April 23, 2021

DES MOINES, Iowa - The Department of Public Safety and the Iowa State Patrol's Executive Protection Unit have been providing a safe and secure environment for Iowa’s Governors and their families since 1970, starting with Governor Robert Ray. The State of Iowa is continually reviewing infrastructure security protocols and technology upgrades across the Capitol Complex and the Governor’s residence. These reviews have included considerations of the need for security enhancements, such as perimeter fencing at Terrace Hill, since at least 2017. 

Additionally, the United States Department of Homeland Security Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency recommended, among other measures, the need for perimeter security fencing at Terrace Hill on more than one occasion, with the latest assessment taking place in January of 2020.   

“Security enhancements to Terrace Hill benefit all future governors,” said Iowa Department of Public Safety Commissioner Stephan Bayens. “Terrace Hill serves as the family home for our Governors and their families, and we need to provide the safest environment possible for them. These enhancements are part of an overall state initiative to improve the security footprint at our state facilities.”  

Repeated threats against our elected officials, to include Governor Reynolds, have been widespread and alarming, and Iowa is one of only a few states in the nation that do not have perimeter security fencing around the Governor’s residence.  The foiled attempt to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has only reinforced our longstanding concerns. The State of Michigan recently installed a perimeter fence at Governor Whitmer’s residence as part of a recent security upgrade. 

Terrace Hill is "Iowa's Home" and tours are available to the public Tuesday through Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Tour reservations must be made 48 hours in advance and can be made by calling 515-242-5841. Terrace Hill also offers public events including an Easter egg hunt and Christmas at Terrace Hill. Please visit the following website for more information: https://terracehill.iowa.gov/visit


The Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) is the largest law enforcement agency in the state. It includes six divisions and several bureaus, all working together with local, state and federal government agencies and the private sector, to keep Iowa a safe place by following our core values: leadership, integrity, professionalism, courtesy, service and protection. Divisions within the Iowa DPS: Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Iowa State Patrol, Iowa State Fire Marshal Division, Iowa Division of Intelligence and Fusion Center, and Administrative Services Division. The Department of Public Safety is led by the Commissioner who is appointed by the Governor.

Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 E 7th St
Des Moines IA 50319