After Missouri City Council Massacre, How Safe Are Jonesboro's Public Meetings?

Jonesboro, AR -- (KAIT)  Charles Lee Thornton's actions sent shockwaves through a suburban St. Louis community.

Last Thursday, angry with the Kirkwood, Missouri City Council members, he shot and killed 5 people at the city council meeting, including 2 council members, before police killed him.

"We've been taking measures for some time to help deter any problem that we might have," said Jonesboro Police Chief, Mike Yates.

Jonesboro Police Chief Mike Yates says while you can't predict the future, the police department is going to be increasing their efforts to deter any type of dangerous activity at public meetings like city council meetings

"Probably the most obvious thing that the public might see is an increase in uniformed officers, and there's very likely to be a presence of officers in our public meetings that are not recognized as law enforcement officers," said Yates.

"There's no question I think it's a good idea," said alderman, Harold Perrin.

Harold Perrin has served on the Jonesboro City Council for 14 years.

In those 14 years, he recalls just 2 instances where there has been a more visible presence of security at a council meeting.....but security measures like non uniformed officers at the meetings were in place even before the Kirkwood, Missouri city council massacre.

".....Pray that it never happens here in Jonesboro, but it never hurts to be prepared before," said Perrin.

"People are going to be unhappy sometimes, and when individuals who are unhappy and some might be mentally unstable, they can do foolish things," said Yates.