Skubick: Securing the State Capitol

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – In the wake of more shootings and terrorists attacks around the nation and the world, back home there are questions about installing metal detectors at the State Capitol.

The State Capitol is not like an airport, where you can’t get in unless and until you clear the metal detectors.

Here you walk right in with no alarm going off.

The State Capitol Committee has beefed up the number of state troopers who monitor the comings and goings of everyone in the building, but there are no plans to reconsider the use of metal detectors.

“We take very seriously the idea that security is important so we have resorted to other means to make sure that the people who work in this building are safe and that the people who come here are safe,” said Gary Randall, Chair of the Michigan State Capitol Commission. When asked if the building would be safer with metal detectors Randall replied “I’m not sure that it would be I mean we keep a close eye on everyone who is coming in.”

State officials are taking a cue from federal officials who recently installed metal posts to deter any would-be truck driver or others with an explosive payload hoping to blow up the building. But there is a major difference; those posts surround the Federal Building.

The State Police have installed five similar posts at the intersection of Capitol and Michigan Avenue but they do not encircle the Capitol building.

There is another safety concern downtown. When the new House office building was constructed there was a debate about the archway that connects two buildings on Ottawa Street. Could terrorists leave a truck parked underneath and do some major damage? The concern at the time was apparently not severe enough to change the building design.

State officials believe they are on top of the safety issue with cameras and other devices to hopefully prevent any potential carnage here.

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