lauderdale, Latest news, Local news. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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