Groups in the Bishop area – everything from the Boy Scouts to the Photo Club – are having problems using the Department of Water and Power meeting room at the Bishop headquarters. The Bishop Photo Club said that DWP has informed them that they will no longer be able to use their conference room unless a DWP employee is present. The Photo Club is looking for another meeting room for their nearly 25 members. They’re not the only ones. We contacted DWP Public Relations Officer, Chris Plakos about the change in policy. He said the safety and security of employees, customers, visitors, facilities and property is a priority for LADWP. Plakos said, “To ensure for workplace safety and the security of the LADWP Bishop Administrative Office, any meetings that are being held by the public at the office need to have an LADWP employee sponsor and attend the meeting.” Plakos said DWP understands the policy may be new for some groups who have held meetings at the office in the past without a DWP employee present. He said, “However, this is necessary and we appreciate the understanding and support of the public as we work to ensure the well being of all involved.” Some citizens speculated that this tightened security might be related to the incident at the end of August when DWP security crews locked down all offices in the Owens Valley to seize documents. Some type of internal investigation is reportedly taking place. It is unknown if the new policy on the use of the meeting room has anything to do with this incident.
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