Security changes come to Conway council chambers following incid - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Security changes come to Conway council chambers following incident

Conway, SC -

Officers were stationed at each entrance to city council chambers scanning people for weapons. That was the scene at Monday night's city council meeting in Conway.
Those are just the most recent upgrades to security after an incident left some council members feeling concerned for their safety and yours.   
"There's no question we live in an age where distraught people come in and take violent action without any warning," Council member Barbara Jo Blain-Bellamy said.
 Conway city council members are taking extra precautions by upgrading their security from just an officer in the crowd to officers with metal detectors.
And this change in security has some council members already feeling safer as they take on citizen concerns.
"They come to city council sometimes disgruntled so it makes perfect sense to me for us to take some very fundamental steps to make sure that everyone present is safe," Blain-Bellamy said.
Security within council chambers has been a concern for some members for a while now. The building is older, and officers still use a skeleton-style key to lock the doors.
However, the change in security comes after an incident last month.
Meeting minutes describe a man who council members say "sharply criticized" the council and, in particular, the mayor over the city's response to major flooding. But these aren't the only kinds of issues that can bring heated debate.
 "Perhaps the greatest thing we touch on is restriction on the use of one's property, but as a reasonable person, I just cannot fathom that that would turn into a violent act, but we know it sometimes does," Blain-Bellamy said.
We have reached out to Conway city police for more details on how they are upgrading security within council chambers but have not heard back at this time.
Copyright 2015 WMBF. All rights reserved.

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