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Public likely to see tighter security at Erie County offices

Residents who need to conduct business with Erie County government may soon be subjected to a new round of tighter security measures. In the latest security proposal before the Erie County Legislature, the county would spend an additional $158,116 for another round of tighter security at the Rath Building and Erie County Court Building.

The new proposal would have county employees and members of the public enter through separate doors at both the main Franklin Street entrance to the Rath Building, as well as the Pearl Street entrance to the Department of Motor Vehicles. The current set of revolving doors would be removed.

Several new glass partitions would ensure that employees and members of the public remain separated until visitors walk through a metal detector and have their belongings put through an X-ray scanner. In addition, large concrete bollards will be added to the front of the Court Building at 25 Delaware Ave. to prevent any vehicle from ramming the building.

"Additional security measures are necessary to secure the building, its occupants and visitors due to heightened awareness based on events around the world," County Executive Mark Poloncarz wrote in a letter to legislators.

He later tweeted that security officials have confiscated weapons, including a stun gun and sword, since tighter security measures were put into place a year ago.

The county spent $1.5 million last year to add metal detectors, X-ray machines and additional security officers to the Rath Building. The underground parking entrance on Franklin Street was also closed off.

More than 2,000 people come to the Rath Building each day. Roughly half are county employees who are not subject to security screening if they present their employee ID badges.

Metal detectors, more deputies planned to boost Rath Building security

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