Delaware police chief Russ Martin doesn't think anyone would benefit from hiring an officer who would receive overtime to be stationed at city council meetings.

Delaware police chief Russ Martin doesn't think anyone would benefit from hiring an officer who would receive overtime to be stationed at city council meetings.

Martin presented his threat assessment at the Feb. 14 city council meeting.

Council had previously discussed whether added security was necessary in the aftermath of the Jan. 8 shooting of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others near Tucson, Ariz., said Lee Yoakum, Delaware community affairs coordinator.

Council had asked the police department to research several possibilities, including having uniformed personnel at public meetings and what state law said regarding firearms in public.

"I would not advocate any significant changes at this point," Martin said.

He said local risk had not increased after the Arizona shooting.

"If we're not careful, sometimes those single events can change our perspective," he said.

Meetings occur all across the country, and public assemblies are some of the safest places in America, he said.

"Week in, week out, you remain relatively safe at these meetings," Martin said.

While he described himself as a Second Amendment advocate, Martin said there is merit in controlling where firearms are carried. Firearms aren't needed at council meetings, he said.

Joe DiGenova, 3rd Ward council member, agreed with Martin and said he felt secure. He wants to leave carrying guns to law enforcement, DiGenova said.

Lisa Keller, 2nd Ward council member, said she also feels safe at meetings.

Still, Keller suggested it would be prudent to anticipate topics that could cause people to have high levels of emotion.

Martin recommended a security approach covering three scenarios: no specific threats, implied or perceived threats, and specific threats.

He told council he was willing to provide or facilitate additional training on threat assessments and meeting management.

In the event of an implied or perceived threat, Martin recommended the police detective division review the threat.

He also recommended that a police officer be assigned to the meeting.

In the event of a more specific threat, Martin recommended additional options including moving meetings to a more secure location and checking for weapons.

Windell Wheeler, vice mayor, said he agreed with the chief's assessment. "I feel safe here," Wheeler said. During eight years as mayor, he requested the chief's presence only once, Wheeler said.

Wheeler told ThisWeek that he doesn't support hiring an additional officer.

"You can't live your life in fear all the time or you'll be paralyzed," he said.

Wheeler said council may talk about the issue in the future and share feedback from Martin's presentation.