Mecklenburg County Manager Explores Security Upgrades at Government Buildings

CHARLOTTE, NC – New security measures could soon be installed at Mecklenburg County buildings.

“Keeping my employees safe is top of mind as well as keeping our visitors safe,” said Dena Diorio, the Mecklenburg County Manager.

She is proposing adding security personnel and upgrading safety features at eight to 10 county buildings.

“We made the decision that we thought it was really important that we do even more of an acceleration to try and make sure that we can keep our employees and our visitors safe,” said Diorio.

The plan includes additional security staff, metal detectors, additional cameras, and an office violence training course for all employees.

There would be a one time cost of $6 million dollars and $6.3 million dollars each year for operational costs.

Not included in the preliminary security proposal are the dozens and dozens of parks and rec facilities, like the aquatic center in uptown. Those buildings will be addressed in the larger security plan in the future.

Diorio says the decision to increase security comes after a shooting at the Virginia Beach Government building in May. Police say 11 people were killed and six others hurt when a former city employee opened fire.

“It makes me sad,” said Susan Harden, District 5 Commissioner.

She says it’s disheartening that security has gotten to this point, but says she is supportive of safety upgrades.

“We certainly want people to come into public spaces and public buildings and feel safe,” said Harden, “so we have to make those investments without question.”

Diorio says she plans to have a more comprehensive report ready by early October. She says employees likely won’t see the security measures in place until next spring.