The Hawaii State Capitol will implement metal detectors at three entrances starting July 10, state agencies announced on Monday.

The metal detectors will be installed at two street-level elevator entrances and one basement entrance, while the Capitol will remain open to the public.

The installation of metal detectors is considered an “added layer of security” that aims to enhance safety at the Capitol, according to a statement by the director of the state Department of Public Safety.

House Speaker Scott Saiki expressed his support for the improved security measures, citing concerns about safety and people feeling unsafe within the building.

“Over the years, we have received numerous concerns regarding security from legislative members, staff, and visitors to the building,” said the Democratic speaker in a brief telephone interview.

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Speaker Saiki credited Keith Regan, the head of the Department of Accounting and General Services, for implementing the new security measures.

While additional security funding has been allocated by lawmakers in the past, Regan has successfully developed a security program for the Capitol, stated Saiki.

When asked about the specific incident that prompted the need for increased security, Saiki mentioned a 2019 incident where a deputy sheriff fatally shot a man near the Capitol, along with other incidents.

Hawaii Fox News graphic

The Hawaii State Capitol will install metal detectors at three entrances starting July 10.

In the mentioned shooting incident, the Department of Public Safety reported that the man ignored the sheriff’s instructions to discard his alcoholic beverage and leave the Capitol grounds. The man subsequently engaged in physical confrontation, leading to a struggle, during which the deputy fired his weapon in close proximity. The man died from a gunshot wound to the back.

API Security, operating as Arekat Pacific Security, Inc., has been contracted to administer the metal detectors.

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State officials have noted that 37 other state capitols already have metal detectors in place.

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