Tuesday, July 22, 2008

High Security At City Council Meetings

For reasons unexplained in news accounts, high level security measures have been adopted during city council meetings in Morristown.
"The heightened security measures employed Tuesday were largely procedural and probably went unnoticed by those who attended the meeting.

Increasing safety further will cost from several hundred to several thousand dollars, according to Morristown Police Chief Roger Overholt.

The possibilities include a metal detector or hand-held wand at the public entrance of Council Chambers, a video monitoring system and enhanced communications equipment, according to Overholt."
Plans also include possibly blocking off parts of surrounding streets on meeting dates.

Have some credible threats been made towards the council? I surely hope not, and fortunately the city's police department is but a few yards away from council chambers. Some years back, at least one police officer has been stationed inside council chambers during meetings, which seems like a sound idea.

I do find it odd that while the city has so far not been willing to record and broadcast their mid-day meetings on local cable TV outlets, they are considering aiming cameras at those who attend meetings and requiring security checks to enter the council chambers. The pessimist in me wonders if some residents will decide these measures will make them reluctant to attend meetings


  1. Anonymous6:55 PM

    I agree that what you report is strange, but be grateful if they don't have cameras in the council meetings. Once they figure out the opporrtunities for posturing in front of the cameras, the meetings will last much longer.

  2. Anonymous5:03 PM

    Having run screaming from Morristown and it's petty politics some years ago, I wouldn't think that a chilling effect would be on their minds. That would require original thought, and your typical Morriston politician isn't known for that.

  3. Anonymous6:06 AM

    The city is technologically savvy-- when it wants to be!

    The city jumps on red light cameras, internet advertising, online tax payments, etc., but it won't tape and televise their meetings on the existing government/ education channels?!?

    Instead of aiming all the cameras at the public, your idea of aiming at least one camera at city officials is a great one.

    Linda Noe