Hawaii State Capitol will install metal detectors at three entrances starting July 10
ViaAUDREY McAVOY Associated Press
HONOLULU — The Hawaii State Capitol will install metal detectors at three entrances starting July 10, state agencies said Monday.
Detectors will be located at two elevator entrances on the building’s entrance and at one entrance to the basement. The building will remain open to the public.
The state’s director of the Department of Public Safety said in a statement that metal detectors are an “additional layer of security” that will help make the Capitol a safer place.
House Speaker Scott Saiki said he was in favor of increased security because people “felt unsafe” in the building.
“For many years, we have received concerns not only from members of the legislature, but also from legislative staff and visitors to the building, about the need for increased security,” the Democrat said. in a short phone interview.
Saiki credited Keith Regan, head of the Department of Accounting and General Services, the state’s building regulator, for the new equipment.
He said lawmakers have spent years increasing security, but it was Regan who “finally was able to create a security program for us.”
Asked if a particular incident prompted calls for increased security, Saiki said a deputy sheriff shot and killed a man near the Capitol in 2019 but there were others.
During the shooting, the Department of Public Safety said the man ignored the sheriff’s instructions to pour the alcohol he was drinking and left the Capitol grounds. The man then became belligerent and a struggle ensued, in which the deputy fired his weapon during close contact. The man died from a gunshot wound to the back.
Arekat Pacific Security, Inc., operating as API Security, has been awarded a contract to manage metal detectors.
State officials say 37 other state capitals already have metal detectors.