Riverside County Adjusts Employee Security Measures
It’s been 15 months since San Bernardino’s terrorist attack but, for members of the Inland Empire community, the memories of that day and the emotional wounds they created live on. County leaders in Riverside and San Bernardino have faced the monumental task of making their workers feel safe even after they’ve witnessed the depths of human depravity and the height of danger. Here’s a start.
Riverside County employees will now be able to carry self-defense sprays like Mace at county facilities thanks to a policy change approved by the county Board of Supervisors.
The change, authorized by the board on Feb. 7, removes pepper spray, Mace and tear gas from the list of prohibited items on county property. Members of the public are still restricted from carrying those items when they visit county facilities.
Also, the list of prohibited items was changed -- for the public and county employees -- to include knives with blades of 4 inches or longer. Firearms and clubs are still prohibited unless those items are part of an employee’s duties; a sheriff’s deputy, for example, can still carry a gun into a county building.
Last month, metal detectors were installed at Riverside County’s headquarters. At the County Administrative Center in downtown Riverside, there is now only one entrance and exit.
The latest changes are the result of recommendations from an ad-hoc committee that examined necessary security measures after the Dec. 2, 2015 attack. Workplace safety has come up in labor negotiations with the county as well as a legal grievance filed by the SEIU in December, so some of the changes are meant to reduce liability.