The mayor talks about threats and security

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The mayor talks about threats and security

CREATED Feb 15, 2013

Reporter: Liz Kotalik 

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Currently, security at City Hall consists of a private guard who patrols the area and a TPD officer on overtime doing the same thing. 

Threats to City Hall are nothing new, and they aren't going away any time soon.

But, recent security scares have city leaders and police on edge, and leaving Mayor Jonathan Rothschild saying that increased security is absolutely necessary.

"I'm new to this life," Mayor Rothschild said, "I was told coming into it that there would be things like that that would happen."

Things like a suspicious package that came to City Hall this week.

Although it ended up being harmless, it put an existing plan to increase security on the fast track.

Yesterday, we spoke to Police Chief Roberto Villaseñor about his and the mayor's proposition.

"What my recommendation is to follow the plan that was put forward and have two security officers there," Villaseñor said.

Money for added security will come from a reserve fund budgeted for police and held for emergency situations.

But, there's a catch. The fund is not a permanent source for City Hall security.

"The chief's looking at that," the mayor said. "We're looking at that together. I'm sure it will be part of the budget for this year."

The mayor said Villaseñor will be looking at how other cities are protecting their mayors.

Our mayor says threats are common when it comes to city government, and although they are being extra vigilant, there's no need for alarm.

"Believe me, I've had to call my mother," Mayor Rothschild said. "I just say, don't worry. I don't think we're seeing anything different, but I do think we do have a new perspective that says better safe than sorry."

The mayor said the plan is to have those two security guards, and then a TPD officer who would play a couple of different roles.
The officer will not only be providing security for the building, but they will also be handling low-level police calls by phone and by computer.
Although they don't have hard figures about how much this will cost the city, the mayor did tell us that this form of "double-duty" for the police officer could end up saving the city some money.