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Council Approves Tighter Security for City Hall

October 21, 1998|HOLLY EDWARDS

Reacting to recent shootings at government buildings, the city will install a panic button and telephone in the City Council chambers, take an inventory of keys to City Hall and train city employees to deal with workplace violence.

The measures were recommended by City Administrator John Ornelas, who along with Police Chief Dominick Rivetti reviewed security in the wake of shootings at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., and Riverside City Hall. Mayor Raul Godinez II had requested the review and a report to the City Council on potential security improvements.

The City Council unanimously approved the measures Monday night, but agreed with Ornelas' assertion that more extreme measures such as metal detectors, video cameras and armed police officers at city meetings are not necessary.

"There are extreme security measures you can take, but I wouldn't recommend them," Ornelas told the council. "I don't believe we come close to that kind of danger."

City Council members agreed.

"My wife and I walk the streets every evening," said Councilman Doude Wysbeek. "Our biggest danger in San Fernando is being loved to death."

Ornelas and Public Works Director Michael Drake said they would work to get the new security measures in place as soon as possible.

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