San Jose Councilman Johnny Khamis Wants Metal Detectors Installed at City Hall

When San Jose voted Dec. 4 to sell public land to Google for its proposed mega-campus, a group of activists showed up to City Hall and chained themselves to chairs in protest.

To prevent similar acts of civil disobedience from happening again, one local elected wants the city to install metal detectors at the entrance of the council chambers.

Councilman Johnny Khamis pitched the security measure in a May 22 budget memo, citing that chained-to-the-chairs protest as the catalyst.

According to the District 10 councilor’s office, procuring and installing metal detectors would cost $124,100 and incur $97,000 a year from then on out. Money to pay for the added security would potentially come from the general fund or the proceeds from property seizures by law enforcement, according to the document.

In a written proposal summary, Khamis credits the cops for the idea.

“When anti-Google protesters succeeded in bringing chains into the council chambers and chained themselves to the seating, disrupting the people’s business being conducted in the chambers, it revealed a gaping hole in City Hall security,” the memo explains. “Rank and file police officers suggested to me that metal detectors are needed to avoid a repeat of this type of violation, or something much worse.”

Like guns, knives, or anything that could be fashioned into a weapon.

“Installing metal detectors will deter individuals from smuggling items that could be used as weapons, or weapons themselves, into meetings within the City Council chambers,” the memo reads, “which will increase safety of the public, city staff and elected officials.”

Metal detectors at civic centers are not uncommon in major cities, and increasingly so in smaller municipalities. San Francisco’s had metal detectors at certain entrances since at least the 1970s. And Los Angeles installed some of its own in 1995.

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. “According to the District 10 councilor’s office, procuring and installing metal detectors would cost $124,100 and incur $97,000 a year from then on out.”

    The $97,000 cost per year needs to be clarified.

    God Idea and long over-due. Hopefully, the buckles and buttons on my bib-overalls won’t set-off the metal detector.

    David S. Wall

  2. San Francisco installed metal detectors due to Mayor Moscone and Councilmember Milk being shot by another council member, Dan White. It seems the public was not a threat. With current armed police staffing the council meetings should be well protected. Don’t forget your Kevlar Riddler Helmet Mr. Khamis.

  3. Hold up here…. This is like the blind leading the blind….

    That December 4th meeting made San Jose look very Anti-Democratic and the police presence was waaaaaaay over kill. Not to mention the meeting was set up only to include the design talkers and not the real people in our community. Mayor “Stinky” Sam Liccardo’s ghetto security measures basically turned away hundreds of Low Income and Homeless residents that wanted to participate in the affairs of THEIR government. This does belong to the people…. Not the politicians…. We all should have a place at the bargaining table….

    The police where ordered by Mayor Sam Liccardo to stock and harass people just for showing up. And if you at all dared to clap your hands you where throw out by the Law…. Not a Rental Cop but a armed San Jose Police Officer with marching orders to shut the public up….. So sad…. They basically walked up and down the stairs picking out people to harass and intimidate. They need to be working the door and stay away from the public that is doing nothing wrong.

    I like the City Staff…. The Security crew is way cool minus that Chunky Little Baboon lady that treats people like garbage (She needs to be fired) I watched this Mean Little Troll harass people like City Hall was her Sand Box…. Someone needs to check her… Another problem is Mayor Sam Liccardo’s Body Guard “Teddy Boy” This guy is not worth the “half a mil” salary his boss is handing out…. He is a big bully with a bad attitude….

    Did we forget that Mayor Sam Liccardo has already done some real shady “Back Door” deals with Google and worst of all was how he hide his real estate holding in downtown San Jose. You got caught Sam….

    San Jose City Hall needs a time out. From pushing Public Comment out till midnight to tearing up speaker cards when they don’t want to hear the criticism makes me sick.

    I respect the protesters for what they did shutting this place down. If the City went about it right this would have never had to happen.

    Now we have D10 (Johnny Khamis) trying to make this place more like North Korea and less like the United States of America. This guy is way out of touch with reality… Another one that needs to kick rocks from city hall….
    What’s next Johnny?? Plexiglass glass viewing rooms for the public like criminal court?? How about shock collars for members of the public that challenge your poor leadership??

    Almost forgot…. San Jose is now filing Civil Law suits against protesters and activist to silence them from speaking up. I am currently being sued by City Attorney Richard Doyle’s office for protesting the Police Department… Not blocking a sidewalk…. Exercising my democratic values and holding this crocked regime accountable.

    Do you know the way to San Jose??

    Video below of the public getting feed up of the harassment at City Hall…

  4. That sure is a whole lot of YouTube postings for someone adverse to the very company which owns YouTube, GOOGLE.

  5. These guys are cry babies and constantly forget their real boss is the people of San Jose not Cry Baby Sammy LICCARDO. RECALL Liccardo!

    • > Let Google take over and dissolve the city government. Call it Googleville.

      It’s already happened. Google just didn’t bother with the “dissolution” part. No need to.

      We are living under the Google imperium:

      ” In a general sense, imperium was the scope of someone’s power, and could include anything, such as public office, commerce, political influence, or wealth.”

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