Mass. leaders assessing Statehouse security       | Regional News

Chamber chief sizes up approach to transportation 'crisis' | Regional News

Mass. leaders assessing Statehouse security       | Regional News


Beacon Hill leaders are assessing State House security needs in the wake of Wednesday’s siege on the U.S. Capitol. Without getting into any specifics, Gov. Charlie Baker, Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Ronald Mariano issued a short joint statement addressing the issue Friday morning.

“The safety of the Massachusetts State House, its employees and its neighbors is of utmost importance,” they said. “As we witness the events in Washington, DC and across the nation, we are aware of the need to ensure the safety of this building and those who work within it. We continually assess our security needs and will adjust as necessary.”

State House access was tightened following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and State Police, Department of Conservation and Recreation park rangers, and House and Senate court officers all play roles in building security and access protocols. The State House has been closed since March, with entry afforded only to a limited number of elected officials, staff and reporters present to cover legislative sessions and Gov. Baker’s regular COVID-19 press conferences.

State Police do not discuss specific information but said they employ a rigorous, multi-layered safety plan at the State House, make adjustments as necessary, and work closely with DCR Rangers and building security.

“We continue to monitor potential protest activity nationally and locally, and will be prepared for any contingencies that could threaten public safety in Massachusetts,” State Police spokesman David Procopio said. “As always, our objective is to ensure that potential protestors in our areas of jurisdiction, regardless of the opinions they express, may demonstrate freely — provided they do so peacefully and with respect for the rights, safety, and property of other persons and the surrounding community. At this time we are not aware of any threats to public safety in Massachusetts; we continue to monitor developments and will be prepared to respond accordingly.”

In July 2017, Gov. Charlie Baker and legislative leaders announced the hiring of Adam Elias, former public safety chief at the Mass. Convention Center Authority, to fill a new position as director of State House security.

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