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Lobbyist Money Help  

Price tag for increased security released

October 24, 2001
By: Nicholas Rummell
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - State officials have reported the price tag for increased state security since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks -- $760,000.

According to state budget director Brian Long, $600,000 of that total has been spent on metal detectors, the construction of barricades and turnstiles at certain state buildings, and IDs for state employees.

But, because the turnstiles and metal detectors will be permanent, these costs are merely preliminary, and will grow over time.

The remaining $163,000 was spent on increased hiring for the Department of Health, which tests for biological agents such as anthrax.

There is also $30 million in reserved state funds that can be tapped for additional security costs, said Long, but those funds are traditionally held for social services, and not to pay capital guards' overtime.

Since Oct. 9, two days after the U.S. began bombarding Afghanistan, 16 officers from the state water patrol, fire safety, Highway Patrol and park rangers from the Department of Natural Resources have provided extra security at state buildings.

Capital Police Chief Lou Tedeschi said that meetings are held every couple of weeks to evaluate the situation and determine which departments will provide the added guards.

"We had more manpower than we really needed in the beginning," he said, "but there certainly is adequate security right now."