Massachusetts leaders assessing State House security

Beacon Hill leaders are assessing State House security needs in the wake of Wednesday’s siege on the U.S. Capitol.

Without getting into any specifics, Gov. Charlie Baker, Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Ronald Mariano issued a short joint statement addressing the issue Friday morning.

“The safety of the Massachusetts State House, its employees and its neighbors is of utmost importance,” they said. “As we witness the events in Washington, DC and across the nation, we are aware of the need to ensure the safety of this building and those who work within it. We continually assess our security needs and will adjust as necessary.”

At a Friday press conference, Baker said there is a constant conversation between the House, Senate, his administration, law enforcement, and security teams about the safety of the State House.

“We pay a lot of attention to what information our friends and colleagues in the public sector are picking up, especially in the law enforcement community but also from other folks in municipal government and elsewhere who are just sort of tuning into what’s going on in their communities about what’s going on generally,” he said.

“Intelligence-gathering and being prepared is a much better strategy than any other,” he added.

State House access was tightened following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and State Police, Department of Conservation and Recreation park rangers, and House and Senate court officers all play roles in building security and access protocols.

The State House has been closed since March, with entry afforded only to a limited number of elected officials, staff and reporters.

State Police do not discuss specific information but said they employ a rigorous, multi-layered safety plan at the State House, make adjustments as necessary, and work closely with DCR Rangers and building security.

Read More