Asheville City Hall should see a new entrance and metal detector completed this spring, according to Building Safety Director Robert Griffin. The changes are the latest in a gradual increase in security at City Hall over the past few years.
“APD and our Risk Management Division have been benchmarking with other cities in North Carolina and around the nation (similar in size etc.) for what, if any, changes they were conducting on their buildings that functioned as City Hall,” Griffin writes to Xpress. “We upgraded our door security system for employees (badge activations) and added other security features such as cameras, lights, alarms, etc. in strategic locations during the last two years.”
He adds that security is “constantly being assessed for the safety of our employees, elected officials, and public who have business within the building.”
A uniformed Asheville Police Department Officer used to guard the front entrance, but that’s since been outsourced to a private security firm, though the APD does provide officers for Asheville City Council meetings. City Hall is currently undergoing a long-awaited renovation, and as part of that, the public will now have to go through a new entrance and metal detector.
Griffin notes that the city is currently reviewing bids for the new door, and will seek bids for the metal detector in the coming week. He hopes to have the project completed by March or April, and says staff will take the time to ensure that “it doesn’t become a symbolic change with no additional safety.”