City Council Violence
Being a small-town elected official can be an especially thankless job, what with constituents calling you at home with complaints, rowdy groups causing strife at the city council meeting and struggles with various management, financial and personnel issues — all while earning little or no salary.
Typically, however, it has not been thought of as a particularly dangerous job. The recent shooting at a suburb near St. Louis suggests otherwise. Five people died after a disgruntled — and apparently unhinged — local businessman showed up at the Kirkwood, Mo., (population 27,000) city council meeting with two guns ablazing. He had been one of those constituents who could be counted on to show up and disrupt the city council meeting each month, and had reportedly received some 150 parking tickets for illegally parked commercial vehicles related to his demolition and asphalt business.
Security is a big issue for governments at all levels, many looking at technologies that can play a role. When an attack happens this “close to home,” it’s a good time to ask: Should we be doing more?