State lawmakers tell us they are reviewing security protocol in the wake of this weekend’s attempt on the life of Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.
Many of the Washington lawmakers say they are confident in their safety at the capitol.
“We have security here, state patrol is here as well. I feel fairly safe here.”
Representative Mike Armstrong says state patrol officers work two week rotations alongside full-time House and Senate security officers. There are also surveillance cameras throughout the building.
Armstrong says there used to be metal detectors but they let the lease expire after a year, and he's glad they're gone!
“We've gone through a variety of security measures. We tried metal detectors for a while but I like the fact this legislature is open to the public and they don't go through metal detectors. We do allow people to go up in the gallery.”
Lawmakers say they've tried to maintain a balance, giving citizens access to elected officials while providing a secure environment – both important priorities.
State Senator Derek Kilmer says democracy will continue, especially in the wake of the shooting tragedy.
“Particularly when we have challenging times like this, it’s more important for citizens to be involved.”
Even though none of the lawmakers we spoke with today says he or she plans to make any changes for *personal safety* certain aspects of security at the capitol will get a closer look, according to Representative Lisa Brown.
“It is a common occurrence for legislators and their staff to get threats and we have a protocol for having that investigated by security and the state patrol. We're going to review that with all of our staff and members because we do want people to be safe.”