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DPS to Implement Capitol Security Measures Jan. 13

PIERRE, S.D. – The Department of Public Safety today announced that new safety measures that include a security screening process at the South Dakota State Capitol Building will begin Monday, Jan. 13.

“The new safety measures we’re implementing are proactive steps to protecting the Capitol and everyone who uses it,” said Department of Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Craig Price. “These improvements will enhance public safety while preserving the accessibility of our statehouse.”

Frequent visitors to the South Dakota State Capitol will be able to apply for an access pass starting Monday, Jan. 6 through the South Dakota Highway Patrol. The application process, which is available at no cost to the applicant, will take about five business days to process and includes a state background check.

“These security measures are not designed to restrict the public’s access to the Capitol, but to be as least intrusive as possible,” added Price. “We want people to be able to get through the screening quickly while also keeping the Capitol safe for all South Dakotans.”

People with the Capitol Access pass will enter the security room where they will show their pass to the security staff. Once approved, the card holder will not have to go through the screening process. The Capitol Access pass is valid until Dec. 31 each year and will have to be renewed yearly.

“Our State Capitol is the people’s house, and this project ensures everyone who visits the building has a safe, positive experience while enjoying its historic beauty,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “Safety is always our top priority, and this modernized approach to Capitol security will help us best serve the hundreds of kids and thousands of visit the Capitol every year.”

Applications for the Capitol Access Pass are available at the South Dakota Highway Patrol Office at 118 W. Capital Ave. in Pierre, the Highway Patrol Capitol Security office at the north entrance of the state Capitol or on the Bureau of Administration website at https://boa.sd.gov/capitol/ default.aspx   

The security room will be staffed each day, including weekends, during the Capitol’s regular open hours.

The Capitol’s hours of operation during the legislative session are 7 a.m.- 7 p.m. Monday through Friday (or when gaveled out if later) and 8 a.m.-5 p.m.  Saturday and Sunday. Hours of operation during the rest of the year are 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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