Frustrated by a lack of explanation for the clamping down of access to the Capitol building, Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney said his deputies yesterday were pulled from a duty to keep people from entering the Capitol. "Over the last two days we have placed those law enforcement officers in the position of being palace guards," Mahoney said. Mahoney said an entire day went by yesterday before the Department of Administration offered a reason for locking doors to the building. The public has only been allowed into the Capitol through the King Street entrance since yesterday. Mahoney said his officers have been at the Capitol to ensure public safety and for people on both sides to have freedom of speech and Assembly, not to restrict those rights. He said he's "never been prouder than these past two weeks" of his officers. Mahoney said he believes law enforcement and public safety is being jeopardized by the restrictions. "I am confident having talked with our staff on the Capitol grounds that we still have a peaceful demonstration. But it's crucial that individuals have a voice and access to their lawmakers," Mahoney said. The deputies had been told that the doors would be open at 8 a.m. yesterday, but that didn't happen and the officers didn't find out why until the afternoon, Mahoney said. "When asked to stand guard at the doors that duty was turned over to the Wisconsin State Patrol because our deputies would not stand and be palace guards," Mahoney said. "I refused to put deputy sheriffs in a position to be palace guards." WisPolitics Budget Blog: Mahoney: Officers aren't the "palace guard"