by Alan McArthur
Safety concerns are prompting Parkville to make nearly $20,000 in security upgrades at the 10-year-old City Hall.
On Tuesday, aldermen approved spending $19,850 on a contract with Armor Solutions Group International (ASGI) for bullet resistant laminated glass on windows in the police department and bullet resistant paneling under the main counter in the city council chambers.
According to the staff report from Tim Blakeslee, assistant to the city administrator, the security changes include replacing eight of the lower windows at the police station with 1-inch thick laminated windows and replacing the upper part of the windows with smash-proof windows. ASGI will also replace the glass on the police department pass through to make it bullet resistant and replace the glass on the reception window. There will also be a bullet resistant panel installed under the counter of reception window.
Improvements in the alderman meeting room include a bullet resistant panel installed under the countertop with a length of 36 feet and a second panel behind a wall on the stairwell to the conference room.
The bid from ASGI says all of the improvements will be level 3A weapon resistant. The National Institute of Justice lists level 3A weapons as the 44 Magnum and 9mm Submachine Gun.
The city had originally budgeted $17,850 for the first phase of security upgrades, which means the bid is $2,000 over budget. The staff report says that the city is still early in the budget year and is expecting to find savings in the future.
The work by ASGI will be installed by June 30.
According to the city's proposed Capital Improvement Program, which was created in July 2016, the security upgrades are a multiple year program. The plan calls for installing safety measures in the municipal court for phase two in 2018 with $8,920 budgeted.
The third phase is for improvements to the administration level of city hall with $13,500 in the budget for 2019 and $10,500 planned for 2020.
Kevin Chrisman, police chief, said that the majority of the future security updates would be switching out the current windows for shatter resistant windows.
Chrisman said that with the climate of the nation it was time to make the security improvements.
The total budgeted for security upgrades is $50,770 over the next four years.
Parkville's City Hall has had doors with key card controls since it was built in 2007.
The contract with ASGI was approved with a vote of 6-0.