A slew of threats against city officials has prompted San Luis Obispo City Council members to allocate funding to upgrade security systems at municipal buildings.
The council voted to approve spending $380,000 to begin the security related projects Feb. 18.
The funds will be used to add “ballistic-resistant” materials in 10 city buildings, according to the mid-year budget review plan.
Harmon and other city council members have received multiple threats from people on social media and in person, Harmon said.
On Jan. 6, a man who had been harassing Harmon for about a year forced his way behind the city hall’s front desk office and demanded to speak with her, she said. He pushed an employee to the ground before he was restrained by City Manager Derek Johnson and was arrested.
“It was scary, obviously,” Harmon said. “That was the biggest thing that’s happened so far.”
That threat compelled the City Council to take safety measures which led them to approve funds toward building reinforcements, according to Harmon.
“That was an important part of recognizing that we had room for improvement in terms of our security,” Harmon said.
It is unclear how long it will take to complete the upgrades and what specific measures will be taken, Harmon said. She added the specifics of the security plan cannot currently be disclosed for safety reasons.
According to the Deputy City Clerk Megan Wilbanks, City Hall staff is not allowed to make any public comments regarding their own safety concerns.
Across the county, the City of Morro Bay recently allocated $52,000 to “implement security measures” at four city buildings, according to council documents.
Harmon pointed out the “toxicity and division in our culture” that has put many public figures under fire and at risk of violent attacks. Harmon said the behavior should not be tolerated.