Is Capitol security safe? - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Is Capitol security safe?

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HELENA, Mont.- Recently there have been reports of a man drunk in the Capitol during after hours. The gentleman is now banned from stepping foot on the capitol's campus, but some have questioned if the Capitol needs to step up their securityy.

The Department of Administration oversees the security for about 60 buildings, but the Capitol gets the most traffic and needs the most attention by far. They say although it may seem as though no one is standing guard there's always someone watching.

"Highly visible security, it can be a bit of a deterrent in that way so its a consistent and constant balance between the perception of safety and the reality behind whats actually happening." said Amber Conger, Communications Director  for the Department of Administration.
 
Although other states like Texas take a more direct approach to security. No one enters the Texas State Capitol without going through a metal detector and having their belongings x-rayed. The department approaches security the way they believe most Montanans would want it to be approached.

"Montana is a very open state. As far as government is concerned, government is very transparent. One of our roles as general services, as providers and operators of facilities is to always maintain the need for public access with public safety, said Steven Baiaonte, a retired State Trooper who now works for
General Services.

They keep many of their security practices a secret, saying it is the best interest of public safety. What they can let the public know is that the Capitol is guarded by two different groups. One through a private company called Securitas. They mainly deal with maintaining assets and are not allowed to carry any kind of weapon.  The rest is watched over by state and local police forces, who are armed, but not always on duty.

"There are people on both ends of the spectrum who would like to see more securit in place and less security in place," said Baiaonte.

During congressional sessions and other high-profile events during the year, more security measures are put in place. However, on any other day, you may or may not be able to spot any sort of officer.


 

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