Government building security reviewed after California shooting

Following the shooting in San Bernardino News4Jax took a look at building security in Jacksonville.
Following the shooting in San Bernardino News4Jax took a look at building security in Jacksonville.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The shootings in San Bernardino, California, took place during a holiday party in a government-owned facility. We are told there was limited security at the building.  That caused people to take a look at security measures Thursday at government buildings. News4Jax wanted to know how Jacksonville’s city buildings stack up.

We found it varies from building to building in Jacksonville. City Hall has a lot of security. while another city building across the street has hardly any. That has people wondering if more needs to be done.

Mary Ann Curry said she hasn't worried about building security before.

"But I probably will after seeing that on TV," she said. 

(An earlier version of this story identified Curry as the mayor's wife. She is not related to Lenny Curry and News4Jax regrets the error.)

That’s the feeling many have now: Concerns about safety in public places. At this time of year there will be lots of events at the auditorium.  There are security officers on hand, but when you attend most events there is no screening. SMG which manages the city entertainment facilities says that is up to each promoter, and the sheriff’s office. It’s done on a case-by-case basis.

The same is true for the convention center where various rooms are used for different events similar to the situation in California, but for the most part there are no extra security precautions. We talked to our crime and safety expert Gil Smith about that and if it needs to change.

"I don't know if we're going to start seeing them in places like that. If we start seeing attacks occur in those types of places that's a possibility. Of course you're looking at much longer lines instead of just taking a ticket to go in. It's going to take a lot longer to go in.  I'm not sure if we will see that type of thing happening right away," Smith said.

Some who attend those events wonder if it would really make it safer.

"I don't really think that would make a difference I just think we all need to be vigilant," Kim Holloway said.

When you go to City Hall there is a lot of security. Security personnel x-ray everything that comes in anyone who sets off the beeper is checked with a wand.

Directly across the street is the Ed Ball building. When entering there is no security. But it contains plenty of city offices and plenty of people who go in there every day.

"There will probably be some changes but some government buildings already have a lockdown procedure in place," Smith said.


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