4:42pm

Wed October 2, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Beefing Up Security At Lexington's City Hall

A review of security at Lexington’s government buildings is underway.  General Services Commissioner Jamshid  Baradaran  says police patrols and video cameras protect some 25 city-owned buildings.  Baradaran says it will likely take time to develop security recommendations.

Council members argue security at entrances to Lexington city hall should be tightened.

“Obviously we’re gonna move forward with the items that are low cost, no cost, for example operational changes and so forth.  We’re gonna identify anything in terms of additional equipment, electronic access and so forth and then we will bring that to the committee,” said Baradaran.

Baradaran says the total cost of everything on a council wish list of security equipment could come close to a million dollars. But, he adds there comes a point of diminishing return and believes a happy median is the best approach.

Some council members say their office should guarded, but member Julian Beard’s not convinced more security is the answer.

“You know, banks, at one time had armed guards in their lobbies and they found out they were killing more customers than they were bank robbers and so that doesn’t happen anymore,” said Beard.

Vice Mayor Linda Gorton remembers an incident about a decade ago, when an armed visitor prompted the evacuation of council members into a secured room.  Gorton wants more security at the entrances to city hall.

“I think our front door is the main culprit.  If you go to almost any government building across this country, they have security at the front door that will screen you for a weapon,” said Gorton.

After a security review, recommendations will be presented to Lexington’s council.