The Town of Huntington has indefinitely delayed plans to install metal detectors at Town Hall as it works with a consultant to determine how best to keep workers and visitors safe, officials said Wednesday.
Town Supervisor Frank P. Petrone told Newsday in July that metal detectors would be installed by September as officials looked to improve security at the public building on Main Street.
“It was not as simple a task as people initially thought,” Petrone spokesman A.J. Carter said Wednesday. “You want to make sure if you do it, you do it right.”
Town officials visited several sites as they explored that option, including Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma. They learned the challenges that would come with installing metal detectors, including: employee training; creation of new job classifications for workers monitoring metal detectors, and the need for new policies for operating the machines.
The town still may install metal detectors, but Carter said officials had no timeline for when it might happen.
Town Councilwoman Susan Berland said metal detectors are critical at Town Hall, and she will do all she can to ensure they’re installed “sooner rather than later.”
“It is absolutely a top priority for me,” Berland said. “In this day and age . . . people need to feel protected in a public building.”
The delay came as town officials sought out Massapequa-based security consultant IntraLogic Solutions to help them consider security options. Several security measures will begin in early 2016, including a more comprehensive check-in system, requiring visitors to show ID and receive temporary badges that clearly show what part of the building they are limited to, Carter said.
Carter said he did not know if the town would store visitors’ personal identification.
Town officials also plan to install more security cameras, but Carter declined to say how many and where they would go. He did not know their cost, or the cost of metal detectors.
Town Hall employees will also receive a new card swipe-in system that is being tested by a few departments.
“It [the security enhancement effort] was driven by a realization of what was going on around the country, and around the world and what should be done to protect employees and visitors at town hall,” Carter said.
Huntington currently has a no-ID sign-in system but all bags are subject to check by security guards.