TARGET 8: Missouri Capitol security causes problems for some visitors

1 year 4 months 1 week ago Monday, February 13 2017 Feb 13, 2017 Monday, February 13, 2017 8:26:00 PM CST February 13, 2017 in News
By: Jordan Berger, KOMU 8 News Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - If you've been to the Capitol since the start of 2017, you may have noticed something very different.

Metal detectors, X-Ray machines, and law enforcement: The "People's House" is beginning to look more like your nearest airport.

New security measures

Daniel Adam Crumbliss, the chief clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives, told state employees about these additions in memo sent out on January 4, which has been obtained by KOMU 8 News. It has a Missouri Capitol Police document explaining that beginning January 10, visitors entering the Missouri Capitol will be subject to search, including screenings using X-Ray conveyors and walk through magnetometers.

Entrances that were once accessible to the public have been locked electronically leaving three ways for visitors to enter. Only state employees with keycards can unlock those entrances.

According to Representative Deb Lavender (D-Kirkwood), these measures are also making it more difficult for citizen activist groups to access the Capitol and interact with their legislators. Already, the Missouri Retired Teacher's Association has canceled its annual lobby day.

“They canceled because they were concerned about security,” Lavender said. “They had buses coming over, they have 1,500 members coming over and seniors. And so the concern was how quickly can we get through security, we don't want them standing outside, in a February date if the weather's bad. So they canceled their entire lobby day, and this would have been their seventh or eighth in a row that they've done this. So I had huge concerns that all of a sudden the 'People's House' is no longer available to the people."

Shortly after new policy, guns allowed in Capitol

Interestingly, about a month after the new security measures went into place, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Gov. Eric Greitens' administration lifted a short-lived ban on allowing people with concealed-weapon permits to bring their guns into the Capitol.

The policy still prohibits visitors from carrying weapons into the House or Senate chambers or into committee hearing rooms. But Republican Sen. Ryan Silvey said there was no enforcement to ensure people comply.

Some lawmakers called for a new discussion about policies for guns in the statehouse. 

Where did the new security policy come from?

“So, the questions I've asked have not been answered,” Lavender said. “One report told me it was Governor Nixon's administration that decided on this that it did not go into effect until the first day of Governor Greitens' administration, I would probably be more apt to think it was Governor Greitens who did this, I'm not sure why Governor Nixon on his way out the door would do it. And so those questions so far have been unanswered for me."

KOMU 8 News reached out to Greitens' administration and received the following response from Press Secretary Parker Briden: "These security measures were funded, approved, and the work was begun to install them long before Eric Greitens became Governor. All of these security measures were paid for in FY2016's budget, which we had zero input on..." 

While these current measures already might deter groups of citizens from coming to the Capitol, there is a possibility circulating to allow paid lobbyists to bypass the process, raising even more questions. 

“We have heard that the paid lobbyists might get speed passes,” Lavender said. “So they may get the same type of badge that I have in my pocket that allows them to have easier access as well.”

For legislators like Lavender, most agree upon a fundamental belief that has been a policy of the Capitol since it was established.

"It is the "People's House" and I want to make sure that everybody feels welcome, and has access to this building when they need to."

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
BOONVILLE - People will see a few more cars drive through town this weekend, as the city celebrates its annual... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 5:41:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE – Police said a technician at a local gas station found an internal skimmer device inside a gas pump... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 4:49:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A Fulton man could face more than 200 years in prison after being found guilty of 12... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 4:01:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The U.S. House passed the 2018 farm bill, formally known as the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 3:49:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
FULTON - Despite rainfall these past two days, statistics show most of Missouri is dryer than usual. Data released... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 3:37:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
HUNTSVILLE – The sentencing phase of the trial for a convicted murderer began Friday. Jeffrey Nichols was convicted Thursday... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 3:15:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Graduate students at the University of Missouri celebrated Thursday after they were officially considered employees, but the celebration... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 2:32:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU has faced big challenges in recent years - from changes in administration to loss of state funding... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 1:43:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY - The Kansas City Police Department has canceled an Amber Alert for Brajean Sledge, a missing 15-year-old girl... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 10:29:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
McALLEN, Texas (AP) — Immigration enforcement on the U.S.-Mexico border was plunged deeper into chaos over President Donald Trump's... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 7:52:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Mike Parson signed his first five bills as Missouri's governor Friday. The bills he signed... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 7:17:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- More than 30 children attending a summer camp in Florida were taken to the hospital Thursday after they... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 7:12:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
MORGAN COUNTY - Authorities said a Gravois Mills woman died in a one-vehicle car accident near Laurie, Missouri. According... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 6:32:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A statewide campaign encourages expecting mothers to monitor their infant's movement in the womb. The Missouri... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 4:14:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD - After months of tension between citizens and city officials, the city council met for the first time... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 9:30:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
AUXVASSE - Police in Auxvasse posted a warning on Facebook Wednesday about unlicensed salesmen in the area, but the company... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:15:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - 1 and 6 males are sexually abused by the time they are 18. For the first time... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 6:49:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri is changing some of its rules and regulations to offer more leave and layoff... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 5:34:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 79°
8pm 83°
9pm 78°
10pm 77°
11pm 77°