By Debbie Siegelbaum - 02/08/12 08:55 PM EST
With the funding boost, the Capitol Police aim to add 19 new sworn and civilian positions, taking their staffing levels from 2,145 to 2,164. Morse noted that this number would still be below the department’s authorized staffing levels.
“To operate within our current budget, we are currently carrying out our mission requirements with 1,775 of our 1,800 sworn positions and 370 of our authorized 443 civilian positions, and with only limited training,” Morse testified.
Additional requested funding would go toward training, which has been “greatly reduced” in previous fiscal years due to budget cuts.
“Training has been limited to only those areas that are critical and mandatory as required by law, rule, or regulation, or necessary to meet core mission activities,” Morse added. “This budget includes the overtime funding that specifically relates to the training needs of sworn staff to give them the time needed to be offline and receive training in a number of key areas.”
The department is also requesting an additional $800,000 in FY13 to support security and law enforcement activities associated with the 2013 presidential inauguration. The event will mean an increase in personnel overtime, Morse noted.
As other agencies continue to make do with less, Morse highlighted the ever-changing nature of Capitol Police duties. So far, this fiscal year alone, the department screened nearly 3 million visitors to the Capitol complex, made more than 200 arrests, conducted more than 35,000 K-9 sweeps and screened nearly 8,300 vehicles.
“We realize that the Department’s funding levels have grown in recent years, as opposed to other Legislative Branch entities, due to requirements set forth to support an expanding mission load,” he concluded. “The proposed FY 2013 budget ... will address and mitigate identified security challenges that may potentially affect the safety of the Capitol complex and our ability to keep up with the changing security environment and threat level.”