TARGET 8: Missouri Capitol security causes problems for some visitors

1 year 7 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
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Gov. Mike Parson is considering changes to Missouri regulations to help address a shortage of... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 3:19:36 PM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Cole County Prosecutor's Office said Thursday it will not pursue charges in connection with the investigation... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 3:15:00 PM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - More than 100 counties are getting $25 million to combat the opioid crisis, and Randolph County is one... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 2:53:00 PM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
ABERDEEN, Md. (AP) — The latest on the shooting in Maryland (all times local): 12:05 p.m. Law enforcement... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 11:34:00 AM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A new ad targeting Republican senate candidate Josh Hawley accuses him of trying to take away health insurance... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 11:32:00 AM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Deputies with the Moniteau County Sheriff's Office arrested a driver in California after finding methamphetamines in his car.... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 10:20:00 AM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A pharmaceutical company has plans to come to Columbia, but is seeking a Chapter 100 Bond from the... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 7:42:00 AM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Organizations and activists aimed at improving the poverty situation in the state will gather for the 2018 Missouri... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 7:24:00 AM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - After being inactive for nearly a year, the Missouri Board of Education is launching a search for... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 7:06:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - State Rep. Cheri Toalson Reisch, R-Hallsville, is changing the way she is fundraising after an ethics complaint and... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 6:17:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Police Department is treating the double shooting on Wednesday afternoon as a murder-suicide. ... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 6:00:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Some people living in Columbia's southside neighborhoods say thieves, using creative technology, are stealing from cars. Haley... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 5:28:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - As Welcome Home marks the first anniversary of its new shelter, a once drug-addicted veteran is artfully finding... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 4:19:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
FULTON- After the State Auditor's report that more local money could go to domestic violence shelters, one survivor reiterated the... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 3:52:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Wednesday morning firefighters burned a simulated dorm room burn on the MU campus to show students how quickly... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 3:13:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY – Cole County ended its economic development contract with the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce Tuesday. The... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 2:32:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
MEXICO - Sen. Claire McCaskill has announced she will oppose Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court. McCaskill's... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 2:30:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A former prosecutor and chairman of Missouri's Democratic Party has been sentenced to two years and... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 1:55:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in Top Stories
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 62°
10pm 62°
11pm 60°
12am 59°
1am 57°