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City Hall considers new security measures

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Visitors to City Hall may soon enter through metal detectors as officials consider ways to secure the public structure.

Acting on the recommendation of the Police Department, the Council voted Monday to set up a security committee with the Brown Administration to look at security in City Hall.

Right now, there is a police officer in the Treasury and another outside Mayor Brown's office. The Treasury officer is fallout from 40 years ago when the Treasury was robbed, a daylight event remembered in the movie, "Hide In Plain Sight."

Outgoing Council President Richard Fontana says council members had been talking about security before the police recommendation and agreed to a committee.

"Currently, this building is not very secure when it comes down to potential threats to public safety," Fontana said.

"So, one of the last things that we are doing for the year this year is create a committee that will look at how do we improve safety here in City Hall, which could down the road lead to people being checked as they come in."

Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news
One security consideration is to lock some of City Hall's lesser-used doors.

Fontana says one reason for security concerns is that the landmark building has a lot of doors and that may have to change.

He says increased security may cost more money but an incident without tighter security might cost even more and that's why he favors more controls.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.