Department of Public Safety watching for threats to Iowa Capitol building

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowa's Department of Public Safety is keeping an eye out for threats of violence connected to last week's riots at the U-S Capitol Building in Washington D.C.

"We have not seen that sort of organized insurgence or those organized efforts at that level here locally. I'm not as concerned, but obviously we plan for the worst and anticipate the best" says Public Safety Commissioner Stephan Bayens.

He says there's an increased police presence at the Iowa Capitol Building in Des Moines.

"Obviously, we have stepped up our security forces at the Capitol. We've increased both our uniformed and non-uniformed presence. We'll continue to do so as long as the situation demands" Bayens says

The increased security at the Capitol comes not only because of last week's violence in Washington D.C, but also as the 2021 session of the Iowa Legislature gets under way.

Bayens says the public has a role is keeping Iowa's Capitol and other buildings safe. 

"If they see something that shows up on a social media feed, or if they hear comments from a friend or family member that gives them pause and gives them concern, absolutely contact us and we'll do our best to work though that and make sure our response is appropriate" he says.

Bayens says the Iowa Department of Public Safety is working with local police and federal law enforcement, including the FBI, to monitor any threats of violence directed at the Iowa Capitol or other state buildings.

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