Colorado's members of Congress, like most, don't travel with security

Coffman said that they're encouraged to work with local law enforcement.

KUSA - Colorado's Congressional delegation do not rank high enough to have security detail outside of the Capitol.

Third-highest ranking House Republican Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, was critically injured in a shooting an Alexandria, Va. baseball field on Wednesday morning. Capitol Police were present, and took down the shooter Monday, because he is a high-ranking Congressional leader. 

Members of Congress have taken heat lately for avoiding public town halls, which are now under more scrutiny because of security concerns.

"If you're not concerned about your own safety, you have to be concerned about the safety of others, the people around you," Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colorado, told 9NEWS.

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"What I worry sometimes is when there's an event that becomes public or I'm inviting the public, am I creating a soft target? Is law enforcement addressing the issue? Am I being too casual about it? It's not thinking about my safety; it's thinking about the safety of those around me," Coffman said.

Coffman held a town hall in Aurora in mid-April. On Wednesday night, he hosted a telephone town hall from Washington, D.C. He told 9NEWS that he'll have another in-person town hall in August.

"I think that we already take precautions back in the Congressional District. We're encouraged to work with local law enforcement, share our schedules with them," said Coffman. "What we're required to do when we're back in our respective districts is work with our local law enforcement to make sure that there is coverage at these events so that we don't have another incident like we had in Arizona where Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was seriously wounded, and there were people around her in attendance at her event that were killed."

"We're at large events like that and events with delegates because we're concerned about everybody's safety. It's not just to keep once person safe, it's to keep everybody at the event safe," said Aurora Police Spokesman Officer Bill Hummel.

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colorado, recently held three town halls last month, including one in Boulder. In a statement, Boulder Police said:

"We do not have any security requirements related to congressional events. We work with staffers and they notify us if they believe the event could be contentious in nature. If someone does not have private security they can potentially hire an off-duty officer to work at the event. We do not act as security simply because someone does not have their own security."

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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