BOSTON (SHNS) – Visitors to any of the state agencies in the McCormack Building across Bowdoin Street from the State House now have to show a photo ID to enter, part of a new policy that took effect Monday.
Under the new visitor access policy, anyone without a state employee ID now must present a photo ID at the “security visitor management desk” in the lobby, the Division of Capital Asset Maintenance and Management said. The ID policy mirrors procedures in place at other city highrises and office buildings.
Security officials will enter the visitor’s information, including destination, into a “visitor management system” and provide a temporary guest badge that must be worn while in the building. Visitors without a valid photo ID will be denied entry, DCAMM said.
Visitors will then have to proceed through a security checkpoint, as had already been required.
Before Monday, visitors to One Ashburton Place would have to go through security but were not required to sign in or disclose their destination in the building.
DCAMM said the new security policy at Ashburton is being implemented to “enhance security and life safety at the McCormack Building and to bring the McCormack Building in line with other state buildings.”
Some state office buildings, like the Leverett Saltonstall Building or the Charles F. Hurley Building on Staniford Street, require visitors to present an ID before going through security. At the State House, visitors must pass through a security check but are not required to present an ID or state a destination.
In August, Adam Elias was plucked from a security position at the Boston Convention and Exposition Center to take a new position as director of State House security.
“This new position will enhance the State House’s existing safety framework through coordination and oversight,” House Speaker Robert DeLeo said at the time. “The State House is both a place of work and a living museum. As such, it’s essential that we takes steps to foster a safe, secure and open building. I look forward to seeing the good work that Mr. Elias will do.”
Security at the State House was dramatically tightened after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, with numerous points of public access to the building sealed off, access to the State House grounds severely curtailed, and metal detectors installed at the building’s two public entry points.
In recent years, the state has added surveillance cameras throughout the building.
Before working at the convention center authority, Elias worked for Valor Security Services, managing 21 officers responsible for coordinating public safety at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. He graduated from Merrimack College in North Andover, and earned his master’s degree from Suffolk University.
“Balancing access while creating a safe and secure environment at one of the commonwealth’s most iconic buildings and high profile public spaces creates a unique set of challenges and I look forward to getting started,” Elias said at the time of his appointment.
The State House security director will be physically located at the State House and report directly to the chiefs of staff of the offices of the governor, the Senate president, and speaker of the House. The director will act as the State House’s liaison with federal, state and local law enforcement and public safety agencies, including Homeland Security, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, State Police, Bureau of the State House, Department of Conservation and Recreation and city of Boston.
The House last week approved a $3.5 billion bond bill that included $13.5 million for the “study, design and construction of a phased renovation of the John W. McCormack Building.”
Renovations to the State House have picked up in recent years, including major updates to the governor’s office and the ongoing Senate chamber renovation.