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More security at city hall

The city recently spent $5,500 to keep its top executives behind locked doors during their workdays.

A card access system was installed at both entrances to the management suite in city hall last month. The area on the second floor of the Market Street building houses offices for the city manager, deputy city manager, city attorney, city clerk, chief of staff and budget office.

“Security of employees and citizens doing business at city facilities is very important to the city manager,” city spokeswoman Debbie George wrote in an email.

George said the city is evaluating and implementing ways to provide better security in existing buildings, as well as making security a major feature in new buildings. The new King’s Fork Public Safety Center, which opens this week, has a card access system for all areas of the building except the public lobby and restrooms.

“As part of an overall plan, security has been a major factor considered when bringing new facilities on line,” George said. “Each city facility built in the last 24-30 months has been equipped with enhanced security features, which include card access.”

The new card access system to city hall’s management suite includes a card reader and intercom system. Those who conduct business in the area on a daily basis were issued cards. City Council members also received access cards. All others can use the intercom system to identify themselves to a receptionist.

That portion of the building previously lacked any security features, George added. Other departments in the building, including Media and Community Relations, Planning and Community Development and Purchasing, already had coded locks on doors leading to working areas.