Police step up patrols at Pennsylvania State Capitol after Virginia shooting

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HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The shooting attack on Republican U.S. congressmen while at baseball practice in Virginia Wednesday morning, raised safety concerns at the State Capitol in Harrisburg.

The shooting gives Capitol Police an opportunity to review its current security measures.

Capitol Police are wrapping up an $8 million security upgrade at the Capitol and surrounding complex. Although there are existing measures in place, they're still taking extra precautions.

News of a U.S. Congressman and aide shot during a GOP baseball team practice in Virginia caught the attention of both politicians and police in Pennsylvania.

Rep Seth Grove (R-York County) said "the first thing I saw was house majority whip shot, I'm like Brian Cutler, he's our House Majority Whip, down in DC, it's scary that individuals were targeting particularly congressmen."

Pennsylvania Department of General Services Spokesperson Troy Thompson said "it's a shame that things like these have to happen, however when they do, we here in Pennsylvania with the Capitol police at the Capitol Complex, we always take those opportunities to evaluate our own security measures."

Currently, that includes a ban on weapons and contraband, along with the completion of an $8 million security upgrade.

"Which has improved the number of cameras, the resolution, the incident command center, and the infrastructure for our security measures," Thompson said.

In the wake of the shooting attack in Alexandria, Virginia, Capitol Police aren't wasting any time to take extra precautions in Harrisburg.

"We have a heightened sense of awareness, and we're going to be more vigilant today. As you can see, we have some officers out here on the bicycle. We also are going to increase our patrols and manpower," Thompson said.

"We're going to do a couple other things and deploy other measures that I can't necessarily talk about, because I have to maintain the integrity of our security measures," Thompson added.

Many credit quick-acting U.S. Capitol Police for saving lives during the shooting, while closer to home, state representative Grove also recognizes the safety efforts of Pennsylvania's own Capitol Police.

"They're professional, they're helpful, they are courteous. They do a great job. They've had to deal with some protesters at times," Grove said.

"As chief Joe Jacob would say about the Capitol Complex, it's the safest place in Harrisburg. We have about 110 officers who work three different shifts to secure the Capitol and the surrounding complex," Thompson said.

None of the shooting victims was killed, but that hasn't stopped safety from being on the minds of many in Pennsylvania.

"I don't know what my family thinks when they see stuff like that, but it shouldn't get to that point where citizens are taking shots at fellow citizens for whatever reason," Grove said.

"If you're coming to the Capitol, visiting or working, just know that we're doing everything we can to make sure that you're safe," Thompson said.

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