State Capitol’s new police chief plans to crack down on protesters

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MADISON (AP) — The state Capitol’s new police chief says he’s going to crack down on protesters who don’t follow the building’s rules.

Capitol Police Chief David Erwin says he has reached an agreement with Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne calling for the state Justice Department to handle civil citations and Ozanne to take any criminal complaints.

Capitol Police have issued scores of citations in the 18 months since protesters occupied the Capitol to demonstrate against Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to curtail public unions’ power. Ozanne has dismissed the lion’s share of the citations, however, and a group of protesters still sing in the Capitol rotunda every day.

Erwin says he respects people’s rights to protest but wants to make the Capitol a safe place to conduct state business.