Valdosta City leaders to step up safety measures -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta City leaders to step up safety measures

March 6, 2008

Valdosta - An emergency can happen anytime, anywhere. The City of Valdosta is no exception.

"In today's world, it makes sense to be careful. Some of the decisions that are made in City Hall and some of the considerations that are being made there certainly can be emotional," says Valdosta Police Chief Frank Simons.

Luckily, city leaders have not been faced with an emergency situation within these walls.

But they say it's better to be prepared.  "That's the time to do your best planning when you are being proactive and not responding to something after the fact and wishing we had examined policies and make sure it was as safe as it can be," says City Manager Larry Hanson.

They have asked the Valdosta police to walk through City Hall and the Municipal Court to help them improve their current security and develop an emergency plan in case something were to happen.

"They've asked us to look at creating a plan for low, medium and high security situations, so we are going to try to cover that range and be prepared for whatever may happen," Chief Simons says.

The new measures could be anything from extra officers in council chambers to metal detectors and panic buttons.

City leaders say any measures will face tough scrutiny before being put into place.  "We take a lot of pride in our meetings being open and friendly and having a welcoming environment, and we don't want people to feel intimidated to come to a public meeting."

They hope to initiate any plans and extra actions within the next 60 days.


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