City Hall steps up security after recent incidents - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

City Hall steps up security after recent incidents

On Jan. 22, Cincinnati police arrested a driver after he drove his vehicle onto the steps of City Hall (FOX19 File Photo) On Jan. 22, Cincinnati police arrested a driver after he drove his vehicle onto the steps of City Hall (FOX19 File Photo)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Two incidents have left City Hall to make some improvements in security.

In a memo from city manager Harry Black to the mayor and members of city council provided information on recent improvements to the security. 

According to the memo, in 2014, the Cincinnati-Hamilton County Terrorism Early Warning Group (TEWG) worked to assess security risks at City Hall.  The assessment included walk-through inspections of office space, analysis with 3-D cameras and a review of the perimeter and surrounding property. 

That team identified a number of operational and capital improvements to ensure Cincinnati city hall conformed and nationally recognized best practices for the type of building.

City manager Harry Black in the memo says that due to recent events, the administration fast-tracked several of the TEWG recommended operational improvements.

On Jan. 22, Cincinnati police arrested a driver after he drove his vehicle onto the steps of City Hall.

Officials say William Jackson, 37, of Bellevue, Ky, drove his white Ford F150 truck over the curb and onto the lower steps to the entrance of City Hall.

According to a release, Jackson is a past owner of a small business and believed that the city was not providing assistance to small businesses. 

Jackson drove his vehicle onto the steps of City Hall for the purpose of meeting with the Mayor and seeking assistance for his business. He was charged with inducing panic and entered a written not guilty plea on Friday. 

A few days later on Jan. 24, Cincinnati police found the homeless man accused of sending more than 100 threatening and harassing emails to the offices of Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and councilwoman Amy Murray.

[Related: Man accused of threatening Cranley found in psychiatric ward, in custody] 

David Lask was found in a psychiatric ward at Christ Hospital.  He was taken into custody and transported to the Hamilton County Justice Center, He was charged by Cincinnati police with two counts of telecommunications harassment.

City manager Harry Black says the following will be the improvements to security: 

  • Beginning Feb. 2, an additional guard will be stationed at city hall's Plum Street entrance, at a desk on the left side of the lobby. 
  • Upon entering the building, guests scheduled to meet with the mayor or city manager, or wishing to visit unscheduled, will be directed to the left-side guard desk. The guest will sign in and receive a visitor badge and will be escorted to the back office or be met b a member of the staff at the guard desk for assistance.
  • All other visitors will be directed to the right-side guard desk.  They will be asked to sign in and note the office or purpose of visit, then receive a visitor badge. A guard will contact the appropriate office if a visitor needs assistance. 
  • Employees will still need to show their access badge upon entry to the building. 
  • The Plum Street entrance will be open during regular business hours, 7:30 am. until 5:30 p.m., and the Courtyard entrance will be open from 6:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. for employee access.

The cost of additional guard service at the Plum Street entrance is anticipated to be budget neutral, according to the memo. 

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