Chief of Police: More officers are needed to reopen the capital

The U.S. Capitol Police chief said it was his recommendation to move forward with the reopening of the U.S. Capital in phases rather than reopening it entirely out of security concerns.

WASHINGTON – The head of the U.S. Capitol Police on Wednesday told lawmakers that his recommendation was to move ahead with a phased reopening of U.S. Capital because his agency was working to alleviate the discomfort following the Jan. 6 uprising and delays in hiring due to the epidemic.

Evidence before a House subcommittee makes clear that continuing security concerns are playing a major role in restricting public access to the Capitol, an increasingly painful issue with lawmakers on both sides who are calling for a return to normalcy after a two-year embargo.

U.S. Capital Police Chief Thomas Manger said the department does not have the staff to handle the number of positions needed to secure Capital and adjoining offices. Additional posts have been added after January 8.

“I’m sorry we’re at Chokepoint, we’re having trouble reopening it completely,” said Manger.

Capitol has seen more visitors return this week where congressional offices are limited to leading a weekly tour. The adjacent Capital Visitor Center will reopen on May 30 for a limited number of people.

“Towards the end of the summer, I hope we can do more,” said Manger.

Congress has increased funding for the agency since Jan. 6 to increase recruitment, cover overtime costs, and strengthen the complex’s security. Officers responding to the mutiny were given a risk bonus and retention bonuses to temporarily double their normal attrition levels. The budget for the coming financial year has recommended an increase of about 17%.

Manger said it takes time to get the number of officers the company needs, though. He said the agency has about 1,850 officers, but about 300 less than it should be. Some of these posts have already been sanctioned and about 130 officers are in training. Meanwhile, the agency loses about 75 to 80 in a typical year, through attrition.

“I believe at the moment we are actually moving towards losses, but we have a way to get to where we need to be before we get to where we need to be,” Manger told lawmakers.

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, who heads the subcommittee with jurisdiction over Capital Police spending, told Manger that lawmakers realized it was a “heavy lift” where they needed to be to get agency rankings.

“The American people want to come back here. Schools want to go back here. Tourists want to come back here, “Ryan said.” In light of what’s going on in the world, I think we should do our best to remind people that they can come and how important America is. Capitol Hall. “

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