Security guards at the City Administration Building downtown are insisting that visitors sign in upon entering the building.
But people who refuse to sign in still have access to the building at 30 S. Nevada Ave., according to documents obtained under an open-records request.
On most days, the city has between two and three security guards sitting at a security desk near the front entrance of the building requiring visitors to sign in.
The question of whether visitors are required to sign in hit home last week when a rookie security guard insisted that I sign in to use the restroom. When I resisted and asked him for the policy requiring that I sign in, neither he nor his supervisor could produce it.
The policy, obtained this week, states that visitors who refuse to sign in can’t be denied access to the building.
But the public has no way of knowing that because the policy isn’t readily available and the sign on the door to enter the CAB states that visitors must sign in.
“Visitors will be asked to sign their name and their destination,” states the policy from City Manager Penelope Culbreth-Graft. “Visitors refusing to sign in will not be denied access. This step is only in place to increase the deterrent of visible security and to facilitate customer service to our visitors.”
In the policy, Culbreth-Graft says she approved the plan, which has been in place since December 2008, ”to improve security within the CAB without restricting public access.”
Culbreth-Graft enacted the policy after city agencies housed in the CAB eliminated administrative support staff, such as secretaries.
Visitors were found roaming offices and hallways seeking assistance.
“What is even more disturbing,” Culbreth-Graft stated, was the increasing number of complaints of theft and missing items from employees in the building, “raising serious concerns about the security in the CAB.”
Security at the CAB cost $121,297 last year, according to documents obtained today, also under an open-records request.
The costs included $3,867 for ADT alarm charges, the documents state.
“The City Administration Building has an installed alarm system and pays subscription and service fees to operate the system,” city spokesman John Leavitt said in an e-mail.
Here’s a breakdown of the security costs:
Amount Journal Line Description
$9,355 JAN 09 SECURITY GUARD SVCS
$8,871 FEB 09 SEC GUARD SVCS
$10,351 MAR 09 SEC GUARD SVC
$10,323 APR 09 SECURITY GUARD SVCS
$9,355 MAY 09 SECURITY GUARD SVCS
$10,290 JUN 09 SEC GUARD SVCS
$2,900 JAN-SEPT 2009 ALARMS
$10,444 JULY 09 SECURITY GUARD SVC
$9,807 AUG 09 SECURITY GUARD SVC
$9,823 SEP 09 SEC GUARD SVCS
$10,387 OCT 09 SEC GUARD SVCS
$8,419 NOV 09 SEC GUARD SVCS
$10,000 DEC 09 SEC GUARD SVCS
$966 OCT-DEC 2009 ALARMS