Pelham mayor wants council to hold meetings in police station

(Kaitlin McCulley/ WIAT-TV)
(Kaitlin McCulley/ WIAT-TV)

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PELHAM,  Ala. (WIAT) — The Pelham city hall building was built decades ago, before the term ‘mass shooting’ likely crossed anyone’s mind.

There are several entrances and exits, which isn’t ideal if you’re concerned about security. Pelham Mayor Gary Waters is.

“You can look at the decor in the chambers; it’s pretty antiquated,” Waters said. “It’s nostalgic, in fact, but our security needs have changed.”

Waters wants to move the city council meetings to the police station next door. Visitors must walk through a metal detector to enter.

The court room inside the police station would serve as the new council meeting space. Waters said he and the council have faced threats of violence in the past.

“We’ve had some people that have been unhappy with us, and they’ve shown up here,” Waters said. “And we’ve had to get the police involved. I don’t want to go into any great detail about that.”

If the council decides to follow the mayor’s suggestion and move to the police building, the old meeting room would be used for other offices.

“I don’t want Pelham to be on the national news based on something that we should have done,” Waters said.

Pelham City Council President Rick Hayes said the council has not had time to discuss the mayor’s suggestion yet and will be considering all possible options.

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