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City mulls adding security features to facilities in wake of July shooting

Aug 13, 2015 By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

Employees have expressed concern about their safety.

Soon after the deadly shooting in July at the Center of Hope in Riverton, city employees expressed concern about their safety while working at city buildings.

The alleged shooter, Roy Clyde, entered the city-owned Center of Hope facility on West Adams Avenue and killed one man and severely injured another July 18.

Clyde is now incarcerated, and his case is headed to district court after he waived his preliminary hearing. The Fremont County Attorney's Office charged Clyde with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.

City administrator Steven Weaver said an e-mail was sent to all city employees after the shooting addressing the incident and offering counseling services if needed.

Eventually, Weaver said, the city would like to establish a relationship with Fremont Counseling to provide services to staff whenever necessary.

"They said, 'Whatever we can do to help, we'll do,'" he said about the counseling group. "I really appreciate their efforts."

City buildings

City department heads also met with staff members to address any other concerns related to the July shooting.

Most employees in those meetings talked about safety concerns at City Hall, 816 N. Federal Blvd., and at the municipal facility at 714 W. Monroe Ave. The latter building houses the utility, lands and asset divisions that cover water collection and distribution, parks, sanitation, streets, pest control, and maintenance for city-owned buildings and vehicles.

"They asked, 'Are we setting ourselves up to have (an incident) happen here?'" Weaver recalled.

Safety issues were a concern for employees in the months before the July incident, he said, and discussions already were being held to consider different options to address those worries.

"Since this (shooting) has happened, we're expediting that (process)," Weaver said. "We've had closed-door meetings, and we've had people just walk in."

Safety system

The city is considering putting glass windows in offices or meeting rooms, Weaver said. Administrators also are considering a check-in system and waiting room for residents who want to meet with city employees.

To avoid having people "wander through City Hall," Weaver said the city would like to set up a room similar to the one at the Riverton Police Department, which is housed on the other side of the building. Staff also would like to install a buzzer or lock system that requires a key or card to open office doors. A second building entrance is another option, he said.

"Ultimately, I don't want to be sitting across (from) someone who is telling me I couldn't protect their spouse," he said. "With these (options), at least we have some measures in place."

City Hall is not meant to be "secured up," Weaver explained, and administrators are not trying to "box" themselves in, but some safety measures will give employees the protection they need so they feel safe in their work environment.

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