Capitol Police Chief to Tell Congress “Significant Improvements” Since Jan. 6

The U.S. Capitol Police chief will tell Congress on Wednesday that while much work remains to be done, the agency has made “significant improvements” to protect the building in the year since a pro-Trump mob clashed violently with her officers and desecrated the hallways. of Congress.

“January 6 revealed critical gaps in operational planning, intelligence, staffing and equipment,” Chief J. Tom Manger told members of the Senate Rules Committee, according to his prepared statement. “I recognize that these issues need to be resolved, and that is what we are doing.”

Lawmakers are taking a closer look at the events of last year’s attack and are keeping the pressure on the agency, which is charged with protecting the Capitol. The Rules Committee released a bipartisan report with the Senate Homeland Security Committee in June that made recommendations for major reforms by the Capitol Police, from improving training and communication to overhauling the intelligence gathering.

Eat is expected to tell senators on Wednesday that the agency “has implemented – or is implementing – all of them.”

Michael Bolton, the Capitol Inspector General of Police, told the committee last month that the police force had not implemented enough of the necessary changes in the wake of the Jan.6 attack.

Bolton said that “out of 200 security enhancements the department provided to the Inspector General, only 61 of those items have supporting documentation to substantiate that these enhancements have taken place.” He also said the agency had only implemented 30 of the more than 100 recommendations made by his office.

Manger, who took office as chief after the Jan.6 riot, plans to tell Congress that on Wednesday the department responded to “more than 90” of the 103 recommendations issued by Bolton’s office. In his prepared remarks, Manger also says the department is hiring a full-time intelligence director, one of Bolton’s recommendations.

Congress and President Joe Biden recently gave the Capitol Police Chief of Police the power to directly request assistance from the National Guard and federal law enforcement in an emergency. Biden signed a bill last month streamlining the previous process, which slowed law enforcement response to the Jan.6 riot.

Before the new law, the Capitol Police Chief needed approval to seek help from the Capitol Police Board, a four-member panel that includes the Senate Architect and House Sergeants-at-Arms and of the Senate. The new authority was one of the recommendations made by the two Senate committees in June.

The Capitol Police Council on Tuesday released a report highlighting progress in areas such as improved equipment for officers, such as tactical equipment.

“Based on the above security improvements and those that are underway, we are confident that the Capitol complex is more secure today than before January 6, 2021,” the board said in The report. In addition, the changes and improvements made by the USCP have transformed the USCP into a more prepared law enforcement agency. However, we cannot afford to be complacent.

Top Democrats applauded the improvements.

“Today’s report shows continued progress in this vital mission,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Said in a statement.

Representative Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., Who heads the administration committee, praised the steps taken in “interagency operational planning and coordination, intelligence gathering and assessment, training and equipment.”

But Manger does not adhere to all of the recommendations made by Congress. He should reject the idea of ​​making the agency’s Civil Unrest Unit, which is formed to respond to protests and other protests, a permanent part of the agency.

“Considering our current vacancies, our budget and the mission needs of other parts of the department, this is something we cannot accomplish in the short term,” he said in prepared remarks by Wednesday.

In his opening statement and in the Capitol Police Board report, Manger noted “improvements” to the Civilian Disruption Unit, such as increased personnel and training.

Haley talbot and Garrett haake contributed.

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