Friday, February 1, 2013

UPDATE: City building: a gated community?

Posted By on Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 4:21 PM

The city formally announced its stricter security policy for the City Administration Building today, and it appears more adjustments are on the way.

We obtained an internal e-mail sent to city workers (below), which notes "other changes" are coming soon. In addition, the memo reminds workers they can't carry concealed weapons into city buildings, even if they have a concealed-carry permit.

But the city says in an e-mail in response to our question that while city workers can't carry concealed weapons, "Private citizens with concealed carry permits are able to carry their weapons."

(Incidentally, El Paso County's policy is as follows, as stated by county spokesman Dave Rose: "If you have a concealed carry permit you are permitted to carry in county buildings except the Judicial Building and CJC [Criminal Justice Center]. You are not permitted to display firearms in County buildings.")

We've asked the city to provide more information about the "recent security incidents" that led to the crackdown, and will circle back if and when we get some answers.

To: All City Employees
From: Michael Sullivan, HR Director
Date: January 11, 2013
Subject: Workplace Safety

Mandatory Employee Acknowledgment of the City’s Weapon Prohibition

In light of recent national events involving workplace violence, the Mayor and City senior leadership are taking a series of preventive measures to make the City of Colorado Springs a safer place for our employees and visitors.

An important early step in this effort is to educate employees regarding City policy that, among other things, prohibits employees from possessing or using weapons at the workplace or during work hours. Please take a moment to read and complete the mandatory Employee Acknowledgment of the City’s Weapon Prohibition at the link below no later than January 25, 2013.
[link here]

While we are, of course, concerned about all City facilities, we are looking at the City Administration Building in our first phase of review. In an effort to improve safety, the security staff will become more vigilant to ensure that all employees are wearing their city ID badges. Please help them and wear your city ID at all times when in the CAB. The security precautions below will begin at the CAB effective January 22, 2013.

All employees will be required to show their City ID badge to the guards at the front desk upon entering the CAB.

If you have lost your ID badge or have never been issued a badge, you may come to Human Resources (CAB 702) between January 11 - 18, from 10 am - noon to receive a new badge. During this period, you will not be charged the cost of a replacement. If you need other arrangements for a new ID, please contact Tammy Anderson-Shirley at 385-5118.

Police, Fire, and Airport employees that frequently come to the CAB and need a new ID may contact their HRC for more information about obtaining a new ID.
Please note that effective January 22, 2013, all CAB visitors will be required to sign in, show ID and state the nature of their business. All visitors to the CAB will be issued a visitor badge, which must be worn while in the building.

Employee and visitor safety are our highest priority. Other changes to promote a safer work environment will be coming soon.

Thank you,
City Human Resources Staff

—————————-ORIGINAL POST: JAN. 31, 2013, 10:27 A.M.—————————————————

Mayor Steve Bach security

Mayor Steve Bach's administration is battening down the hatches at the City Administration Building.

On a test run yesterday, two uniformed people requested our IDs at the front door, before we were allowed to even enter the lobby. We also would have had to sign in and state the purpose of our visit, had we stuck around. Which we didn't.

When we paused and made no move to produce an ID, both security folks got panicky looks in their eyes. Asked if there had been problems with unsavory characters causing trouble, they said "no." But we weren't even allowed to look at the bulletin board, about five steps from the guard station, where public meeting notices are officially posted in compliance with the Colorado Open Meetings Act.

Bach did away with such security measures in his first month as mayor, June 2011. Columnist John Hazlehurst wrote back then that Bach ended "the annoying practice of forcing city employees to show a badge or sign in when entering the downtown City Administration Building. Visitors no longer will have to sign in, either."

Hazlehurst called it "a political master stroke." So what do we call the latest move to reinstate the practice?

Bach also has his offices under keypad lock. And he often employs the services of police to protect him during public appearances.

Early Wednesday afternoon, we asked the mayor's communications director what's up with this. We'll post the response if we receive one.

Meantime, don't leave home without your ID and a good reason for being at the CAB.

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