Cincinnati Manager Moving Forward With City Hall Security Changes
Cincinnati administrators are moving forward with plans to secure the city hall courtyard with a fence-like wall and a garage door.
Those who need to access that entrance will be able to walk into the area, but only those with passes can get vehicles into the courtyard.
City Manager Harry Black proposed the changes last week in a memo. He spoke to city council's Law and Public Safety committee Monday.
"What we're proposing to do in the courtyard is consistent with recommendations that have been given to us by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security," Black said. "As well as our own insight here locally, we know that we have a very vulnerable component of the building."
The changes are part of plan initiated earlier this year that returned a metal detector and now a screening machine to the front entrance of city hall.
Council Member Kevin Flynn says the city manager is the CEO and he is not going to second guess his security decisions.
"I just see this as really restricting people that shouldn't be there anyway from getting where they shouldn’t be," Flynn said. "I don't have any issues with this. I think it’s a well thought out plan."
Council Member Yvette Simpson expressed reservations about the latest security changes. She says there needs to be a balance so people can feel like they have access to a public building and their elected officials.
"We can't let the bad guys win," Simpson said. "By always feeling like whenever there's a little threat, we lock everything down and then it discourages just everyday people who want to access their government from coming into this building."
Five council members could sign a motion asking that the changes be delayed.
But right now no council member is proposing that; and it is uncertain there would be majority support.
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