Capitol police keeping security at normal level

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Flags outside the Virginia State Capitol and in other areas of downtown Richmond are flying at half staff today after the tragedy that unfolded in Tucson, Ariz., this past weekend. Despite it all, Capitol Police say business is normal.

Everywhere we look, the pictures of the tragedy in Tucson are all over our TV screens. This, as details emerge about the whole situation, that has left US Representative U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords fighting for her life.

For the men and women that will soon fill this chamber this week, security is a top priority.

Capitol Police Chief Kim Lettner says her team is ready, since something like this can happen anywhere and anytime.

"We always try to be alert and provide higher posture, as we try to protect our stakeholders at the Capitol district," Lettner said.

She says the agency has normal procedures and protocols that its using right now. No different than any other day. "That's what we train for. So we can be prepared should an event like that happen here."

Not only does the Chief's team worry about the lawmakers, but there are dozens of other people to protect on a daily basis.

But really, since September 11, 2001, things have evolved. "Our training methods have changed and how we engage our citizens and civilians to provide them with some additional training,"adds Chief Lettner.

We're told Capitol employees and lawmakers are given tips every year on what to look for, and what to do, should something like the tragedy in Tucson unfold in our backyard.

Remember, you may see more Capitol Police walking through this area, especially as the lawmakers slowly make their way back to Richmond, there will not be any extra security that you'll notice at this session.

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