Some raise concerns about security at Kentucky Capitol after violence in Washington, D.C.

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 3:54 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - Some have raised concerns of security at the State Capitol Building in Frankfort and other government buildings in the wake of the violence at the U.S. Capitol last week.

Officials in Kentucky say they have a plan for addressing that, but some lawmakers say they would like to see more done.

There has been talk of violence in all 50 states since the violence in Washington, and Governor Andy Beshear said on Monday that security will be increased in and around state government buildings in Frankfort.

Gov. Beshear said there is a plan being worked out with Kentucky State Police and others. Dozens of state troopers and cruisers were spotted all around the Capitol building last Thursday, the day after the riots in Washington.

Some lawmakers say members and staff need more training, such as if a violent mob were to make their way into the state capitol.

House Minority Floor Leader Rep. Joni Jenkins (D-Shively) also last Thursday said she was concerned about the lack of a better security plan. Her thoughts have not changed much in the days since.

“So we are very concerned, we understand not every detail of security needs to be out there, but I am still pushing for training for my members and my staff. If something should happen,” said Rep. Jenkins. “On should something happen in the chamber, what members need to know. What their directions are.”

The concern comes as the FBI is looking into threats of violence in all 50 states as the Presidential transition draws near, especially if President Trump is removed from office before Inauguration Day on January 20.

“The necessary discussions are taking place between the legislative branch, the executive branch, and the AOC on what do here in the next 5 to 8 days,” said Senate President Robert Stivers (R-Manchester).

In Michigan, lawmakers banned the open carrying of weapons inside the state capitol building in Lansing. Kentucky House Speaker Rep. David Osbourne (R-Prospect) says he’s asked for a meeting with Gov. Beshear and Attorney General Daniel Cameron on that topic in Kentucky.

“We have asked for a meeting with the Governor and attorney general and Kentucky State Police have discussed that issue. I would like to hear their opinions on it,” said Speaker Osbourne.

Kentucky made national news last year when pictures surfaced before the pandemic of people wearing masks and pointing rifles up in the air in the Capitol rotunda.

Gov. Beshear said they will do whatever is necessary to protect buildings but did not go into details about specific plans. Senate President Stivers also said security experts would be looking into the gun carrying issue.

The General Assembly is not scheduled to meet next week but leaders have expressed concern about the other staff members who have to be in the capitol then.

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