Is it an invasion of privacy or a necessary preventive measure?
From now on, everyone entering the meetings of the Volusia County Council will be checked for weapons.
The new security procedure began July 19, as Volusia County deputies set up a checkpoint In the lobby just outside the council chambers. Those going into the meeting were ordered to hand over bags and to empty their pockets for a search, and a deputy wielded a metal detector over the persons wishing to enter.
“We’re upgrading the security throughout the building, with all the things that are going on in the world,” County Manager George Recktenwald told The Beacon.
Recktenwald added he would not specify what other precautions have been implemented.
Asked if a particular threat of violence prompted him to order the screenings, Recktenwald replied, “Nothing specific.”
Rather, he said, council members had discussed the matter previously, and he had also talked with members individually about it.
Previously, Deltona was the only locality in Volusia County that required the security screening of those attending the meetings of its elected governing body. Deltona began using metal detectors at the entrance of the City Commission Chambers in July 2019 following reports of threats of violence at meetings.
“Actually, people have thanked us,” Recktenwald said, regarding the start of the security checks.
“It’s unfortunate that’s the way the world’s gotten,” he concluded. “We’ve had to take active-shooter training here. It’s kinda sad.”