04/04/19 -- HCS HB 982 -- Transfers the Capitol Police to the Capitol Commission

Bill Number: 
HCS HB 982
Bill Purpose: 
Transfers the Capitol Police to the Capitol Commission
Date of Vote: 
04/04/19
My Vote: 
Yes
Explanation: 

HCS HB 982, introduced by Representative Ron Hicks (Republican - District 102) transfers the "Capitol Police" to the jurisdiction of the Capitol Commission instead of the Department of Public Safety.  The move is primarily intended to establish oversight and management akin to standard police departments, whereas the status quo has the division managed in much the same way as security guards.  For example, Capitol Officers are currently unable to walk the hallways of the capitol -- they are required to stay at their assigned post, even if there is no particular need for them to be stationed there.

While I'm not convinced we need as many officers as are currently on staff (I'm told there’s nearly 30 of them, though I haven't independently verified that), I do think it makes sense that if we are going to have a police department to serve the Capitol grounds, they should be handled in a way similar to that of an ordinary department.  I also believe that having an oversight commission is likely to yield better results than putting them under the wing of a normal department's management structure.