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Friday, January 17, 2014

Sign of Times: Metal Detectors Coming to CT Capitol

By Mark Pazniokas

Without a formal vote or public hearing, the Connecticut General Assembly’s four top leaders have approved the installation of metal detectors at the State Capitol complex, embracing an oft-rejected precaution now common at courthouses, congressional offices, federal buildings and many other public institutions. Image
Temporary metal detectors were installed Jan. 26, 2013, for a public hearing on gun control. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

Notice of the change was made today by the State Capitol Police Department. It was applauded by some legislators, while others endorsed it only with great reluctance, including at least two of the four leaders who signed off on what was a police recommendation.

“I’m sad about it,” said House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr., R-Norwalk. “This has been my home in some ways for 21 years now. The fact is we’re now at this place with our society and our fears, which are especially heightened after Newtown. But going down this route is sad.”

Metal detectors have been used only sporadically at the Capitol complex, most recently in January 2013, when thousands of people, mostly gun owners opposed to gun controls proposed after the school massacre in Newtown, were screened before entering the Legislative Office Building.

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