LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas State Capitol Police Chief Alice Fulk was just as stunned as anyone else when watching the events unfold at the Capitol Buildings on Wednesday, “It was a tragedy on multiple fronts. Just the fact that anyone would want to go in and destroy our nation’s capitol.”
Other state’s also saw protestors take over their capitols also. She says in the event that something like that were to happen at the Arkansas State Capitol, her force would be ready.
There are some physical security measures at the Capitol like gates to not allow vehicles close to the Capitol, the tunnel underneath the Capitol steps also has a gate that would block off the main entrance into the building, and also a wide network of security cameras in place.
“We can shut the tunnel gates down which I think is important we got those up and that is a tool we can use. The camera system is good, it is very helpful as well. But we have 30 sworn, trained law enforcement officers and they are prepared to go out there and do their job if need be,” she said.
Since Chief Fulk has taken over the department she says they’ve added to their training and will also train with other police departments. She says they have also started doing their own intelligence gathering for all events that take place or could take place at the Capitol, “That’s not to be nosey or anything like that, it’s to protect the people coming, protect the people in the building and to protect the officers and the people that live nearby.”
She says they still rely on other departments for some of their intelligence since her department can’t compete with the larger departments they work in conjunction with such as LRPD, NLRPD, the FBI, and Arkansas State Police.
Chief Fulk also wants to see any after-action reports that come from other capitol police forces that dealt with issues on Wednesday, “Take it and fine-tune it to our own needs in Arkansas. But I can tell you everything that is happening at our Capitol, we are preparing in advance for it so that we can have the best response if something should go south. “
She hopes all that training that her department does never really has to come into play because she says they are there to make sure that protests and rallies can occur, but occur peacefully, “The bottom line is you hope people come and respect the limits and the law, that’s what you really hope for. “