State Capitol vandalism comes after DPS request for security boost

Scaffolding at the Texas State Capitol (KXAN Photo/Lauren Kravets)
Scaffolding at the Texas State Capitol (KXAN Photo/Lauren Kravets)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Department of Public Safety was in the process of asking for a boost in security staffing under the next state budget, as a man vandalized the Texas Capitol.

Tanner Christian Graeber, 22, of Fort Worth, bonded out of jail, but still faces felony charges after breaking into the Texas Capitol and damaging a painting early Sunday morning.

DPS is in charge of security at the Capitol. KXAN examined a budget request the department submitted to the state last month. It asked for an increase in DPS security program staffing from 274 full-time positions in the last fiscal year to 317 for each of the next two fiscal years. The request amounts to an overall increase in staff when two-year budgets are compared directly, despite the fact that the current fiscal year is budgeted for 330 security staff.

“As security threats increase, the strategies and the expense associated with the effort to combat threats also increase,” the legislative appropriations request notes.

Still, DPS in not requesting a funding increase to its security program. According to the recent filing, the program provides security for state officials, visitors and property. It also oversees security for state office buildings, a dozen parking garages, the Capitol complex, crime labs, and other facilities.

Texas DPS spokesperson Tom Vinger says that the department typically does not discuss specifics of its security practices.

However, the new budget request does touch on some of the states efforts.

“The Department has enhanced security measures at the Capital and Capitol Complex through the use of new technology, additional explosive detection canines, mounted patrol unit, and the addition of a bike patrol and counter surveillance unit,” the budget request notes. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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