The City of Taneytown is not the only Carroll County municipality considering ways to better secure government facilities after a man, allegedly angry over having his water turned off, drove his truck through the building’s facade on Sept. 3.

Other towns have either begun or continued discussions about heightened security ⁠— and the county office building, too, has seen security upgrades, with Carroll County Sheriff’s Office deputies taking over from the building security officers who had been guarding the location. And the Carroll County Circuit Court is piggybacking on those security upgrades as well.

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The county’s decision to increase security came before the Taneytown truck incident, but county officials did cite “recent news events,” around the country as one factor in the decision. While not named specifically, in May there was a shooting at a municipal building in Virginia Beach, Virginia, that left 12 people dead.

“That is what started the conversation,” said Tammi Ledley, Hampstead’s town manager. “We did last year put in the security cameras, but Virginia Beach is what really started our conversations about improving our security measures for Town Hall.”

A lot of those details are being kept confidential to ensure their effectiveness, Ledley said, but she could share that the incident in Taneytown added another layer to the conversation for Hampstead.

The town is now considering installing bollards — stout, vertical metal and/or concrete posts that can act as barriers to motor vehicles.

“We have one now, so we will probably be putting more in front,” Ledley said. “We looked at concrete flower pots or trash cans and they are fairly expensive. So we are thinking of more of the bollards.”

In Taneytown, the city has erected broad concrete barriers on the sidewalk in front of the city offices, but those are just temporary fixtures during the renovation process, according to James Wieprecht, acting city manager. The city will be adding more permanent security upgrades, however.

“At this point I don’t know exactly what feature(s) we will incorporate into rebuilding the damaged portions of the building or what we may install on the adjacent sidewalk, but our intent is to make it more secure than what we had,” Wieprecht said. “We are exploring options to improve security at our buildings and employee safety across the organization.”

Taneytown’s experience was the direct inspiration for Manchester Town Administrator Steve Miller and police Chief John Hess to begin leading an examination of security at town facilities in Manchester.

“Since the incident in Taneytown, we’re taking a hard look at some of our facilities and we’ll get back to you later about that,” Miller said to the mayor and Town Council during their September meeting.

In New Windsor, the Taneytown incident, along with an August armed robbery of the 7-Eleven in town, led to discussion of enhanced security at the September meeting of the mayor and council. The town is renovating the former fire hall to serve as the new town offices, and at the meeting a brick front wall and the — admittedly unlikely, according to the mayor — possibility of using bulletproof glass were discussed.

"I think everyone is concerned about safety, whether it’s what happened in Taneytown or many of the other municipal incidents we’ve recently witnessed around the country,” New Windsor Mayor Neal Roop said.

And in Mount Airy, police Chief Douglas Reitz said his department and the town have been evaluating employee protocols and the physical safety of facilities, and have made some recent upgrades that they will keep confidential.

“The Town of Mount Airy is acutely aware of the incidents that have occurred recently that involved municipal government facilities in both Taneytown, Maryland and Virginia Beach, Virginia,” he wrote in an email. “The Town of Mount Airy takes these types of incidents and any threats thereof very seriously.”

But not all municipalities are considering changes. Union Bridge Major Perry Jones said his town is not considering any changes, and Westminster City Manager Barbara Matthews said the same for Westminster facilities.

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Matthews did note there could be some security features added when the city offices move from their current location at 56 W. Main St.

“We will likely have bollards on the Main Street side of our future office space at 45 West Main,” she said.

Sykesville, however, is in the middle of implementing a comprehensive security plan, according to Mayor Ian Shaw, and one that dates back to long before the incidents in Taneytown or Virginia Beach.

“We’ve been talking about it for probably a year and a half,” he said. “With all these active shooter events going on, we took the active shooter training, which really got me thinking about this stuff, because this can happen anywhere, any time.”

The town had been considering a new facility, but is instead trying to find ways to make its Town House more secure.

“It’s very difficult to secure an older facility,” Shaw said. “We had people come in, analyze things and determine steps to take, and we are implementing some of those things now.”

Many of those changes Shaw also wants to keep confidential to ensure their future effectiveness. What he could say is that the town has taken into account the incidents in both Taneytown and Virginia Beach in their planning.

“These things just reinforced the urgency for these types of things,” Shaw said. “I don’t want to be the mayor on TV saying, ‘We never thought it would happen here.’ ”

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