Changes Considered for County Security Services
In December 2005, we moved the County’s security services unit from the General Services Department to the Sheriff’s Office. Although the security officers were deputized by the Sheriff, they continued to operate as a separate unit providing security for designated County-owned property. This does not include security provided in Mecklenburg County court facilities, which are provided by deputies as a distinct unit of the Sheriff’s Office.
Subsequent to this reorganization, the Board authorized a study to determine the appropriate level and type of security services needed at County-owned buildings, again not including the courts. Key deliverables of this study included identifying:
- Security services requiring sworn law enforcement personnel and those that do not
- Gaps or duplication in the current service
- The appropriate level of resources needed
- Best practices to maximize performance
In August 2007, we received the findings and recommendations from the consultant hired to conduct this study. The findings indicate that most current security services could be provided effectively and efficiently without the use of sworn law enforcement officers. They also found that some services being provided now by security officers, such as transporting funds for deposit, could be outsourced to private firms that specialize in the secure transportation of money. In addition, the consultant concluded that the County lacks a comprehensive facility security plan tailored to address the unique needs of each County-owned facility. In summary, the consultant has recommended the following:
- Dissolve Mecklenburg County Security Services
- Designate a Security Coordinator (County staff) to oversee the planning and implementation of security services at County-owned facilities, except courts.
- Establish a customized security plan for each facility based on level of need
- Contract with private vendors for facility security (except courts, which remains the responsibility of Sheriff’s Office) and bank deposits
Currently, we are evaluating these recommendations to develop a comprehensive and strategic approach to facility security. Our primary objective is to determine the ideal mix of approaches given our diverse facilities and security needs.
In addition, we also will incorporate separate considerations underway for security and safety at County-owned parks, which now rely upon a combination of non-sworn personnel and off-duty police officers. This additional consideration has extended the time needed for developing final recommendations that will be provided to me and my executive team. The Public Library also is studying its security needs, so there is a possibility we may consider collaborating on these needs as well.
Board members will be updated on any reorganization that is planned and, in particular, any changes that may involve funding decisions by the Board.
BusinessFirst Charlotte Annual Report Breakfast- January 22
On Tuesday, January 22, 2008, the City of Charlotte and the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce will present the inaugural BusinessFirst Charlotte Annual Report.
BusinessFirst Charlotte, which began in 2006, is a key component of the City’s business retention & growth strategy. Last year, the City’s economic development staff, along with volunteers from the Chamber, conducted face-to-face interviews with more than 400 local business leaders to understand the changing needs of the businesses in our community.
The purpose of the January 22 meeting is to present the overall findings and conclusions from those interviews. The event also will feature a panel discussion on roads and transportation issues, which emerged as the top concern expressed by local business leaders.
The meeting will be held from 7:30– 9:00 a.m. at the Westin Charlotte. Board members are invited to attend, as well as representatives from the 400 firms that participated in the interviews. Board members interested in attending should contact the Charlotte Chamber at (704) 378-1345.
Mark Your Calendar
Monday, January 21:
Friday, February 8:
- Harry L. Jones, Sr., County Manager