Casper Council Agrees to Use a Metal Detector Before Meetings
At the Casper City Council meeting on Tuesday, the council unanimously agreed to establish a new policy as it relates to screening people for prohibited items before they are allowed to enter city council meetings.
The policy requires everyone who wishes to attend a council meeting in the council chambers to pass through a metal detector that has been installed outside of the chambers before they are allowed to enter the meeting.
City Attorney John Henley said when asked by councilmember Kyle Gamroth, that the police officers manning the detector would have the ability to deny entry to people who do not comply with the policy.
The new policy defines prohibited items as firearms, explosives, flammable substances, blades, edged or sharp objects, and striking devices, which include things like stun guns, dynamite, aerosol sprays, brass knuckles, and knives greater than two inches.
If someone does try to get into the meeting after being refused entry, Henley said that they would be subject to either a trespassing violation or a disturbance of the peace, based on the situation.
Councilmember Shawn Johnson asked whether the policy prohibits the specific items in city hall in general or just during meetings, to which Henley responded by saying that the policy is broad enough that it could stop those items, but there wouldn't be a screening.
"It may still be a violation of the policy because the policy is pretty broad. It talks about any meetings within city hall," Henley said. "But, as far as the screening procedure, that is going to be limited both based upon probably the volatility of the meetings as well as manpower and as well as the magnetometers we have to just this room."
Casper Police chief Keith McPheeters said they plan on having the bailiff and police officer assigned to the municipal court to be able to man the metal detector, as they don't want to spend more money on paying for additional officers.