Security holes

Mar 1, 2006 at 12:00 am

As News Hits stood in line to pass through the metal detector at Detroit's Coleman A. Young Municipal Center one day last week, a young lady ahead of us tripped the alarm. The security guards then dutifully instructed her to step back and empty her pockets. When asked if she had something in her purse that may have set off the alarm, the woman reached inside it and produced something that answered the question perfectly.

A couple of loose bullets.

The security guard took one of the bullets from her and examined it.

"You know you're not supposed to have these," the guard said.

We couldn't hear the woman's response, so we can only presume she thought things were fine since, you know, she, like, left the actual gun in the car or something.

Then came the kicker: The guard handed the bullet back to the woman and had her pass through the detector again. She set it off a second time, but no security moved to stop her, instead allowing her to go about her business all ammoed up. Some people in the line, however, definitely had concerned looks on their faces as the woman casually rode the escalator to the second floor.

News Hits is especially interested in how she managed to get past security so easily, since guards have taken away tape recorders, lighters and tweezers from us in the past. We weren't able to catch up with the woman to ask how she skated through, however, since she disappeared while we were emptying our own pockets.

After attending the City Council meeting that brought us to the building in the first place, we located the security guard who "dealt" with the young woman and asked why he'd let someone carry bullets into the center of city government. The guard, who wasn't wearing a nametag, replied that he didn't know what we were talking about. "It wasn't me," he said.

When News Hits pointed out that yes, it was him, and that we clearly saw him handing one of the bullets back to the woman earlier, he again replied, "It wasn't me." When we asked for his name, he refused to answer. Instead, he simply turned around and went back to work.

On exiting the building, we noticed a list of 32 prohibited items posted on the lobby windows. "Bullets" landed in the third spot.

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