Increased security measures start at Ohio Statehouse

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP/WCMH) -Increased security procedures are now in effect at the Ohio Statehouse. Visitors to the public building must now pass through a metal detector and backpacks are now prohibited.

Troopers will continue to inspect purses and other bags. The patrol also is limiting entry to the building to two street-level entrances.  The doors on the High St. side of the Statehouse are now closed.

Jim Vubutiev was among the first wave of Statehouse visitors confronted by the new measures on Monday.

“Is it invasive? Yes,” Vubutiev said. “Is is a hassle? Yes. But when you consider what’s going on around the world… It’s a balancing act and in the end I’m ok with it.”

Patrol spokesman Lt. Craig Chetan says legislative and state leaders and the board that oversees the Statehouse revisited security procedures after recent deadly attacks in Paris. They determined measures should be strengthened to ensure people’s safety.

Statehouse spokesman Luke Stedke said the changes are “part of an ongoing process to make the Statehouse secure but accessible.”

“It is the people’s house,”Stedke said. “It’s an open door. It’s just a more secure door.”

More than 200,000 people visit the Capitol annually, and hundreds work there.

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