GOV. RITTER TO MEET WITH LEGISLATIVE LEADERS
REGARDING STATEHOUSE SECURITY ON WEDNESDAY
Gov. Bill Ritter will meet with legislative leaders on Wednesday to begin discussions about state Capitol security in the wake of Monday’s shooting.
“We are going to revisit building security and we are going to do so in a thoughtful and prudent way,” Gov. Ritter said. “We aren’t putting any time limits on how long this will take, and in the meantime you will see access limited to the north entrance and the building kept fairly secure. But there are tourists back in the building right now and that’s a good thing to see.”
The Governor said his immediate concern is addressing the needs of Capitol employees. He spoke with two groups of employees Tuesday: about 50 members of his own staff in the morning and a larger group of more than 100 legislative and executive staffers in the afternoon. Victim assistance specialists are being made available to all employees, many of whom were in the Capitol at the time of Monday’s incident.
The Governor encouraged all employees to be mindful of their own needs and to acknowledge that Monday’s events were traumatic. “Our employees will have to deal with the impact and we want to make sure the resources and support networks are in place for them to do that,” he said.
The Governor praised members of his administrative staff and Colorado State Patrol security detail for performing “in a noble and remarkably professional way on Monday.”
Gov. Bill Ritter today directed the Department of Public Safety and Colorado State Patrol to conduct a detailed security audit of the state Capitol. The Governor announced he had asked for the audit after meeting with the legislature’s Executive Committee for about an hour this morning.
“I have directed the Department of Public Safety and its divisions to conduct a threat assessment and a security assessment of the Capitol building’s vulnerabilities, and I’ve asked them to do that with some dispatch,” Gov. Ritter said after the meeting with Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald, House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, Majority Leader Alice Madden and Minority Leader Mike May.
The initial review is expected to take approximately two weeks. The Governor also has asked for a list of possible changes to Capitol security measures. “No decisions have been made, and we will not make any decisions until we see the audit and review the options,” Gov. Ritter said.
Current security measures – access restricted to the north basement entrance with a magnetometer – will remain in place during the review period.
“We continue to encourage folks who want to come to the Capitol to visit as often as they want,” Gov. Ritter said “This is still an open and safe building.”
GOV. RITTER STATEMENT ON TODAY’S INCIDENT
Gov. Ritter issued the following statement regarding today’s shooting at the state Capitol:
“There was a shooting on the first floor of the Capitol this afternoon in the hallway area outside of my office. I was in my office interviewing a judicial candidate and heard what sounded like gunshots.
“We are very mindful of the visitors who come to this building and the people who work here, and we’re doing all we can to take care of them.
“When there is an incident like this, there will always be a discussion about security. In our democracy, there is a constant tension between security and openness. This is the people’s building.
“There will be heightened security in the building for the remainder of the week while we have discussions about how we maintain that balance. It will be a prudent and thoughtful discussion and it will include leadership in the legislature.
“This is a safe building. I encourage people to keep visiting the Capitol. This is their building.”
The Capitol will re-open to the public and employees tomorrow morning. Access will be limited to the South Entrance at 14th and Sherman. Magnetometers will be in place at that entrance.