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Why new security measures at Petersburg City Hall caught folks off

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Employees arriving at work at Petersburg City Hall Wednesday morning were caught off guard by a locked door.

While other doors were open, a frequently used door that leads to a set of stairs that takes you to the second and third floors is now locked for security reasons.

However, it was not just employees who discovered the locked door.

"When I grabbed the door," Kofi Adih, who conducts business at City Hall several times a month, said. "It didn't open, like the locks pretty new on it."

City Hall

City Hall

Donald Waters was befuddled by what he encountered.

"I think it probably needs to be locked, but I was really surprised," Waters added.

Petersburg Police Chief Kenneth Miller said law enforcement are looking at every city building when it comes to security.

"We're starting to look at the city as a whole and see what can we do to reduce the possibility of challenges down the road, unusual occurrences, that's what we're doing, that's all."

As for City Hall, the new lock was added late Tuesday afternoon.

"We're putting in new measures and it's part of a change" Chief Miller said. "It's a change in the culture and the way we do business here in the city."

There are three other doors that lead to the first floor of City Hall, which allows access to the City Treasurer's Office and the Office of Commissioner of Revenue.

City Council member Treska Wilson-Smith arrived at City Hall and was surprised to hear about the door.

"I did not know, I know nothing about it until I came to City Hall to do other business," she said.

Council Member Howard Myers, who also did not know about the change, said he thinks it is a "wise move" for security.

"Should it be communicated? Yes, it should be but if it's all for the safety of the workers inside, I'm for it," Adih said.

Just before noon, a city employee attached a sign to the door stating: "Please use other door.  Thank you for your patience and understanding."

Sign

Sign