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 Audit: 'Significant' security lapses at state Capitol 
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 Post subject: Audit: 'Significant' security lapses at state Capitol
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 8:28 am 
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From the Strib (http://www.startribune.com/local/44878427.html):

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The state Capitol complex has "significant security vulnerabilities" and the Capitol security force has been increasingly stretched thin in recent years.

That's the conclusion by a report published today by the Legislative Auditor's office that assessed the current state of security at the Capitol, the state judicial building and nearby state office buildings.

To ensure the safety of state officials, employees and visitors to those buildings, the Department of Public Safety should hire additional law enforcement officers to counteract recent declines in staffing, the report concluded.

At the same time, state agencies lack clear plans for responding to emergencies that could occur in the buildings.

According to the audit: "By its nature, the Capitol Complex faces important security risks. Controversial issues are often debated and decided in the complex, and the Capitol itself is an important symbol of the state. There have been no tragic incidents in the Capitol Complex in recent years, but events in schools, courthouses, and other states' capitols are a reminder that security threats are real."

The audit does not detail specific security vulnerabilities because those have been identified in documents that are not public records. To identify them publicly could, in effect, increase the vulnerability of the buildings.

The auditor's staff reviewed data for 2004 through 2008 on the number of Capitol complex "incidents" reported by Capitol Security. Most "were fairly routine in nature," such as parking tickets and tripped alarms.

The report found that criminal activities were less common. Between 2004 and 2008, Capitol Security reported annual averages of 31 thefts, 41 incidents involving property damage or trespassing, and 10 terroristic threats. Police reports last year indicated that the Capitol Complex had less crime than the residential and commercial neighborhoods that surround it.

During the past decade, state agencies have tightened building access, with an increasing number of buildings requiring electronic keycards to gain access.

For example, more parts of Capitol Complex buildings are accessible only with electronic keycards, and there are now fewer unlocked building entrances.

Although the report concluded that the state should provide "reasonable access to public spaces and decision-making processes," that access has to be balanced against security.

State officials need to decide whether to install weapons-screening in some of the state's most visible buildings. Minnesota is one of 27 states that does not have metal detectors in its Capitol. Also, unlike most other states, Minnesota does not have metal detectors for its Supreme Court hearings.

The report found that many security vulnerabilities throughout the Capitol complex uncovered by the Minnesota National Guard in 2006 have not been resolved.

The capitol security force has shrunk even as its responsibilities have increased, the report found. While staffing declined from 49 in 1999 to 39 in 2008, several large state buildings opened in the Capitol complex and the number of security sensors that have to be monitored doubled.

The private security force should be augmented with sworn law enforcement officers, the report recommended.

The report also recommended that key state officials should get State Patrol protection under some circumstances; currently that protection is available to the governor and governor-elect and to the Legislature as a whole, without specifying individual legislators.

Finally, the Legislature needs to do a better job of oversight of security issues at the Capitol complex, the report concluded.

Bob von Sternberg • 612-673-7184


Expect a push next session to remove the ability of permit holders to carry at the Capitol, for the safety of the legislators... :roll: :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Audit: 'Significant' security lapses at state Capitol
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 9:49 am 
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Jeremiah wrote:
Expect a push next session to remove the ability of permit holders to carry at the Capitol, for the safety of the legislators... :roll: :roll:


Ok which one of you guys got the parking ticket on capitol grounds that would justify that!

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PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 12:01 pm 
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The auditor's staff reviewed data for 2004 through 2008 on the number of Capitol complex "incidents" reported by Capitol Security. Most "were fairly routine in nature," such as parking tickets and tripped alarms.

The report found that criminal activities were less common. Between 2004 and 2008, Capitol Security reported annual averages of 31 thefts, 41 incidents involving property damage or trespassing, and 10 terroristic threats. Police reports last year indicated that the Capitol Complex had less crime than the residential and commercial neighborhoods that surround it.


Oh no's it's an absolute hotbed of crime! They need to tighten security and add personel for an average of 72 property crimes a year? what the current staff are overwhelmed at having 2 cases each annually?

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 Post subject: Re: Audit: 'Significant' security lapses at state Capitol
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 2:27 pm 
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kecker wrote:
Jeremiah wrote:
Expect a push next session to remove the ability of permit holders to carry at the Capitol, for the safety of the legislators... :roll: :roll:


Ok which one of you guys got the parking ticket on capitol grounds that would justify that!


Me. Only it wasn't a traffic ticket.

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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 9:02 am 
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Just out of curiosity, how many of these 'incidents' coincided with Heather Martens' visits? :)

I mean, she's not really THAT scary.

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