Published April 22, 2023

Capitol Security 

Written by
Lydia Hoverson
| The Dakotan

Keeping it Safe 

BISMARCK – The North Dakota State Capitol is a place where many hot topics are discussed, thus providing a high-profile environment that may require security at times. 

Darcy Aberle, director of Capitol security, said security is at the Capitol all year round, 24 hours a day. 

Some of the security guards are what Aberle calls gray shirts, which are civilian people that aren’t sworn officers, but they cover the cameras 24 hours a day. 

“Holidays, snow days, it doesn’t matter,” said Aberle. “We’re never closed.” 

Not only does the Capitol security keep an eye out for the building, but the whole campus, besides the Heritage Center which has its own security. 

“Most of the incidents we have are just unruly people,” said Aberle. “Someone intoxicated, we have to kick out of the building. Very few people we’ve had to ban from the building.” 

Aberle said actual arrests where a person is banned from a certain area happens about every three months. 

“We’re busy all the time,” said Aberle. “There’s people coming in all the time in the building. Dealing with all floors in here, the Department of Transportation, the library.” 

A North Dakota Highway Patrol vehicle for the State Capitol security. (Photo: Lydia Hoverson/The Dakotan)

During the winter, the Capitol is open five days a week, and during the summer it is open on the weekends for tours of the Capitol. Aberle said during legislative season the Capitol is taking in an average of 500 people a day. 

“That’s just through security, not counting state employees or anything like that,” said Aberle. “When the House and Senate are in session, we try to have a sworn officer on both sides.” 

Aberle said the sergeant at arms are the people who must keep the chambers orderly and follow House and Senate rules. 

“We’re mainly there for disruptful people that have been warned by sergeant at arms and then we have to remove them,” said Aberle. “Once they’ve been told by sergeant at arms that they no longer can do that action, well now they’ve been warned. We only follow state law.” 

As of now Aberle is the only sworn officer working in the Capitol. 

“I have to grab whoever I can find to help out,” said Aberle. “It’s going to be Highway Patrol. Anyone who’s a road trooper. So we’re taxing the road by taking someone off the road. We do have people who are working strictly with the governor, so if one of them is available I'll grab one of them. I try to have two or three people around.” 

Overall, however, Aberle says North Dakota is a safe place. 

Stay connected to the latest news
Subscription Form (#3)

About the Author

Trending Now
The Dakotan Newsletter
Subscribe to get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox
Newsletter Form (#4)
© AndMuse, LLC 2024 Login Email
LIVE: 2022 Minot Mayoral Forum
Click to Watch Live
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram