Governor Tom Vilsack says a new bank of surveillance cameras are being installed at the state-owned governor’s mansion. The move comes amidst a review Vilsack ordered, and oversaw, after his son’s car was stolen from the grounds and wrecked October 15th.
Vilsack says several steps have been taken. The “old, out-dated” security camera system is being replaced. Jess Vilsack had left the keys in his car, but his dad says it’s not because Jess was raised in Mount Pleasant where people don’t necessarily lock the doors.
Vilsack says it had been common practice at Terrace Hill to leave keys in cars to let workers at the mansion easily move vehicles around if necessary. The governor says from now on, keys for cars parked at Terrace Hill will be taken to the troopers’ station for safekeeping, and for use if the car needs to be moved.
Finally, Vilsack says the troopers who are assigned to guard the grounds will get more training. He says there was a “fairly rapid transition” for some of the officers assigned to Terrace Hill, and the new officers didn’t realize they were to go on foot patrols on a regular basis. “I think you’ll see individuals at the house who will understand more specifically what their specific requirements are,” Vilsack says.
Vilsack is still not pleased about the security breach. “There were mistakes made,” Vilsack says. “Number one: the security system wasn’t adequate and wasn’t being checked on a regular basis. Number two: individuals who were supposed to be patrolling the grounds were not. Number three: I guess no one really thought about the consequence of people parking their cars and leaving the keys so (the cars) could be easily moved.”