In an effort to tighten security at Spokane City Hall, the city is issuing photo identification cards to its 2,000 employees.
City officials alarmed by increased violence in Spokane and across the nation are taking steps aimed at keeping their employees - and themselves - safe.
“We have to be prudent and vigilant,” said Mayor Jack Geraghty.
Finance Director Pete Fortin said he hopes the ID cards help employees monitor who’s in the building.
Someone not wearing a badge may need an employee’s assistance, Fortin said. Someone in the building after hours who is not wearing a badge probably shouldn’t be there at all.
“The idea is security,” Fortin said. “It gives instant recognition to anyone in City Hall.”
Spokane County issued ID cards and installed courthouse metal detectors last summer, shortly after the Oklahoma City bombing and the fatal shooting of three women in the King County Courthouse.
“We’re not going to the extent of metal detectors,” Fortin said, adding there are no plans to limit public access to the building during regular hours. “We want to make it as open as possible.”
The ID cards have magnetic strips that allow employees to open interior doors that are locked after 5 p.m.
The security program, including the computer and camera needed to make the cards, cost the city’s risk management department about $12,000, Fortin said.