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Mass. Leaders Assessing State House Security

The Massachusetts State House. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
The Massachusetts State House. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

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 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."

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.

In July 2017, Gov. Charlie Baker and legislative leaders announced the hiring of Adam Elias, former public safety chief at the Mass. Convention Center Authority, to fill a new position as director of State House security.

DCR and State Police spokespeople did not immediately respond to requests for comment via email and phone.

The State House has been closed since March, with entry afforded only to a limited number of elected officials, staff and reporters present to cover legislative sessions and Gov. Baker's regular COVID-19 press conferences.

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