Abbeville City Hall gets security

When someone enters Abbeville City Hall, a new metal detector will respond to the items carried on the person, whether it be keys, watches or other metal objects.

The city council voted to place the security unit in the lobby of City Hall in order to better protect the citizens and staff within the building.

A series of lights tells whether or not possible weapons are on the person who enters.

On a daily basis, the machine will be monitored by Abbeville City Hall security officer, Eugene Harrington, but for special meetings, such as a council meeting, an armed officer will man the post.

Before the city started officially checking citizens, much practice with alarms and what they mean was conducted.

The group of lights is set where a green light means clear, one red light is okay and is most likely keys or other like types of items. However, more than one red light will lead to the person to be “wanded” or scanned by hand, in order to discover the cause of the multiple red lights.

In addition to passing through the scanner, all bags are subject to inspection. They city will post a sign about possible searches of all who enter the building.

Another security measure considered by the mayor and council is the installation of security cameras at City Hall.

“The cameras would complete the process of having full security at City Hall,” Councilman at Large Francis Plaisance stated.

One camera will be in the lobby with another in the council meeting room, a third at the drive in window and a fourth camera installed outside the building. There will be the capability to view the cameras from a computer for multiple monitoring stations.

The estimated cost for these cameras is around $5,000.

“I have no doubt that security cameras would help not only with security, but also with accountability,” Councilman Francis Touchet said.

“I applaud you for bringing this to our attention for the minimal cost to be able to monitor the tax payers’ dollars here at City Hall.”

The council approved a $5,200 package for security cameras which was suggested that the Secretary/Treasurer would be the monitoring person.

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