The same day the commissioner of public safety pitched his budget to a legislative appropriations committee, his troopers arrested a car burglar in the parking lot just northeast of the Capitol.
The arrest, which came on the first day of a sting operation aimed at ending a rash of car burglaries at the Capitol, became significant when one lawmaker asked why the state couldn't just hire private security to patrol the Capitol and to protect the governor so that 25 protective service officers could be put out on the highways.Dearden said those who determine liability in state government would never go for the idea.
Capitol security this year, like law enforcement across the state, has become more creative with the same amount of resources. In the past few weeks, there have been dozens of car burglaries, one of the toughest crimes to solve.
So, troopers working at the Capitol set up a sting operation and, within a few hours, watched as a man broke the window of a mini-van and stole a purse. They chased him into Memory Grove, where he was caught and arrested.
Ironically, when they ran the van's license plate to let the owner know his or her window was broken, it came back to a state trooper.
The committee that will approve Dearden's budget will vote on it Friday.