Bainbridge Island police were called to city hall twice earlier this week after employees became concerned about an agitated visitor who “became loud with staff,” and the city has since ramped up security procedures for the building.
The visitor came into city hall on Monday and Tuesday afternoon, city spokeswoman Kristen Drew said in an email to the Review.
“On both days, the person got agitated and became loud with staff and police were called and promptly responded. The customer left the building after speaking with police and no charges were filed,” Drew said.
City Manager Morgan Smith briefly recounted the incidents to the city council during its meeting Tuesday night.
Smith said the atmosphere at city hall had been “a little tenser” this week.
Smith said employees had “pretty significant discussions” about workplace security in the aftermath of the mass shooting at a municipal building in Virginia Beach by a disgruntled city worker where 12 people were killed and five others were wounded. The gunman was later shot and killed by responding officers.
“We have those conversations and trainings and discussions routinely,” Smith told the council, but the Virginia Beach shooting was especially relevant for Bainbridge city employees.
“The staff are human and they care a lot about this,” she said.
Smith recalled that police were called twice to city hall this week.
Monday afternoon, a uniformed officer was stationed in the public entryway to city hall.
The incidents this week at city hall have prompted several changes, Smith said.
“We’re always thinking about building security,” she said.
City hall’s secondary public access, the entryway on Madison Avenue, will now be locked on the outside.
Signage is in place to alert the public, Smith said, but the Madison Avenue door will still serve as an exit for the building.
Smith also said that visitors who are meeting with city hall workers late in the afternoon will be escorted to the lobby outside the building’s internal security gate in the building’s entryway when public access hours end at 4 p.m.
A uniformed officer will be used when needed, she added, including at next week’s planning commission meeting.