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Visitors to Buffalo City Hall must now go through security screening

Taurean Davis has only spent three days at his new City Hall internship, but things got a little more intimate when the 18-year-old found himself unbuckling his metal belt Friday morning to get into the building.

Buffalo City Hall instituted new security measures Friday – complete with airport-style metal detectors and three security guards.

“It was unexpected,” Davis said. “I was a little uncomfortable with the belt. I felt like I was getting undressed.”

The new safety initiative is part of an effort to prevent a breach in security, according to the Brown Administration. City Hall employees will not be required to go through the screening as long as they have their City Hall identification on them.

Visitors must go through the screening.

The new security process requires visitors to line up to take off any accessories and place them in a nearby bin.

A security guard motions the visitor through the metal detector, while another checks the bin and any personal bags for guns and explosives.

The last guard stands with a portable handheld security metal detector, should extra detection be needed.

Despite the initial discomfort, Davis said he feels safer knowing the safety measures are there.

“It’s security measures, so I understand it,” he said.

The security measures got a test run Friday, information specialist Cecelia Folmar said. City Hall will re-evaluate and make necessary changes on Monday.

For now, she said she’s happy with the changes.

“Sometimes you do (become fearful) when you get these crazies coming in off the street,” she said.

For the past four years, Folmar has been the first person visitors see when they enter City Hall. Her information stand is smack in the middle of the lobby, and directly in front of the doors.

“It’s a whole lot better,” she said. “It just gives a whole sense of safety.”

email: chsieh@buffnews.com