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Banned Wichita City Hall items include ink markers

February 22, 2012|By Brian Heap | Factfinder 12 Investigator

(WICHITA, Kan.) — Guns, knives, crossbows, explosives, hazardous chemicals.  Those are just a few of the items the public can't bring into Wichita City Hall.

Factfinder 12 Investigators learned that list also includes Sharpie brand permanent markers.

Security officers will take the pens away from citizens upon entry to the building and return them as a person walks out. 

"At the surface, I can see how there would be some concern or maybe thinking this is just ridiculous," said WPD spokesman Lt. Doug Nolte.

Nolte said there have been at least 20 incidents of vandalism at city hall since 2008 in which markers or Sharpies were used to deface the building and spread hate speech or anti-government messages.

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As a result, markers were added to the list of banned items. 

Nolte said exceptions to the banned items policy are made on a case by case basis.  For example, if a construction worker needs a hatchet, he could get pre-approval to bring the item into the building.  A reporter who requires a Sharpie could also get the same advance approval, Nolte said.  

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