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Brentwood municipal building visitors now must sign in

| Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015, 9:00 p.m.

Visitors to the Brentwood municipal building should bring a pen.

Those hoping to get past the glass security doors now must fill out a form with their personal information and purpose of visit before being granted access to the administrative and code enforcement offices or the police department.

The move — implemented Monday — is meant to bolster safety, as well as improve “customer service” for those planning to meet with their local public officials, borough manager George Zboyovsky said.

“We put up this bullet-proof glass and security doors; then, people are getting buzzed right in past them. That's defeating the purpose. It's like, ‘OK stranger with the machete, go right in,' ” Zboyovsky said.

Borough leaders began safety upgrades to the municipal building in 2013 after a man entered the administrative staffing area with a knife attached to his belt searching for the police, Zboyovsky said. That led to the installation of bullet-proof glass at security doors to grant access past the lobby area.

Once finding out why people were there, the borough's office staff often would allow people to enter the main areas of the building, past the glass doors, to get to the police department or code-enforcement office, Zboyovsky said.

A fire in the basement of the municipal building earlier this year also prompted concerns, he said. Borough leaders had no way of knowing who was in the building at any given time. Employees' whereabouts are tracked through a shared Google calendar.

At times, a person that was allowed in to see the code-enforcement officer would be found wondering around in council chambers on the second floor, Zboyovsky said.

“We now know who's coming in and who wants to see us before they come through those glass doors,” acting police Chief Adam Zeppuhar said.

People no longer will need to be allowed through the security doors to get forms for zoning and code issues or applications, Zeppuhar added. Forms will be available in the building lobby.

If borough employees are not available to meet with visitors, the identification forms will provide an opportunity to document a person's visit and prompt follow-up by borough employees, Zboyovsky said.

A similar process for telephone calls already has been implemented in which borough employees are being told by the manager to respond within 24 hours and document the calls, he said.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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