State lawmakers have been secretly planning to build a $1 million wrought-iron fence around the Colorado Capitol to prevent future vandalism like that inflicted during last summer’s BLM riots, the Denver Post reports.
Three different statehouse committees have approved the changes after being briefed in confidential sessions, according to Democratic Denver Rep. Susan Lontine. She chairs the Capitol Building Advisory Committee and said confidentiality is necessary because alerting the public to specific changes “can impact the ability to keep the building safe.”
Did you catch that?
The building is not safe if the public should learn politicians are planning to make it safe by spending millions of dollars to close it off from the public.
Plans reviewed by the Post reveal nearly $4 million total would be spent on security upgrades like bulletproofing windows, new security cameras, and fortified doors.
Lawmakers say the fence — one of several planned security enhancements — would primarily be a response to vandalism of and around the building during Black Lives Matter protests last year in the form of broken windows and anti-police graffiti. But they appear torn over the message it sends to erect a fence around a building often referred to as “the people’s house.”
Ironically, the plans come just as Democrats in Washington are finally starting to dismantle their 12-foot, razor wire fencing erected after the Jan. 6 riot.
State lawmakers are responsible for protecting Colorado’s Capitol, so good on them for finally doing something nearly a year later to protect it from
riots protests encouraged by Gov. Polis.
However, we’re not convinced an easily scalable six-foot fence is going to keep out vandals. And the price seems rather steep.
Security cameras might help catch the culprits, but if they aren’t going to be arrested and punished for the crimes, what’s the point?
Perhaps lawmakers should try using old fashioned security guards who patrol the grounds to protect the property from vandalism before they install an ornamental wall.