Kicker: The riot button

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Somebody must’ve read somebody else the riot act!

Elevator buttons recently installed in a California state government building in Sacramento are getting removed.

AUDIO: They’ve taken the labels off because it just freaked everybody out.

You can say that again!

Wouldn’t you be freaked out if you got on an elevator and saw a button that says, “RIOT”?!

Yeah, me too.

Turns out, there’ve been some security concerns at the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, so the riot button seemed like the sensible thing to do.

Problem is, nobody got the memo explaining (a) the reason for this and (b) the function of the button!

One employee told CBS Sacramento it raised so many questions.

AUDIO: I mean, no one randomly puts a riot button in there. Somebody, the powers-that-be know something that we don’t know and they don’t want to alarm us.

But it’s alarming to see that to begin with.

It is. It is.

Apparently the riot button was part of a new security measure to keep the elevators from reaching the first floor during an emergency—like a riot, for example.

Yeah, you really don’t want to get to the ground floor and the doors open, let’s say, to an angry mob occupying the main floor.

As near as we can tell, the function will remain, the button will be unlabeled.

But now everyone knows when it’s lit, what it means.

It’s The World and Everything in It.

(Photo/Creative Commons)

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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