Do state senators/representatives have a full or even part time protective detail? If not, how is their security handled (e.g. secure buildings, event security, etc.)?
What about federal senators and representatives? I’m sure the hall of Congress is pretty well protected (second only to the white house, and, possibly, the Pentagon and other key military facilities).
I’m asking because, somebody suggested that “smart gun” tech (i.e. a gun would only work for registered users) is “mandated, no exceptions, for any and all protective detail for all elected officials” before they could make it mandatory for the general public. I thought it was an interesting idea (however it would turn out) until I realized I’ve never heard of any elected official* other than the president having a permanent security detail.
*While Sheriff’s tend to be surrounded by other police officers, the primary goal/concern of those officers isn’t “protect the sheriff”.
p.s. I’d appreciate it if somebody could post a link to the GD debate on the topic, for those that want take up either of those gauntlets again.
Back in the 90s, my scout troop had our Representative (as in, Federal House of Representatives elected official) come to a court of honor has the guest speaker. He took questions from the crowd, and one question was “Is that lady your secret service officer?” He laughed and said it was his secretary.
From that, I got the impression that most congresscritters don’t have personal security. 20 years ago, times change, YMMV, etc.
My understanding is that senators and representatives may temporarily have some kind of personal security when they are attending public events or serving in some official capacity, but they do not have full-time personal security like the President or governors do.
I saw Ted Kennedy driving himself on the Mass Pike once, a Mercedes with a Washington DC plate numbered “6” or some other very low number. There didn’t appear to be a security detail with him - no black SUV or anything, and it appeared to be his personal car. Had a bumper sticker on it with some kind of horse.
At some other time, I saw him arrive to give a speech at MIT. He was in a small motorcade of 3 black government vehicles, and seemed to have a small protective detail of some sort with him - they were pretty serious looking guys who got out of the cars first and looked around before letting him out.
John McCain told the story of how his Secret Service detail packed up and left immediately once he conceded the 2004 election. He woke up the next morning (still the senior senator from Arizona) and drove himself to the store alone to get the paper and a coffee.
If senators do have a security detail, it does not follow them into the men’s room at the Minneapolis Airport. OTOH, one allegation was that Governor Clinton had his Arkansas State Trooper detail go ask women to come to his office when he thought they were “approachable”.
Security, presumably would include car, driver, and bodyguard. That might mean four to eight people for a single minimal detail 7x24. Multiply that by 100 senators, or 400+ congress, and we’re talking serious expansion of the Secret Service.
Also, I thought I read about one of the Supreme Court Justices being assaulted one night in Washington - so they obviously don’t have coverage 24x7 either.
State legislators typically do not qualify for protective details with the exception of the Governor.
In Wisconsin the Guv is bodyguarded by the capitol police, but his driver is a trooper from the state patrol. This mix of two agencies is all politics. There has been a push/pull thing going on between them for years.
Tommy Thompson had a plan to merge the 2 agencies into one state police force (state patrol here is not a state police department but an enforcement division of DOT). He got the thing rolling by first merging the state fair park police into the capitol police. But when he left in 2001 the plan fell apart and Jim Doyle completely nixed it.