Local Officials Considering Tighter Security

By: Erica Proffer Email
By: Erica Proffer Email

Police in Kirkwood, Missouri, say six people are dead after a shooter opened fire at a city council meeting.

This is prompting local leaders to look at our security measures.

Rushing into council chambers, firing a gun and yelling "shoot the mayor!"

Police in Kirkwood Missouri are now having to deal with the tragedy of six deaths, two of those officers, three residents and the gunman.

Even though that's nearly 700 miles away from Dothan, Alabama. Local leaders are still taking the event seriously.

"We want to provide a place where they can come and transact business or come to a city commission meeting and not have to be afraid," says Dothan City Manager, Mike West.

"I don' think you can anticipate an event like yesterday. You can prepare for the worse, which we do in public safety. Certainly we'll do the best we possibly can to guarantee everyone's safety," says Dothan Police Chief, John Powell.

Both Police Chief John Powell and city manager Mike West say safety is very important and they are constantly looking at increasing security.

They both say they don't want to prohibit community involvement.

"I want to emphasize the fact that any actions taken have to be given a lot of thought because we don't want to infringe upon the public's rights to participate in the public government," says Powell.

"The real issue is how much inconvenience we want the public to go through in order to ensure their building where they must come to do business in, and we have to weigh the inconveniences with security issues we have," says West.

Right now there are at least three officers at each city commission meeting, as well as security cameras throughout the building.

But more changes could be forthcoming, so what happened in Missouri doesn't happen in the wiregrass.

Even though no formal proposal has been made, Houston county commissioner mark culver says the county is evaluating the possibility of adding a deputy at county commission meetings.


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