DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa Department of Public Safety on Friday announced they would install perimeter security fencing around the Governor’s residence at Terrace Hill in Des Moines.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety and the Iowa State Patrol’s Executive Protection Unit have protected Iowa’s Governors and their families since 1970, starting with the late Governor Robert Ray. The state continually reviews infrastructure security protocols and technology upgrades across the Capitol Complex and the Governor’s residence at Terrace Hill. Since 2017, these reviews included considerations of the need for security enhancements, such as perimeter fencing at Terrace Hill.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety also noted that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency recommended, among other measures, the need for perimeter security fencing at Terrace Hill on more than one occasion, with the latest assessment taking place in January of 2020.
“Security enhancements to Terrace Hill benefit all future governors,” said Iowa Department of Public Safety Commissioner Stephan Bayens. “Terrace Hill serves as the family home for our Governors and their families, and we need to provide the safest environment possible for them. These enhancements are part of an overall state initiative to improve the security footprint at our state facilities.”
The Iowa Department of Public Safety explained that repeated threats against our elected officials, including Governor Reynolds, have been widespread and alarming, and Iowa is one of only a few states in the nation that does not have perimeter security fencing around the Governor’s residence. They said the foiled attempt to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer reinforced their longstanding concerns. The State of Michigan recently installed a perimeter fence at Governor Whitmer’s residence as part of a recent security upgrade.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety acknowledged that Terrace Hill is “Iowa’s Home” and will remain open to the public through scheduled tours Tuesday through Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Tour reservations must be made 48 hours in advance and can be made by calling 515-242-5841. Terrace Hill also offers public events including an Easter egg hunt and Christmas at Terrace Hill. Please visit the following website for more information: https://terracehill.iowa.gov/visit.