‘We’re sitting ducks,’ council calls for tighter City Hall security

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) — “It was pretty frightening what happened Monday night.”

That’s the reaction from 8th District Richmond City Council member Reva Trammell, following a chaotic scene at City Hall Monday night.

“There are many people that’s against the government,” Trammell said. “They are upset at how things are being done; they feel like their voices are not being heard.”

Trammell tells CBS 6 that the confrontation between armed activist Chris Dorsey and Council liaison Steve Skinner should never have happened. And added that Dorsey being carried out of Council chambers by police was unnecessary.

Trammell is asking for tighter security and stricter enforcement of media credentials at all meetings.

“My concern is the children, the citizens, our staff and my colleagues; especially when we’re sitting ducks,” said Trammell.

In Henrico county, there’s a heavy police presence at all of it’s public meetings.

“You have an agenda,” Henrico Sheriff Mike Wade said. “You know what the issues are going to be, the hot topics, what issues people are complaining about.”

Sheriff Wade said several deputies are posted outside of county board meetings.

The public must go through metal detectors, and cameras are recording at all times for any outbursts or disruptions.

And in some cases plainclothes officers may be sitting in the audience monitoring the crowd.

“It doesn’t bother me that the people come here with weapons because most of them are law abiding citizens. And it’s their Second Amendment right. I’m more concerned with the disorderly people that come down,” Sheriff Wade said.

We checked in with Chesterfield county.  The Sheriff’s office handles security for all of its public meetings.

Lieutenant Eric Jones tells CBS 6 that two deputies are present at all times. But they will beef up manpower, there’s a controversial issue slated for discussion.

Reva Trammell says she plans to bring up the issue of increasing police presence during her Public Safety meeting next week.

15 comments

  • manalishi

    Skinner lied to the police to grandstand for the council and should be mocked accordingly. Trammell isn’t worried about anyone but herself.

  • Glen Allen

    I think the problem in Richmond has an easy fix. The public clearly wants to be heard, and they want more information, and more time to evaluate the information. It appears the Jones Administration holds back way too much information , and when the do release information, it is at the last moment. In most cases, it seems City Council really has little to no more information than the general public.

    In short, the answer is that City Council has to do a better job at insisting the Mayor release more information, earlier on in project(s) development. City Council needs to learn how to be better leaders. The people want to be part of the decision making instead of being manipulated by the Mayor and his friends.

    While some on City Council appear to have their own agenda, I think as a whole they are trying to do the right thing, a few training courses for City Council would be beneficial to everyone. Council does not work for the Mayor.

    • Andrea Keeles

      I totally agree with your comments. The Mayor has a tendency to keep information from the Public. We the Public are not children, treat us as adults since we are the ones that have placed him in the position he is in. Dwight forgets that he can be replaced.

  • Southern Gent

    It is bizzare that anyone can bring a weapon into a City Council meeting.
    Common sense nowhere to be found.

  • John

    Reva Trammell makes no sense. She says she wants upgraded security and media credentials checked, but felt that Chris Dorsey shouldn’t have been forced and/or carried out of council when he obviously wasn’t in an area he was allowed and refused to move out of that area. Reva is a big fan of Chris Dorsey and the other “hellraisers”. These “hellraisers” get more than ample time to voice their opinions for hours and hours of council time. They are upset because they don’t get their way.
    Reva has her priorities backwards. She should have told Chris Dorsey herself that he was breaking the rules by being in the media area. She has been branded into the lone wolf on the council once Marty Jewell got voted out. She may want to curry up to the hellraisers, because she may very well be sitting out in the audience with them after her next election.

    • John

      Ms. Trammell has been a very attentive councilperson to her district. She answers her phone for every call, and investigates the complaints herself. She soothes the person’s feelings by listening and agreeing with them whenever they have a concern and problem. She pacifies people by showing care and attention. That is very hard to do on a ongoing basis, so I give her tons of credit for going the extra mile.
      The problem is she gets so bogged down in minor details to make people feel loved that she can’t see the forest for the trees. She caudles the attention seekers more than just representing the people that live each day that don’t complain because they are too busy working and living life.

      • John

        Ms. Trammell reminds me of some parents that fuss over one child that never seem to achieve anything in life but getting more of Mother’s attention. I know Mother’s that have 4 children, and 3 of their kids get little to no attention and go on to be very succesful. The Mother goes overboard on attention for one child, and does everything for that child, to which that child never learns to break out of Mother’s constant help.
        It becomes a symbiotic dependency relationship that both parties depend on each other and feel needed because of their type of relationship.
        I guess that could also be said of the big corporations that get government subsidies also.

  • Bart itchell

    Transparency in City Council Meetings?? Not ……Local media especially WVEC acted as though they’re on the city’s payroll by ignoring the event..All is decided at the 3:00PM meeting upstairs w/o the media present behind closed doors…SHAME ON THE RESIDENTS OF THE CITY FOR ALLOWING THIS TO OCCUR.Vote the council members have lost touch and doesn’t CARE to Listen to its CONSTITUENTS that voted them in to office…Its all about the $ and self interest groups they listen to now…POWER AND MONEY $$$$ RULES THIS CITY

  • Bart itchell

    Congradulations Channel 6 for taking 2 days to report this GOVERMENTAL VIOLATION OF CITIZENS CIVIL RIGHTS to voice their opinion JUST TO BE IGNORED at the ^PM MEETING..How about news coverage at the 3:00PM decision making meetind???WAKE UP BILL FITZGERALD

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