Review of Capitol Complex Security
COMMITTEE ON EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
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11:31 AM -- Review of Capitol Complex Security
Senator Shaffer called the committee to order and explained that the first item on the agenda regarding capitol security stemmed from a discussion at the July 13, 2009, meeting.
11:32 AM -- Captain Leonard Dittman, Colorado State Patrol, explained the main areas of capitol security:
- troopers and agents for the governor;
- the dispatch center which is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week to monitor cameras among a number of other duties;
- uniformed troopers throughout the capitol and at the security checkpoints; and
- uniformed security guards at the security checkpoints.
Mr. Dittman listed the benefits of having the security checkpoints. He specifically noted that the checkpoints funnel everyone entering the building through two entrances, which allows the patrolmen to seize weapons and identify potential suspects or threats. Mr. Dittman added that 200 weapons were seized last year at the checkpoints. He also explained that in the event of an emergency, troopers and security guards are available on site. Mr. Dittman explained that security funding for the capitol comes from various places, but the money that comes from the legislature goes to personnel costs for troopers' salaries.
Representative Weissmann asked the Captain to explain the need for two access points and not just one. Mr. Dittman stated that they decided on two mostly for convenience and to have one entrance on each side of the building for staff. He also added that a handicap entrance must be available so there must be one on the ground level. Speaker Carroll asked about holding a more in-depth meeting, similar to a 2007 briefing, with Colorado State Patrol in an executive session so the committee can talk more in depth about particular issues. Senator Penry stated that critics of the current level of capitol security argue that the incident that spurred the implementation of the checkpoints proves that the old system worked well and asked Captain Dittman to comment. Captain Dittman stated the checkpoints allow troopers to be more pro-active rather than completely reactive. Representative May talked about the 2007 briefing and the suggestions that came out of the meeting. He also talked about some holes that were found in the current system. Captain Dittman stated that there are always holes, but he feels that the building is much safer since the 2007 implementation of security.