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Security Changes At Capitol Complex

by Hugh McQuaid | Jan 17, 2014 4:23pm
(9) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: State Capitol

Christine Stuart Photo

Beginning early in the legislative session, visitors to the state Capitol and the Legislative Office Building will be required to pass through metal detectors.

State Capitol Police announced the new security measure in a press release Friday afternoon. Police recommended installing the devices and legislative leaders signed off on the proposal. The new security protocol also includes adding package scanning devices, reducing the number of entrances open to visitors, and adding a bomb detection dog to the Capitol police’s ranks.

“In our continuing mission to provide the safest environment for legislators, staff, and the nearly 150,000 annual visitors, including more than 25,000 school children, to the Capitol Complex, the [department] will implement and deploy weapons detection equipment,” the statement said.

Although metal detectors are a common security measure at the Capitol buildings in many states, they have rarely been used at the Connecticut Capitol complex. Capitol police temporarily installed two metal detectors in the Legislative Office Building last January, when more that 2,000 people came to the building for a public hearing on gun control.


Rep. Ernest Hewett, D-New London, pushed last year
to have the devices installed in both buildings but his legislation was never acted upon. At the time, legislative leaders said they hoped it would not be necessary.

On Friday, Gabe Rosenberg, a spokesman for House Speaker Brendan Sharkey, said leaders accepted the security recommendations of the Capitol Police.

“When it comes to the public’s safety at the Capitol and Legislative Office Building, the leaders depend on the expertise of our Capitol Police, and accepted their recommendations for enhanced security to better protect all our visitors and everyone who works here,” he said.

According to Friday’s press release, Capitol police traveled to nearby state Capitols over the summer to gather information on their weapon detection systems.

“After obtaining this information, we formulated our recommendation to deploy a system for the Capitol Complex and submitted it to the legislative leaders. The legislative leaders have accepted our recommendations. We will be implementing a plan that requires all visitors and outside deliveries to be screened,” the statement said.

People who work in the two buildings and have been issued ID badges will not be scanned as they enter the Capitol complex, but they will need to swipe the badges.

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(9) Comments

posted by: Noteworthy | January 17, 2014  5:22pm

(DELETE)

How pathetic. Maybe the state police can meet the legislators in the garage and hold their hands while they enter the building or perhaps drive to and from work, like former Senator Toni Harp is doing in New Haven. I hope all the staff including the politicians all have to go through the same crap every time they go in and out of the building.

I’ve never seen such a bunch of panty-waists so afraid of those they “serve.”

posted by: RogueReporterCT | January 18, 2014  11:41am

RogueReporterCT

So do you guys personally consider this a pain? How do you weigh that against public benefit?
-RRct

posted by: SocialButterfly | January 18, 2014  6:58pm

Borrowed money is never any object for proposed spending initiatives.  “We rob Peter to pay Paul”—as we head for an estimated $1 billion dollar budget deficit for the fiscal year.

posted by: ASTANVET | January 18, 2014  8:04pm

Wait, aren’t these people who are being protected in this manner, think its a horrible idea to protect our children in the same fashion?  huh… kinda makes you wonder!  Only in Connecticut!!!

posted by: art vandelay | January 19, 2014  8:28am

art vandelay

In today’s world, it’s not a bad idea to have metal detectors at the Capitol.  It should probably be expanded into every state office building, DMV office, and CT Works.  The cost will be more equipment & personnel. I don’t like the idea of another ever expanding government program, but in this case it might be worth the price of someone going “Postal”.

posted by: ASTANVET | January 19, 2014  11:44am

Art, normally you and I see things the same… the addition of these metal detectors do nothing - equal protection under the law right?  why should the legislature, who acts against the will of the people be provided any additional protection from the criminals they embolden by their stupidity?  They should be afforded no special considerations - all these gun free zones are ridiculous!  Free people should be allowed to protect themselves and the peaceful citizens around them.  The exception i can think of is in a school - protect the people who cannot protect themselves…is that not what our enlightened society aims to do with all safety nets?  THis should be no different.

posted by: SocialButterfly | January 19, 2014  12:11pm

In view of “the ton of wasted money spent by the Malloy administration”—this budget outlay appears to have necessary public safety creditability.

posted by: SocialButterfly | January 19, 2014  3:56pm

Connecticut leads the country for the most per capita state debt owing of $5,402 for each resident.
As of Sept. 27, 2013—in order to close Connecticut’s current debt, and liabilities gap—each man, woman and child would have to pay $18,000 each.
Gov. Malloy’s administration
keeps spending more more money—for more debt—and do not appear concerned—realistically leaving the
massive debt for our grandchildren to pay.

posted by: Paul Bartomioli | February 4, 2014  12:29pm

Paul Bartomioli

I must have missed the news. What happened that would necessitate this decision?