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Sergeant-at-Arms Expands Security Plan to Senators’ State Offices

Senate officials are preparing to improve security measures in Members’ state offices to better match those already implemented in the Capitol complex.

Sergeant-at-Arms Bill Pickle is seeking $2.7 million in the fiscal 2004 legislative branch appropriations bill to upgrade security measures in Senators’ state offices.

SAA surveyed 432 state offices established by the fall of 2002 and has implemented a plan to evaluate any newly created offices.

“We are mindful that the Senate community does not stop at our perimeter,” former Sergeant-at-Arms Alfonso Lenhardt testified at a Rules and Administration Committee hearing earlier this month. “We have conducted comprehensive, on-site security assessments of every state office and necessary security upgrades are the next step.”

Much like Members’ offices in the Capitol complex, Lenhardt said, state offices will maintain and practice continuity plans which would be used in case of an emergency that forces staff to vacate an office.

The funds requested for fiscal 2004 would be used for repairs or equipment in state offices, as well as staff training.

In a mid-March interview, shortly before he stepped down from the post, Lenhardt, said the surveys addressed “security gaps and areas that need to be improved upon.”

“Shortly we’ll be able to go out … to do some repairs and/or implement equipment changes, or for that matter procedural changes, that we can offer to state offices. That’s something that had never been done before,” he said.

The multi-year plan will ensure “state offices are equally as prepared in some tragic incident,” Lenhardt said.

Suzanne Nelson contributed to this report.

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