The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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August 7, 2013

Officials look at private security for large complexes

CLINTON — City of Clinton officials are researching an ordinance that would require large multi-plex properties to have private security.

During the Rules and Regulations Committee meeting Tuesday morning, Police Chief Brian Guy explained he, City Attorney Jeff Farwell and City Administrator Jessica Kinser are reviewing ordinances in other cities to determine if the city of Clinton could require private security for large complexes that generate an abundance of emergency calls.

“There are some questions of some of the ordinances that are out there as to whether or not they’re valid ordinances or whether or not they would withstand the test of constitutionality for not being arbitrary or capricious,” Guy said.

The item was brought forward by at-large Councilwoman Jennifer Graf, who was unable to attend the meeting.

In an e-mail, Graf said she wanted to discuss an ordinance that would require a complex to have a security guard if the city received a certain number of calls or complaints stemming from the property.

“Utilizing public resources for private complexes (to me) is not a good use of tax dollars and may appear unfair if we must consistently post an officer near there for swift response or need to dispatch officers at an alarming rate to these hotspots. I believe the owner/landlord should bear the burden,” Graf wrote.

Some of the ordinances Guy, Farwell and Kinser have reviewed monitor the number of calls received by a certain property for police. However, Guy wasn’t sure how such an ordinance would play out in Clinton.

“You want people to report crime and suspicious activity and yet that shouldn’t be against them,” Guy said. “You want to hold them accountable, but at the same time you don’t want to discourage them from calling the police for assistance.”

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