8News Investigates: Safety at City Hall

RICHMOND – After Nathaniel Burwell was arrested last week for refusing the leave the mayor's office, some city workers say they didn't feel safe in the building.

Shortly after the incident, Councilwoman Reva Trammell says it's not surprising he was able to get in the building with the weapon.

“They can go anywhere they want in there, anywhere they are not checked,” she says.

It turns out Richmond Police spend a lot of time responding trouble at City Hall.

8News combed through calls for service to City Hall looking specifically at calls for disorderly conduct and trespassing and so far this year, police have responded 107 times for disorderly conduct calls and 16 times for trespassing.

Last year, police had 130 disorderly conduct calls at City Hall and 20 calls for trespassing.

And in 2011 police were at City Hall 149 times for reports of trespassing and disorderly conduct.

Councilman Jon Baliles, who worked inside city hall daily before he was a councilman, sent this statement:

“Those numbers are somewhat surprising, and I certainly understand some workers' concerns for safety. However, I haven't felt unsafe in my 4 1/2 years as a staff member or while serving on Council.”

Trammell wants metal detectors back in the building.

The mayor's office says internal security is being reviewed but they also say some upgrades were made over the past year.

There's now a doorbell outside council offices, where visitors have to be buzzed in and must be escorted by security guards. Security cameras have been installed outside and inside council chambers and at the council lounge.

To see the full list of calls, click here.


Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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