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Posted at 6:03 PM ET, 01/10/2011

Congressional staffs weigh security concerns after Gabrielle Giffords shooting

By Lisa Rein

District offices for members of Congress are sometimes in federal buildings or courthouse complexes guarded by police officers. Most, however, serve the public in places that are easy targets for a shooter: a strip mall, a storefront, an office building.

They are run by staffers, many of them young, who encounter constituents far from the security cocoon of the member's Washington office. Many of these aides, including Gabriel Zimmerman, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords's (D-Ariz.) community outreach director who was killed in the Arizona shootings Saturday, have been confronted in the office by angry constituents. But as lawmakers take a fresh look at their security arrangements, they have found no easy answers for giving their staffs better protection while maintaining open channels to the public.

Full-time patrols, bulletproof glass and other barriers, more secure buildings - all have come up in conversations that congressional staffs are having about potential changes to their district presence.

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By Lisa Rein  | January 10, 2011; 6:03 PM ET
Categories:  Congress, From The Pages of The Post, Workplace Issues  
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