City Councilors Joanne McKenna and Richard Serino have requested a security presence during Council meetings when the meetings become open to public again at City Hall.
The Council has been meeting remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Public Safety Sub-Committee, chaired by Councilor-at-Large Jessica Giannino, discussed the proposal Monday.
“I believe we should have some sort of security in the Chambers when the public is allowed to come back to our meetings,” said McKenna, noting the rise in incidents nationally regarding the safety of the public.
Serino said, “these are different times for sure.”
The Ward 6 councilor recalled an incident following a Council meeting last summer when “us councilors had to actually be escorted out of City Hall by the Revere Police Department because there were crowds that were very much in our faces after a contentious vote.”
Serino that the councilors deserve to feel safe and having security at meetings “is just the way that we have to go in this crazy world these days.”
Ward 3 Councilor Arthur Guinasso said he is in his 32nd year on the Council and the incident to which Serino referred “was the first that I had ever witnessed and was part of something like that, where the police officers had to walk us out of the Chamber for our safety.”
Guinasso suggested that a police officer be stationed at the entrance to the building during public meetings.
“I definitely agree with this [proposal] and I think the Council as a whole should adopt it as soon as possible,” said Guinasso.
Councilor-at-Large Gerry Visconti said he was completely in favor of the proposal if his colleagues favor such a measure.
“Security is important and the safety of my colleagues is important as well,” said Visconti.
Councilor-at-Large Steven Morabito said some issues will lead to heated conversations in the Council Chamber “so I think it’s very important to weigh those factors.”
“Having a police presence not only protects the people in the Council, it makes people feel safer when a contentious topic is being discussed,” said Morabito. “So I’m in favor of this motion.”
Council President Anthony Zambuto said he would support his fellow councilors’ wishes for a security presence at meetings.
Stressing the importance of her colleagues feeling safe at all times during meetings, Giannino said, “The City of Revere should always be a safe place to work and be and we’re included in that.”
Giannino said the “security presence” could mean a current police officer or auxiliary police officer, a retired police officer or “other options” for being present at meetings.
The Public Safety Sub-Committee unanimously supported the measure.