HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The agency that protects the Pennsylvania Capitol building says officials aren’t aware of specific threats to the facility but are bolstering security measures.
Troy Thompson with the Department of General Services, which oversees Capitol Police, said Thursday there are additional officers inside and out. Barriers have been erected outside the ornate building in recent days.
Thompson says Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf hasn’t issued an order to close the downtown Harrisburg complex next week, but that could change if necessary.
State capitols around the United States have worked to heighten security after the attack on the U.S. Capitol last week.
Pennsylvania Capitol Police Superintendent Joe Jacob, Pennsylvania State Police Deputy Commissioner of Operations Lieutenant Colonel Scott Price and Harrisburg Police Commissioner Thomas Carter provided a virtual briefing on the steps the commonwealth’s law enforcement agencies are taking to ensure the safety of the Pa. Capitol Complex and the commonwealth. The briefing included remarks from each of the officials and a question and answer session from reporters who attended.
Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf announced today that approximately 450 Pennsylvania National Guard (PNG) members have been put on state active duty to support safety and security efforts within the commonwealth that coincide with the presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C.
“I will not allow what happened at our nation’s capital to happen here. That is why I am taking the necessary measures to ensure everyone’s safety and security across our great commonwealth,” Gov. Wolf said. “The Pennsylvania National Guard’s presence around our State Capital and surrounding community will enhance law enforcement’s ability to provide continued public safety and critical infrastructure security during these unprecedented times. Our Guard members are proud to live, work and raise their families in the very communities they will be supporting, and I am grateful for their willingness to serve their fellow neighbors.”
“Assisting and supporting local authorities during times of need is one of the core missions of the National Guard,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler, Pennsylvania’s acting adjutant general. “The men and women of the Pennsylvania National Guard are trained and prepared to ensure our citizens and infrastructure are safe and protected.”
Over 1,000 PNG members are currently supporting the District of Columbia National Guard and D.C. local civilian authorities in preparation for the upcoming presidential inauguration.
Pennsylvania has the second largest National Guard in the country with approximately 19,000 members located in more than 80 armories and readiness centers statewide.