The Arlington County Board is looking to potentially use armed, private guards for security at county government headquarters in Courthouse.
The guards could help provide security at the building (2100 Clarendon Blvd) generally and during County Board meetings specifically, relieving pressure on the understaffed local police force.
According to an item on this weekend’s County Board meeting agenda:
The County currently stations armed police officers at the Bozman Government Center, as well as armed sheriff’s deputies at County Board meetings. To enhance public safety and security, the County would like the option to use armed private security guards.
The agenda item says that adding private guards would enhance the security at County Board meetings without taking law enforcement officers away from other jobs around Arlington.
The prospect of private security came up in the wake of the Virginia Beach shooting at a municipal building.
“After the Virginia Beach shooting in May, 2019, the County Manager hosted a virtual employee town hall meeting to discuss workplace security,” the agenda item said. “[This item] merely expands the choices that the County may make for the provision of that security.”
“Funding for the potential costs of enhanced security in the Bozman Government Center was included in the Adopted FY 2020 Budget,” county staff noted in the report.