MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama’s legislative session began earlier this week and lawmakers said Montgomery feels a little different this time around.
House Speaker Mac McCutcheon said more men and women in uniform are scattered around the state capitol.
“We’ve made some changes with security here at the statehouse,” McCutcheon explained.
In light of the U.S. Capitol insurrection in January, extra reinforcements have been called in.
The decision to change safety protocols in Montgomery stemmed from a collaborative discussion.
“We got some discussions going about security,” McCutcheon said. “How could we secure our building? What would be the right approach to do that? And of course out of these discussions, then we had the joint legislative council come together and they had discussions about security issues.”
The consensus? The state house needed to be secured from the outside-in.
“We’ve allowed the first and second floors and our parking area for legislators and staff members to be secured now by the Alabama State Troopers,” said McCutcheon.
Inside of the state house, House and Senate floors have individual security teams.
“The House of Representatives has their own security for the house members on the fourth, fifth, and sixth floors,” McCutcheon said. “Then on your seventh and eighth floors, the Senate has security. That is maintained within the Senate chamber, so those security groups that we have will stay the same. The big difference has been that we’ve got state troopers now manning the first and second floors of the building.”
The house speaker said so far there have been no signs of chaos in Montgomery.
“We are really fortunate that everything has been safe, but at the end of the day we know the prospects out there and the potentials out there that it could happen.”