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Council Chamber Visitor Screening

All visitors to City of Calgary facilities are expected to follow the appropriate policies and procedures to ensure the safety and security of everyone working in and visiting our sites.The City of Calgary's Code of Conduct includes a Respectful Workplace Policy as well as a Workplace Violence Policy. Contractors, suppliers, volunteers and members of the public are expected to adhere to these policies.

As of September 14th 2015, all visitors to Council Chamber must pass through a metal  detector and all bags, backpacks and purses will be inspected. To avoid delays, we encourage visitors to arrive early.

The new security screening process is similar to those in place at many public venues where large crowds gather, such as sporting and entertainment events.

Metal Detectors

Metal detectors are safe for all individuals as they operate at a very low frequency of electromagnetic pulses and there is no exposure to radiation.  If an alarm sounds when a person walks through the metal detector, they will be subject to further screening. This may include the use of a hand-held wand or a visual inspection by a screening officer. People can decline screening but refusal will result in denied entry.

  • Visitors do not have to remove shoes, belts or jackets to pass through the metal detector. They will be asked to empty pockets prior to passing through.
  • Metal detectors are safe for all individuals, including pregnant women, children and people with pacemakers. They operate at a very low frequency of electromagnetic pulses, which are lower than levels in a cell phone or garage door opener. There is no exposure to radiation.
  • Visitors in wheelchairs or strollers will undergo screening with a hand-held wand.
  • Visitors should advise security staff if they have a medical implant that may set off the metal detector. If the alarm sounds, those visitors will require additional screening with a hand-held wand.

Prohibited items

A number of items are prohibited inside Council Chamber. Visitors to Council Chamber carrying a prohibited item will be denied access until the item is removed or discarded; there are no storage facilities available for any articles. The list includes:

  • Food and beverages;
  • Weapons, including mace or pepper spray;
  • Illegal drugs or substances;
  • Firearms and ammunition of any type;
  • Explosives and flammable substances; and
  • Noisemakers.

Special circumstances

  • Service Animals: Individuals with service animals must walk through the metal detector with the animal. If the alarm sounds, screeners will manually inspect the individual and the animal.
  • Religious & Ceremonial items: A religious or ceremonial item including kirpans containing sheaths may not exceed a maximum length of 7.5 inches or 19 cm (maximum length of blade may only be 4 inches or 10 cm), may be brought into Council Chamber by initiated Sikhs. A kirpan must be identified by the individual possessing it as well as other religious or ceremonial items. A kirpan must be concealed and it must remain sheathed while in Council Chamber.
  • Mobility Assistive Devices: People who use a mobility device (i.e., wheelchair, crutches, cane) will be inspected using visual and hand-held wand techniques. Those who are able to pass through a metal detector without their mobility device, or whose device will not impact the screening, will be offered the choice of screening technique.
  • Prosthetics, casts, splints and metal implants: Visitors should advise security staff if they have any of these items. Individuals are required to pass through the metal detector. If required, the individual may be inspected using visual and hand-held wand techniques to identify metal objects in an identified area.
  • Medical needs: People with medical conditions such as diabetes, anaphylaxis or severe migraines may enter with needles and other medical instruments that are required for their safety.

Backpacks, bags, luggage

  • Backpacks, bags, luggage and large purses are subject to inspection.

Mobile communication devices

  • Please turn off the volume, ringer and alerts on all mobile devices in Council Chamber.