Buffalo's City Hall will be getting a massive upgrade in security, from metal detectors to a network of perhaps 100 surveillance cameras.
The Common Council on Tuesday gave the Brown Administration the go-ahead to negotiate a final contract to take over City Hall security to G4S Security Services at a cost not to exceed $650,000 a year. The city has already spent $200,000 for the equipment providing the security upgrade. The company will provide at least five armed security officers.
Council President Darius Pridgen has pushed for more security for years.
"There's been things been averted. We had a gentleman come and expose himself in our office. We've had people who had to be removed by police and we had to wait for a 911 call because we couldn't remove the police that are already in the building from their strategic positions. Well, we don't want to wait until we have someone hurt," said Pridgen.
Councilmember David Franczyk was the only 'no' vote.
"At one point, I studied in a Communist country. I remember guys with rifles and bayonets everywhere," Franczyk recalled.
"They were on public transportation. They were in government buildings. And, if we're becoming this, the terrorist are winning these victories with this overarming."
Over the years, there has only been one major security problem in City Hall and that was the 1964 armed robbery of the City Treasurer's office which led to the movie "Hide in Plain Sight." A police officer has since been assigned to that room. Another officer sits outside the mayor's office.
Among the details to be worked out are what doors will remain open, with at least two with metal detectors and where will the camera room be set up to keep track of those hundred cameras.