MADISON (WKOW) -- State officials say more panic buttons have been installed in offices at the State Capitol to give lawmakers and others more emergency access to police.
Department of Administration spokesperson Stephanie Marquis says hundreds of panic buttons are now in place, although she declined to quantify the recent expansion of the security method.
Marquis says the expansion cost $103,172, with the expense being shared by Capitol tenants and DOA.
When pushed, the buttons summon an almost immediate police response. Marquis says the panic buttons have helped with medical emergencies in the past.
But Rep. Sondy Pope-Roberts (D-Cross Plains) questioned the need for such increased security costs. Regular Capitol protests have continued, but Pope-Roberts say she has never felt threatened, or had need for an immediate police response, even during periods in 2011 when hundreds of protesters occupied the Capitol.
Pope-Roberts says she did not request the installation of her office's panic button.
Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) says he chose to have no panic button installed. But Grothman says he's aware of lawmakers requesting them, and says "obnoxious" behavior by protesters has been unsettling for some.
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