Rivers said she also sees the cards as a way for the public to better recognize city employees.
"Now the public knows who they're dealing with," said Rivers to the city council at its Tuesday, July 3, meeting. She thanked the police department for bringing this about, and said the program would be beneficial for both city employees and the general public.
The cards will work as proximity cards to open doors after such improvements are made.
A new state Department of Labor workplace violence law to better workplace security helped spur the city to authorize the program, with $14,000 in the 2007 capital budget.
Further security improvements, including panic buttons in strategic locations in City Hall, are upcoming, said Catone. He said he walked the building with security consultants and they agreed on 12 panic buttons, most likely located in offices where money is handled. Catone could not give the exact locations proposed for the buttons, but said they would be remote enough so that tampering by the public would not be an issue.
"If you think about it, this is probably one of the last (municipal) buildings in the capital district where people can just walk through the door and go where you want to go," said Catone. He said he is proud of the fact that the city is taking steps to beef up security in the building without resorting to put something as conspicuous as metal detectors at the doors.