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Hempstead Town Hall to get security enhancements

Hempstead Town was given a vote of confidence

Hempstead Town was given a vote of confidence from Moody's Investors Service. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Hempstead Town officials will enhance security at Hempstead Town Hall using a $50,000 U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant after a federal review of security risks.

The town will use the grant to add metal detectors and X-ray machines to the entrance to Town Hall at 1 Washington St., as well as improved security cameras and handheld metal detector wands. The improvements may take up to two years to complete, officials said.

The New York division of Homeland Security and the Emergency Services Office of Counter Terrorism conducted a review of the town’s facilities in March. 

“I am thrilled that we were able to secure the necessary grant money needed to effectively protect our town employees, along with the thousands of residents that walk through the doors of Town Hall,” Supervisor Laura Gillen said in a statement. “With these critical upgrades, we will be able to address security threats and help protect against potential attacks that can occur in today’s constantly changing landscape.”

The first metal detectors will be placed near the Town Hall's plaza entrance and elevators to the town clerk, town board and supervisor’s offices. Additional metal detectors will be installed at the Washington Street entrance.

The town’s main offices house 325 full-time, full time employees and covers 56,000 square feet in a four-story building.

The Homeland Security threat assessment of three town facilities included an interview with town staff, tour of facilities and review of emergency planning documents.

The town is seeking additional grants for adjacent offices and courts at old Town Hall on Front Street and town offices at 200 N. Franklin Avenue. All three buildings cover 160,567 square feet and include 838 full-time employees.

Other town halls across Long Island have boosted its security measures. Southampton added a security desk and electronic ID scanners. Residents in Islip, Huntington and Brookhaven are now required to provide ID.

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