Security breach discussed by council
After more than a year of discussion and planning for increased security at the North Catasauqua Borough municipal building and despite thousands of dollars invested in a door-locking system, an unauthorized person gained access to the building not long after the system was installed and activated.
Borough Councilman John Yanek opened the incident for discussion at the May 24 council meeting, referring to the standard operating procedure approved earlier this year by the council for building security.
“This is just a question,” he said. “Was there a possible breach of the SOP and building security that I heard about through a third party?”
Police Chief Kim Moyer monitors and audits the assignment and use of the key codes for a security system recently installed to control access to the building and to the borough office. While a number of community organization leaders have access to the building, only a few staff members have unlimited access to the office.
“I heard somebody gave somebody else a code,” Moyer said.
The new security door locking system was installed and activated in April.
Item six of the approved SOP states if someone has been assigned a code and shares it with an unauthorized person, it could lead to the revocation of access privileges for that individual, at the discretion of the council.
After Paone read details of the SOP aloud, borough Solicitor Steven Goudsouzian suggested Paone call for an executive session.
“I think it’s related to personnel because personnel are the only ones who had [codes for office access] to begin with,” he said.
Council President Peter Paone then called an executive session.
Personnel matters are not discussed in public meetings unless a council vote to hire or fire an individual is required, so when the public meeting reconvened, discussion of the incident was not revealed. However, Councilman William Nothstein commented on an accepted security practice.
There are codes for temporary use that can be assigned for someone to use, which can then be deactivated, he said.
Moyer confirmed a temporary code number is discarded after one use, and is not reassigned to another person for temporary access.