TARGET 8: Missouri Capitol security causes problems for some visitors

1 year 4 days 10 hours 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
COLUMBIA - In the aftermath of a deadly school shooting in Florida, psychologists and psychiatrists are urging parents to talk... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, February 15 2018 Feb 15, 2018 Thursday, February 15, 2018 12:33:00 PM CST February 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Peter Stiepleman sent a letter to parents on Thursday detailing his thoughts and reactions... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, February 15 2018 Feb 15, 2018 Thursday, February 15, 2018 12:03:00 PM CST February 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Investigators from the St. Louis prosecutor's office have visited the Missouri Capitol in the investigation... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, February 15 2018 Feb 15, 2018 Thursday, February 15, 2018 9:58:00 AM CST February 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Student journalists would largely be shielded from censorship by their schools under legislation that... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, February 15 2018 Feb 15, 2018 Thursday, February 15, 2018 8:41:00 AM CST February 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — People with misdemeanor convictions of domestic violence would be barred from having access to guns... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, February 15 2018 Feb 15, 2018 Thursday, February 15, 2018 8:37:00 AM CST February 15, 2018 in News
FAYETTE - Thirty-three years ago, Jeff Sherman took the court as the head coach of the Central Methodist Eagles for... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, February 15 2018 Feb 15, 2018 Thursday, February 15, 2018 2:59:00 AM CST February 15, 2018 in Sports
COLUMBIA - Valentine’s Day had some people swinging in the name of love. MU Swing Society held a dance... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 8:47:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Citizen's Police Review Board said the Columbia Police Department is facing several difficult issues relating to an... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 8:23:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft is pushing to increase funding for public libraries in Missouri's rural areas.... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 7:49:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – A recent study out of the University of Missouri in collaboration with Leeds Beckett University in the United... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 6:56:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Consumers spend Valentine's Day buying and giving flowers to their loved ones, but they might not think about... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 5:28:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A Kansas City company is working to make health care more efficient in Cooper County by constructing a... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 5:07:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Elections aren't the only U.S. democratic institutions intelligence experts say were influenced by Russian meddling. Protests, specifically the... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 5:01:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A controversial bill that would allow some university faculty members to carry guns on campus is making... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 3:28:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Sexual assault evidence kits would be tracked through a statewide system under proposed legislation. ... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 3:01:21 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Many people have probably seen the signs sitting on the side of the highway, flashing one simple... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 2:19:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Sobering statistics and the rising tide of the #MeToo movement has led to possible legislative action in... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 12:40:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - The Moberly Police Department is urging residents to check their credit and debit card statements for charges they... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 11:51:00 AM CST February 14, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 51°
1pm 54°
2pm 56°
3pm 56°
4pm 57°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

11:00a
NHL Hockey
2:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
5:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 5
12:00p
Seinfeld
12:30p
Family Guy
1:00p
Made in Hollywood NOW

Tonight's Schedule

6:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
7:00p
One for the Money
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Family Guy