Every Capitol Police officer and security technician will be on duty Wednesday for the first day of the 2015 legislative session and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s inauguration to a second term.
“We’re hoping to make the transition for people as smooth as possible,” Capitol Police Officer Scott Driscoll said Tuesday.
But Wednesday will be the first test of the new $600,000 security system installed by Legislative Management after the end of the 2014 legislative session.
Those who who haven’t been to the Capitol complex or Legislative Office Building since last year may be surprised to see the new metal detectors at the west entrance of both buildings.
Driscoll said he’s not certain how many visitors will arrive Wednesday at the Capitol, but the plan is to get them into the building as quickly as possible since temperatures are expected to be frigid.
The National Weather Service is predicting a slight chance of snow between noon and 3 p.m., mostly sunny, with a high temperature near 22 degrees. Winds will be light and variable, 9 to 14 mph with gusts up to 32 mph.
Although metal detectors are a common security measure at Capitol buildings in many states, they have rarely been used at the Connecticut Capitol complex. Capitol police temporarily installed two metal detectors in the Legislative Office Building in January 2013, when more that 2,000 people came to the building for a public hearing on gun control.
According to the National Conference of State Legislators, there are metal detectors installed at 23 state Capitols, including those in New York and Massachusetts. Some state Capitols screen all visitors with the metal detectors, while some — like California — exempt state employees and legislators.
In Connecticut, some state employees and all legislators don’t have to be screened by the metal detectors. They can use their badges to get through the turnstiles or vestibules to get into the building.
The metal detectors and X-ray machines at the two west entrances to the Capitol complex are no different than the ones installed in Connecticut’s courthouses and office buildings.
The decision to install them was made by last year’s legislative leaders. Three of the four men who made that decision are no longer members of the legislature.
As far as parking is concerned, it will be done on a “first-come, first-serve basis” Driscoll said.
There is permit parking only around the state Capitol, but the public will be able to find space in the Legislative Office Building garage. Also there will be shuttle service provided from state lots further down Capitol Avenue.
Streets along the parade route, which begins at Ford and Pearl Streets in Hartford, will be closed starting at 10:25 a.m. The parade route runs through the Soldiers and Sailors Arch on Trinity Street and proceeds down Capitol Avenue to the state Armory. The inaugural parade will kick off at 11:30 a.m. and is expected to conclude around 11:55 a.m.
Malloy is expected to give his inaugural address at 1:30 p.m. at the William O’Neill Armory.
He will receive military honors upon his departure around 3 p.m. and then he will address a joint session of the General Assembly at 4 p.m.
Earlier in the day, around 10 a.m. both the Senate and the House will convene to swear in their members and vote on their leaders.