US Capitol Police say political climate requires more resources to keep lawmakers safe
Following the attack on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) husband Paul Pelosi, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said that more resources are necessary to provide security for lawmakers due to the contentious political climate.
“Friday’s attack against Paul Pelosi is an alarming reminder of the dangerous threats elected officials and public figures face during today’s contentious political climate,” Manger said in a statement on Tuesday.
Manger said that the Capitol Police made security improvements following the 2011 shooting of then-Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) and the 2017 Congressional baseball practice shooting in which House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) was shot, as well as after the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.
“With the increasing number of threats against elected officials from city council members to federal judges, our work to further our efforts to protect the Members of Congress becomes increasingly urgent,” Manger said.
The Capitol Police force is on track to meet its goal of hiring nearly 280 officers by the end of the year, Manger said, but is still working on meeting its long-term plans to expand protective operations.
“We believe today’s political climate calls for more resources to provide additional layers of physical security for Members of Congress,” Manger said.
Last year, President Biden signed into law security supplemental legislation that provided more than $70 million to support Capitol Police staffing, intelligence, protective details for members of Congress, and other security measures; as well as $35.4 for the Capitol Police to support additional measures and cooperation with other law enforcement agencies.
The Capitol Police is engaged in a review of Friday’s attack on Paul Pelosi.
“We believe today’s political climate calls for more resources to provide additional layers of physical security for Members of Congress,” Manger said. “This plan would include an emphasis on adding redundancies to the measures that are already in place for Congressional leadership. Hopefully you can understand that we cannot disclose the details about these improvements because our country cannot afford to make it easier for any potential bad actors.”
Manger also pushed for more prosecutions of those who make threats against members of Congress.
“During this time of heightened political tension, we continue to monitor thousands of cases across the country – in an effort to stop potential threats before they make headlines. During the past five-years, roughly 12-percent of cases – in which we identified people making threats – have been prosecuted,” Manger said. “We hope to see more of these cases prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
The suspect in the attack against Paul Pelosi, 42-year-old David Wayne DePape, is facing both federal and local charges.
The Department of Justice charged DePape with assault and attempted kidnapping on Monday.
The San Francisco Disctrict Attorney on Monday announced that DePape would be charged with attempted murder, residential burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, false imprisonment of an elder and threats to a public official and their family.