State installs security buttons around the Capitol

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MADISON (AP) — Hundreds of security buttons have been installed around the state Capitol as the new police chief steps up efforts to improve a sense of safety in the statehouse.

Department of Administration officials say 482 buttons have been installed in offices around the Capitol. DOA spokeswoman Stephanie Marquis says the wireless buttons will send an alert to Capitol police who will respond immediately.

Protesters have routinely congregated in the Capitol to sing songs, hold banners and display signs that are generally in opposition to Gov. Scott Walker and Republicans. Chief David Erwin recently told The Associated Press that he respects the right to demonstrate, but believes some protesters’ behavior has crossed into intimidation.

Marquis tells says the button installation cost about $103,000.