(Host) Government embarked on many security improvements in the past year. One of those projects involved increased security at the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier. Workers are putting the finishing touches on the project now.
VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports.
(Kinzel) If you approach the east side of the Statehouse, you’ll notice quickly that things look very different these days. A large gate has been erected to block access to a parking lot and new concrete barriers and steel fences protect a truck entrance to the Pavilion Office Building where the governor has his main office on the fifth floor.
On the west side of the Statehouse, another gate restricts access to a state employee parking lot and two large barriers stand on either side of the main walkway to the Capital Building. In addition, bullet proof glass has been installed in the windows in the governor’s office in the Pavilion Building
State Buildings Security Director Steve Maranville says the changes have been under consideration for a number of years:
(Maranville) “Actually, a lot of it was in the works before September 11. Obviously, I think September 11 caused a lot of people to take a closer and harder looks at security and safety, but we’d actually started looking at before that.”
(Kinzel) Maranville says the security measures are being installed to guard against a variety of threats:
(Maranville) “In my role as director of security we’re not so much concerned with terrorism as we are with disgruntled employees, spouses clients – somebody who is not happy with a decision made by some aspect of state government.”
(Kinzel) New security procedures are also being implemented in state buildings all across Vermont. In many cases, the public’s access to departments of state government will be restricted through the construction of new security doors.
(Maranville) “Well we’re moving to a new ID system, one that will be card access. I’m sure you’ve seen that it will not only serve as an ID but it will also serve as the ability to access doors that the employees are authorized to go through. That’s part of an overall security package that we’re looking at.”
(Kinzel) Maranville says the goal of the new projects is to provide essential security at key state buildings without sacrificing the open nature of state government that many Vermonters feel is important.
For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.