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City Hall Security Changes Being Modified

Changes are coming to Cincinnati City Hall security, but the new measures are being scaled back from what was first proposed.  

City Manager Harry Black announced his latest plans in a memo Monday.

The revisions include:

  • No additional key access security doors will be installed on additional City Hall floors.
  • Visitors will be required to sign in but won't be required to show a valid ID.
  • Visitors will not be required to be escorted to their appointment, nor wear badges once they have passed through the metal detector and signed in.
  • All persons with a valid City of Cincinnati issued ID will need to show it in lieu of passing through the metal detector and signing in.

Vice Mayor David Mann and seven other council members had asked for changes and they succeeded.

"This is a building that houses elected officials who have public meetings and those kinds of barriers should not be a part of coming to see your elected officials," Mann said.

The new City Hall security measures will be implemented on April 4.

Black told a council committee last month he understands there is a balance.

"We want to make certain that our public buildings are as public as we can make them," Black said.  "But at the same time we have a responsibility to make certain that they are safe for the people who are coming into them to conduct business or to participate in various meetings as it relates to the democratic process."

Cincinnati City Hall had metal detectors at the entrances from late 2003 until early 2006.  

They were installed after then-Vice Mayor Alicia Reece was in New York City when a council member there was killed in a shooting incident at New York City Hall.  

Former Mayor Mark Mallory had them removed soon after he took office to make the building more open and accessible.  Since then visitors have had to sign in when entering and are given visitor's badges.  

After an incident last year where a man drove his truck up to the steps of City Hall, people who want to meet with the mayor and city manager must sign in and then wait to be escorted to those offices.  Crews also built walls to prevent the public from being able to directly access those offices. 

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