Broward Wants Metal Detectors at All Government Buildings

Some skeptical detectors would bring more protection

With the security of public officials clear in the conscious of people across the nation, the Broward County Commission is looking to protect themselves by installing metal detectors in all county buildings.

The commission voted Tuesday to explore the costs of heightened security at government buildings, particularly the Broward County Government Center where commissioners meet.

“We’ve had some very angry people pass through these doors,” said Commissioner Stacy Ritter, who initiated the discussion. “I would like to look into installing a metal detector at the entrance. I think it would give us a little bit more of a comfort level. I don’t think it would do anyone any harm.”

The metal detectors are in direct response to the shooting in Arizona over the weekend that targeted U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords as she met with constituents.

The attack killed six and injured 14 others. Six remained hospitalized Tuesday and Gifford is fighting for her life after being shot in the head by Jared Loughner.

While some of the discussion after the attack has centered on the uncivil state of politics, those in office have been more focused on more protection for themselves.

“We are very public. A metal detector may make us feel safer, but I don’t think we would be," Commissioner Kristin Jacobs said. "Each time there is an incident we think that more security is going to make us safe and I don’t know if that’s necessarily the case."

It's unclear how much installing metal detectors at most if not all county buildings would cost, but a meeting will be scheduled later to determine if it is worth the money.

Currently, there are metal detectors at some county buildings like the Broward Courthouse and security has also been enhanced to protect school board members.

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