Those attending the next meeting of the city council will have an extra layer of security to navigate.
City Manager Gary Williams announced Tuesday that beginning with the June 25 council meeting, all those entering the council chambers will be required to pass through a metal detector.
The change follows other recent security changes at the Carbondale Civic Center, some of which have drawn criticism for seeming to wall off city employees and offices from members of the public. Williams noted the introduction of a metal detector follows the May 31 shooting at a Virginia Beach municipal building that left 12 dead and five others injured.
"This isn't anything new," Williams said of the metal detector. "If you go to a Jackson County Board meeting, they have it. If you go to the Marion City Council meetings, they have it. I think in light of everything that happened in Virginia Beach ... it's something we really need to consider here. It's incumbent upon us to keep people safe who come to these meetings, and we're going to do everything we can to achieve that."
While conceding the need for security, Councilman Adam Loos also offered a broader perspective on guns in America.
"The fact that the cowards who are in office in D.C. and to a lesser extent in Springfield and judges on the Supreme Court who have adopted an ahistorical and completely unjustified view of the Second Amendment, they are to blame for this," Loos said.
"And as long as that cowardice continues, these things will continue to happen. With no offense to the metal detector, that's great ... but what if you're not going to city council? Think about that."