Commissioners Beef Up Security at Meetings

By: Tim Elliott Email
By: Tim Elliott Email

Dothan city leaders are getting serious about security. They passed a new ordinance today designed to keep residents and themselves safe.

A new metal detector will soon be in place at Dothan city commission meetings.

“There was just a general feeling that we needed to increase the security,”

City Manager Mike West says the move is a recommendation from the Dothan Police Department.

“Personally, I hate to see that we've come to this point in life but unfortunately, so many places have had incidences where people have gone on rampages,”

Tuesday morning, commissioners voted on another security measure.

“Today, the city commission passed a city ordinance that basically banned firearms from the commission chambers,”

In the past, if you had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, you could legally attend commission meetings with a firearm; but not anymore.

“We're trying to add another sense of security,” added West.

Not long ago, there would be just one uniformed officer at the meetings. But today, you'll find three to four officers in attendance.

“They are there through the whole meeting to basically watch what's going on and observe, not only the meeting, but people who are participating,” said Corporal Rachel David with the Dothan Police Department.

Tightening security is all in an effort to prevent a tragedy similar to what happened in Missouri in 2008. That's when a gunman walked into a city council meeting and opened fire, killing five people.

“Unfortunately, today there are people capable of a lot of things,” said West.

While Dothan has never seen an incident like that…

“We've had incidences where people have come in and their motives have been questioned,” said West.

They're not willing to take any chances.

“Again, we just want to take a proactive step before there's any type of issue,” said Cpl. David.

City leaders hope to have the new metal detector up and running for the July 27th commission meeting.

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  • by Danniele Location: Slocomb on Jul 14, 2010 at 04:02 AM
    I dont live in Dothan but it is a proven fact that if owning/carrying a firearm is outlawed, then only outlaws will own/carry firearms. I dont want to say that officers and security officials cant do their job but I would feel alot safer if I myself or someone else around me was carrying a concealed carry.(just in case) There was an incident where a man who condemned concealed carries was threatened by a man holding and illegal firearm during a robbery and he was saved by a man WITH a concealed carry.That man has since, changed his point of view.
  • by Ledon Location: Daleville on Jul 13, 2010 at 08:53 PM
    This ordinance would seem to be in violation of the Alabama Constitution, Subtitle 3, Chapter 80, 11-45-1.1 "No incorporated municipality shall have the power to enact any ordinance, rule, or regulation which shall tax, restrict, prevent, or in any way affect the possession or ownership of handguns by the citizens of this state. The entire subject matter of handguns is reserved to the State Legislature"
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