The Bureau of Capitol Police is a law enforcement agency responsible for the safety of the people and the security of the property and buildings that make up Maine's seat of government. Areas of responsibility include the State House, the other State buildings and properties within the Capitol Area campus, and the properties on the eastside of the river within the old Augusta Mental Health campus. The Bureau patrols the State owned or controlled property in Augusta, investigates crimes and enforces laws, including parking and traffic regulations, and responds to alarms and other calls for help or assistance on the two campuses. In addition, since early 2014, a unit within the Bureau of Capitol Police has been dedicated to specifically service the law enforcement, safety and security needs at the Riverview Psychiatric Center. As part of our protective role, Capitol Police screeners conduct entry screening for weapons at the entrance to the State House. The Bureau's night watchpersons check the security of approximately 50 State owned buildings and properties in Augusta and Hallowell at night and on weekends.
The Capitol Security Police Force was created by the Legislature in 1968, and was made a branch of the Department of Public Safety in 1977, the Bureau of Capitol Security. The Legislature changed the name to the Bureau of Capitol Police in 2009 to better reflect the agency's law enforcement role. There currently is a staff of twenty: The Capitol Police Chief, two police sergeants, ten police officers, two night watchpersons, four security screeners, and one part-time administrative assistant. Prior to 1977, some of the functions of the Bureau were the responsibility of the Bureau of Public Improvements.
The major objectives of the Bureau are ensuring the safety of members of the legislature, staff, employees and visitors; and the security of the State buildings and property for the complexes to which we provide service. During fiscal year 2014-15, the employees within the Bureau found, initiated or responded to 34,311 documented events, incidents or activities. 196 of these incidents resulted in criminal investigations being initiated. These range from thefts of property to assaults, criminal trespass or criminal threatening. Officers investigated a number of threatening communications aimed at legislators or state employees and kept the peace at numerous public hearings, rallies and protests during the year. Officers issued 321 traffic summonses or warnings, and 1,168 parking tickets. They also investigated 15 motor vehicle crashes. Capitol Police screeners examined 96,121 items being brought into the building and prevented 1,212 dangerous items from being brought into the State House. Watchpersons conducted 10,492 building or property safety and security checks.
The Bureau of Capitol Police issues Capitol Area Activity Permits. 56 permits were issued during fiscal year 2014-15 for activities around the State House, in Capitol Park, and in the Capitol Area.
Capitol Area Security Regulations
Rules and Regulations Relating to Parking on State property in the Capitol Area