People can access City Hall through the Downtown Mall entrance
People can still exit through the Market Street doors
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -
A temporary security measure that was first put in place for the anniversary of the August 12 weekend has now become permanent at Charlottesville City Hall.
Just days before the one-year anniversary weekend of the Unite the Right rally in 2018, the city restricted access to City Hall to just the Downtown Mall entrance.
Five months later, those restrictions are still in place and the city says it's for a good cause.
City Hall has four available entry points, but three are now secured which means the public is required to use the mall entrance.
A city spokesperson says employees grew accustomed to the temporary changes, and they later became permanent.
Similar to a business, the city says it had to be thoughtful in where it allows people to enter and engage with employees.
“It's input from a number of our staff about what is the best practice in other places; we are doing a threat and risk assessment for the Downtown Mall, and that has not played directly into this,” Brian Wheeler, the city’s director of communications, said. “But, again, it gets our thinking changed about how we approach security.”
The city says that over time there will be shuffling of some departments to make sure the building is customer oriented and positioned in best places to be most efficient.
In addition to restricted access to City Hall, you may notice city staff members now wearing lanyards with badges.
The city say it will make signage improvements to make it clearer to the public about access.
While you can't enter the side doors, you will still be able to exit through them.