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The origins of the Alabama State Capitol Police can be traced back to the turn of the 20th century, when a night watchman or security guard maintained vigil at the Capitol. Today’s State Capitol Police force has evolved from this single duty into a full-service, professional law enforcement organization. Initially a unit of the State Finance Department, State Capitol Police was transferred into the Alabama Department of Public Safety in 2003 through legislative act. As a result, on October 1, 2003, the director of Public Safety created the Protective Services Division and assigned the Capitol Police Unit to this particular division.
The overall mission of the State Capitol Police Unit is to secure the grounds of the Capitol complex, while providing a safe zone for employees and visitors to the complex. Officers are charged with providing physical security of all state buildings. Their primary focus is the Capitol complex area, due to the large numbers of state employees and significant number of buildings located in this one concentrated area. The role of the State Capitol Police Officer is very similar to that of a municipal police officer who routinely patrols a sector. On a daily basis, the many duties of Capitol Police officers include preventing crimes through effective patrol and officer presence, assisting motorists, enforcing traffic laws, and providing assistance to visitors and dignitaries.
State Capitol Police officers must meet standards set out by the Department of Public Safety, as well as requirements of the Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission. State Capitol Police officers have the same powers as peace officers in this state and the authority to exercise those powers statewide.
State Capitol Police officers wear uniforms similar to those worn by other arresting officers of the department. The patch of the State Capitol Police, as well as the badge, is unique and specifically tailored to this unit. The patrol car is solid blue and is equipped almost identically to municipal police patrol cars that might be seen in larger metropolitan areas.
State Capitol Police officers regularly engage in specialized training that will enhance their performance, along with mandatory training such as firearms proficiency, physical assessment, and the use of less-than-lethal weapons. State Capitol Police officers cross train with area law enforcement agencies so that they can respond effectively to emergency situations, in partnership with other support agencies. State Capitol Police officers routinely assist other law enforcement agencies, as well as the other divisions of the Alabama Department of Public Safety. Officers also are involved in dignitary escorts and provide uniformed
support for the Dignitary Protection Unit of the Protective Services Division.
The State Capitol Police is staffed by approximately 24 officers, along with supervisors, support staff and a unit commander. The unit provides around-the-clock service with a fully staffed Communications Center. The Communications Center also can be utilized as a fully functional command center during a state of emergency.
The Capitol Police headquarters serves as the main control center for the ongoing operations of the Capitol Police force and provides access to local, state, and federal information systems. The basic function of headquarters is to provide information to the unit in it's normal daily activities and during emergencies. The administrative offices are located at the Capitol Police headquarters.
The Capitol Police Unit responds to bomb threats on state property. Such an event presents a serious threat to officers, state employees, the public, and to property. This agency has established the policies, procedures and training guidelines for the investigation of bomb threats and related emergencies. The protection of persons and property and the expeditious apprehension of the violator are our priorities.
These incidents are handled in conjunction with the Department of Public Safety's Technical Services Unit of the ABI Division.
The major activities of the Capitol Police Unit involve maintaining the security of the buildings and grounds in the Capitol complex and at other office buildings and properties owned, rented or leased by the State of Alabama. The Capitol Police investigate all crimes that occur on these sites. They patrol the properties and parking lots routinely or by special assigned detail.
State Capitol Police is responsible for ensuring a safe and secure environment for employees and visitors using state facilities and grounds. Capitol Police officers provide emergency assistance and immediate access to buildings in case of an emergency.
The State Capitol Police provide a wide range of services.
Capitol Police patrol state property 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Patrol officers engage in many activities including enforcing traffic/criminal laws, answering complaints, conducting follow-up investigations, promoting good community relations, preventing crime, and responding to the state’s many alarm systems protecting state property.
State Capitol Police also has the responsibility of responding to and monitoring riots, rallies, and demonstrations at the State Capitol Complex and other state properties. These events are usually held in the vicinity of the State Capitol and require the assignment of a special detail to monitor the activities and to provide assistance for traffic and crowd control.
State Capitol Police officers, when duly appointed, shall have the powers of peace officers in this state and may exercise such powers anywhere within the state. Officers are provided with the training necessary to meet the challenges of their daily assignments. All officers are certified by the Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission.
For a complete program of requirements for peace officers in the State of Alabama, visit the
Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission.
Additionally, officers participate in regular training programs and simulated exercises to insure proficiency in the services of the department.
The Capitol Police are cross-trained and educated in the functions of other DPS, as well as other law enforcement agency's personnel, in order to assist and/or compliment their activities.
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