City hall security improved after September break-ins, CAO says

City hall security beefed up

City hall security systems have been beefed up after two break-ins earlier this fall led police to determine the building was not properly secured, the City of Kamloops CAO says.

A Kamloops man was sentenced last week to six months in jail for his role in one of the incidents. During sentencing Thursday, court heard that the building’s security system was malfunctioning at the time of the break-in.

Court heard police also determined several of the doors were simple to open with a screwdriver or similar object.

City CAO David Trawin said since the break-ins, the city had a security assessment and a crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) study performed.

“We have updated all the doors, in terms of putting some metal covers over top of the lock areas, so people just can't jimmy them with a screwdriver or other type of device or remove the metal piece in order to do that. So we’ve done that with all the buildings,” Trawin said.

Trawin said they have updated the city’s internal security system and have installed cameras around the buildings.

“It’s an old building and there are some entrances and exits that aren’t highly visible from the street, but those are the entrance and exits we've added more light, added more hardware on the door panels and have added cameras, so we are very comfortable. We haven't had any issues since that time.”

The City of Kamloops has been advocating for businesses across the city to engage their CPTED-trained personnel to deter property crime.

When asked why the city hadn’t done a CPTED assessment on city hall before the break-ins, Trawin said they had been working their way through looking at a number of other municipal properties first.

“We were picking off the buildings where we had more security issues, such as some of our neighbourhood halls and things like that first, and some of our big areas, like public works, before we followed through on some other buildings,” Trawin said.

“We were actually going through the process. We hadn't had any security issues at all up in city hall until this point.”

Trawin said the city has been looking into why the security system was malfunctioning when the break-in occurred.

“There [were] some areas of the building that wasn't secured in terms of the alarm turned on, and other areas where it was, so we've rectified all that now.”

In September, a break-in resulted in the mayor’s chain of office going missing from city hall.

Justin Colpitts pleaded guilty in Kamloops provincial court to an unrelated break-in in which he was seen leaving city hall with two bags, later found to contain an iPad, six laptops, a flat panel monitor, a mouse, a docking station and a number of cables.

Colpitts was sentenced to six months in jail. Once released, he will be on probation for a year and prohibited from attending city hall.

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