By Jordy Yager - 12/06/09 11:10 PM EST
Despite a recent security snafu at the White House, Capitol Police have not altered security protocols for Congress, saying they remain vigilant as always.
U.S. Capitol Police officials have discussed the incident - in which two uninvited guests slipped into President Barack Obama’s first state dinner last month - with Secret Service officials, but did not heighten Capitol campus security.
“We share lessons learned, after action reports - as partners - in our collective continued efforts to facilitate optimum police operations and enhance security procedures. Our officers continue to remain vigilant at all times.”
The security blunder has caused an outcry among lawmakers on the Hill, as they called officials from the administration and the Secret Service to testify about the incident. The Secret Service has placed the agents involved on administrative leave.
Senate Sergeant at Arms Terry Gainer echoed Schneider’s comments, saying that Capitol security officials were already working with the Secret Service on safety preparations for Obama’s State of the Union address early next year.
“We are always monitoring threats, tactics and trying to improve,” Gainer said in an e-mail. “I believe the [White House] incident was an anomaly. The [Secret Service] are pros we admire [and] we work closely with them in a number of large events.”
The chairman of the committee charged with overseeing the U.S. Capitol Police force said in an interview on Thursday that the recent security breach at the White House was cause for security to be tightened on Capitol Hill.
“This makes (security officials on Capitol Hill) more aware,” said Rep. Robert Brady (D-Penn.), who, as the so-called “mayor” of Capitol Hill, heads up the Committee on House Administration.
Brady, however, said he has not pressed House Sergeant at Arms Bill Livingood on the issue, noting he remains confident that they will do whatever is necessary to ensure the Capitol’s security. A spokeswoman for Livingood’s office referred all questions to Schneider with the Capitol Police.
Earlier this week Mark Sullivan, the director of the Secret Service, attributed the mistake to human error. White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina said in a memo that staffers with the administration’s Social Office would be at the gates welcoming and verifying the invitations of future guests.
Obama on Thursday said that his confidence in the Secret Service is unshaken because of the event.
“They do an outstanding job,” Obama said in an interview with reporters from USA Today and the Detroit Free Press. “They have been with me since I was a candidate. I trust them 100 percent, not just with me but with my wife and my children.”
Brady called the crasher incident “a little scary,” saying that Obama has received more threats than previous commander in chiefs.
But Sullivan said Obama has not received any more threats than any previous president.
Bob Cusack contributed to this report