River Cities

Miami Springs OK’s weapons checks at City Hall before meetings

The Miami Springs council on Monday voted 4-1 to allow police to use metal detectors at the entrance to City Hall before meetings.

“The police department must take every action necessary to ensure safety and security at all venues within the city especially in gatherings of our local governing body,” Miami Springs Police Chief Armando Guzman said in an Aug. 22 memo to city leaders. “The use of metal detectors will enhance the safety of everyone attending these meetings.”

The cost to implement the new program would run about $150 for an officer to work a three-hour shift at every council or special meeting or workshops, Guzman said.

Councilman Billy Bain, the lone dissenter, did not comment about the measure during the meeting or return an email from the Miami Herald asking why he cast a no vote.

No residents spoke during open forum about police scanning visitors with metal detectors at City Hall before meetings. The measure passed quickly with little discussion.

“I see it as a public safety issue,” said Councilwoman Rosie Buckner, a retired police officer.

Buckner said that it is for the “public good” and pointed out how metal detectors deter crime in local courthouses.

Weapons checks already are done before meetings at Miami-Dade County, the city of Miami and other local municipalities. Miami Springs’ new weapons policy goes into effect Monday before the city budget workshop.

For information, call 305-805-5000.