FIRST ON 3: Security ramped up at New Hanover Co. Commission Meeting

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Submitted: Mon, 06/20/2011 - 9:37pm
Updated: Tue, 06/21/2011 - 12:48pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County Commissioners met today to discuss everything from the county budget to signs on Carolina Beach Road. One of the more interesting aspects of the meeting though was what it took to get in. There was additional security at the door and in the board room.

“We’ve been working on this for some time, and the Sheriff and I got together, and he said he had the equipment,” County Manager Bruce Shell said. “It’s just a question of whether to staff the people on the days of County Commissioner meetings.”

Shell says the heightened security is because he believes the commissioners are dealing with serious issues, not because of any concerns internally.

“A lot of places have security just to get into the county administration building. We haven’t gone that far, but we did feel like with the volatility of certain issues that is was prudent to do it at a County Commissioner meeting,” Shell said.

Commission Chair Jonathan Barfield says if the county has the resources to increase security from two deputies to six, then it should. He says the county just wants to make sure everyone is safe.

“Looking at what’s happening across our county, to make sure we’re protecting all of the citizens here… we have the resources and security to do that kind of thing, so why don’t we utilize it?” Barfield said. “Same thing when you walk into our court system. You have to walk through a metal detector to make sure no one is carrying anything they shouldn’t be carrying.”

Barfield says he has never felt unsafe at a meeting, but he thinks the increased security is a good idea.

Shell says you should expect this kind of security from here on out at County Commission meetings. He says he does not know if the metal detector will be a permanent fixture in the Historic Courthouse where the commission meets, but the county will try to make sure it is at all the commission meetings.


  • Tom O says:

    The way certain members of the County Commission have been acting lately a couple of mental health professionals might be in order too.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    concerned he may be served with papers or the Highway Patrol may arrive to pick up his license plate and driver’s license?

  • Guest99x says:

    The Highway Patrol would have access to this meeting by virtue of its capacity as this state’s chief law enforcement authority.

    Maybe you should think of changing into some more comfortable clothes. I think that the “pontificals” you wear when you step up to this podium are getting a little too hot.

  • Wade griffis says:

    They probably ramped up security because they heard Erin Brockovich was in town and they certainly do not want HER investigating them.

  • Guest99x says:

    Guesty, I didn’t know that! If wildlife officers have more authority than the Hwy Patrol, why can’t they be called in to supplement WPD to help manage the downtown weekend “wildlife”?

    Recently, while looking at the state budget proposals I recall reading from SHP site that they had complete jurisdiction within the state.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    why not get real and learn what tongue in cheek humor is all about. On the other hand, I rarely pontificate; my posts typically are fact based and note specific rference sources.

  • guesty says:

    A NC wildlife officer has more authority than a SHP officer.

  • guesty says:

    But the wildlife folks are spread thin over a large area. The wildlife officers have jurisdiction over the complete state as well as waterways. NHSO has started doing additional patrols downtown on weekends.

  • Pallidan says:

    Really, six Deputies?

    A metal detector and still need 6?

    I’m sorry but I don’t think the County Commissioners are being confronted by 300 Spartans.

    Following this logic, will the tax office have a swat team?

    Will the mayor be followed by the law enforcement robot?

    What about frogmen at the city’s docks?

    I may be wrong, if there is a credible threat by all means use whatever
    resources needed.

    However, the only violent rhetoric i can remember is that of an official threatening a nearby Mayor.

    By the way, were there charges levied in diapergate?

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