Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson has been below a full-time safety element since shortly after her election

State regulation enforcement additionally moved to guard households of the state’s Congress members throughout the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol assault.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson was assigned a full-time safety element shortly after the November election public security officers confirmed to The Tribune. Officers say the elevated safety was in response to a reputable menace.

  | Feb. 25, 2021, 1:08 p.m.

Shortly after the 2020 election, then-Lt. Gov.-elect Deidre Henderson and her household have been assigned an around-the-clock safety element from the Utah Freeway Patrol and it stays to today.

In a extra non permanent safety transfer, Utah Freeway Patrol troopers have been dispatched throughout the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol to offer safety for the households of Utah’s six members of Congress.

Each of those safety responses, no means earlier than reported, have been confirmed to The Salt Lake Tribune the Utah Division of Public Security. In addition they are an acknowledgment of the fractious — doubtlessly violent — politics of the occasions.

Such safety precautions are uncommon, if not unprecedented, in Utah, exterior the large law-enforcement preparations for the 2002 Winter Video games in Salt Lake Metropolis quickly after the 9/11 terrorist assaults.

Whereas it’s routine for the governor to have a full-time safety element, that is the primary time such long-term safety has been afforded to the lieutenant governor.

The safety element for Henderson was initiated after a selected menace was recognized, Lt. Nick Avenue, Division of Public Security (DPS) spokesperson, advised The Tribune.

“There was a professional menace delivered to our consideration. Based mostly on our evaluation, we decided there was a necessity that warranted a response,” he stated.

DPS wouldn’t present any particulars concerning the nature of the menace, however acknowledged the element for Henderson stays in place. Henderson’s workplace referred any questions on safety preparations to DPS.

Not less than one different member of the Legislature has requested DPS to reply to a potential menace.

Households of Utah’s congressional delegation, in the meantime, acquired non permanent safety safety amid the chaos of the January assault on the U.S. Capitol a mob of Donald Trump supporters. The siege was so alarming, DPS felt it required a right away response.

“We didn’t know what sort of menace there was,” stated Avenue. “We determined to place safety on all the delegation.”

Rank-and-file members of Congress aren’t often afforded safety after they journey to and from Washington, D.C. That was highlighted a video of a Trump supporter accosting Sen. Mitt Romney within the Salt Lake Metropolis Worldwide Airport the day earlier than the Capitol riot. Romney additionally was jeered chants of “traitor” some fellow passengers on his flight to D.C.
“It’s type of mind-boggling that members of Congress are so uncovered after they’re in public like that,” stated Spencer Stokes who traveled with then-Sen. Orrin Hatch in 1999. “He was very recognizable and folks approached him fairly often” with out incident. In his remaining years in Washington, nevertheless, Hatch was assigned a full-time safety element as Senate president professional tempore, third in line within the presidential succession.
Again in Utah, safety on the state Capitol has been elevated in latest months following the U.S. Capitol riot. Forty troopers initially assigned to help with safety for President Joe Biden’s inauguration have been saved residence after a deliberate armed protest on the Capitol on Jan. 17. That protest fizzled out after Gov. Spencer Cox declared an emergency and closed the Capitol complicated to the general public via the primary a number of days of the legislative session.

The Utah commissioner of public security, presently Jess Anderson, has statutory authority to offer safety for elected officers and dignitaries within the state. That “dignitary safety” program is liable for offering safety for the governor and his household, each homes of the Utah Legislature when they’re in session, and different visiting dignitaries.

The price range for the dignitary safety program final 12 months was $4.076 million. This 12 months, the Govt Places of work and Prison Justice Appropriations Committee included a funding request from DPS for $900,000 in ongoing funds and $480,000 from one-time cash meant for “govt safety.” The request notes that cash is for “a mixture of added safety for govt (constitutional officers) and the Legislature each for the Capitol Advanced however in some circumstances, past the Capitol relying on menace ranges.” Based mostly on that language, the rise in funding may seemingly cowl the elevated value of a 24/7 safety element for Henderson. DPS couldn’t instantly pinpoint the worth tag for the added safety.
It’s not simply safety for the lieutenant governor that’s including to the prices. SB222 from Sen. Don Ipson, R-St. George, duties the workplace of govt safety with offering safety for public officers and their workers, in addition to the Capitol Hill complicated.

“We’re very involved concerning the security of a few of our staffers,” stated Ipson. “We simply wished to ensure DPS was extra conscious of the safety of our workers.”

Ipson’s invoice additionally places strict limits on these additional safety preparations for individuals aside from the governor. After 15 days, the general public security commissioner should approve any extension of the added safety and report back to the Senate president and Home speaker.

The proposal carries a price ticket of $1.18 million subsequent 12 months, and $680,000 the next 12 months.

Ipson’s invoice was authorized a Senate committee on Wednesday and now heads to the Senate ground.

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