More security for city hall

Published 8:44 pm Monday, November 1, 2010

The second phase of a security plan for city hall includes a new part-time police officer to patrol the Municipal Building and other facilities.

Junius Jackson, a recently retired sheriff’s deputy who also formerly worked in the police department, is making $24.22 an hour in the newly created part-time position. His duties include security detail for all city facilities, as well as coordinating security planning and implementation.

“The security of employees and citizens doing business at city facilities is very important to the city manager,” city spokeswoman Debbie George said in an emailed response to questions about the position.

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This summer, the city spent $5,500 to install a card-access system in a portion of city hall that includes offices for the city manager, deputy city manager, city attorney, city clerk and others.
George said the new position as well as the card-access system are part of the overall security plan for public facilities. The city has been finding ways to improve security at existing facilities and incorporate security measures into the construction of new facilities, she added.

“Each city facility built in the last 24-30 months has been equipped with enhanced security features, which include card access,” George said in July when questioned about the new card-entry system. As examples, the King’s Fork Public Safety Center and Health and Human Services building both require card entry for all working areas.

The funding for the new position will come from existing part-time funds in the police department budget that came from vacancy savings and “staffing efficiencies,” George said.

Jackson reports directly to Police Chief Thomas Bennett.

The 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 must use the intercom system to identify themselves to a receptionist.