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Editor, The Beacon:

Three decades ago, I was in a Swiss bank in Zurich for an appointment.

The bank is multistory. Teller cages are located in a lobby with fire doors to back offices. Visitors are accompanied on elevators to upper floors. 

Attendants escort visitors to meeting rooms. Hallways are flanked by unmarked closed-door offices. Hallways are segmented into fire-door-protected sections.

Only after a visitor is in a meeting room does a bank representative join the guest. Each step of the way is part of a layer of understated security.

When I last visited the Capitol three years ago, security was provided by an armed policeman at a metal detector. Possibly there are other measures in place that are more subtle.

An average citizen should be able to visit the Capitol to experience the workings of Congress. Yet obvious security measures should be in place.

Would fire doors have been useful in containing the invading mob? Are there other temporary impediments to easy movement available that could be installed?

At a minimum, security plans involving law enforcement that work like a practiced, well-oiled machine should be in place for the safety of our governing bodies.

In fact, all state capitols should also be reviewing their own security plans. As some states have learned, incursions have become a possibility at every level of government.

Lessons are available from many sources.

Joan Carter



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