Watchdog says Capitol Police have not made enough improvements since Jan. 6

Greg Nash

The inspector general for the U.S. Capitol Police testified on Tuesday that the department has not made enough improvements since the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, telling lawmakers that more has to be done “to achieve the goal of making the Capitol Complex safe and secure.

“Although the Department has addressed some of our recommendations and have made security improvements throughout the Capitol Complex, much work still needs to be addressed in relation to Training, Intelligence, cultural change and Operational Planning,” Michael Bolton told the Senate Rules and Administration Committee in prepared remarks.

Bolton said that of the 200 security enhancements the department has provided to the Office of the Inspector General, only 61 have evidently taken place. 

He also testified that roughly 200 Capitol Police officers have departed the force since the Capitol attack, according to NBC News.

Bolton said that while the Capitol Police has updated its policies and procedures, increased training for its civil disturbance units and hired a subject matter expert for the planning and coordination of large events or high-profile demonstrations, the force “still has more work” to do.

The inspector general said the Capitol Police still does not have overall training infrastructure to address the needs of the department, or an adequate level of intelligence gathering and expertise.

Additionally, he testified during the oversight hearing that “an overall cultural change” is required “to move the Department into a Protective Agency as opposed to a traditional Police Department.”

The Capitol Police Office of Inspector General detailed shortcomings of the division in charge of protecting congressional leadership in an October report, which revealed that the Dignitary Protection Division was down at least a quarter of its staff on Jan. 6 and did not have the ballistic vests needed. The office also said the division did not have a plan of action for the day of the attack.

Outside the division, the report aired concerns about the department’s command center and its capability to direct outside law enforcement authorities that responded to the riots.


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