Capitol Police chief says force is ‘much better prepared’ after Jan. 6, but threats remain
U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) Chief Tom Manger said the “big failures” that occurred during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack have been fixed, but acknowledged there is more work to do for the force to be better prepared in the future.
In an interview shared Monday by NPR, Manger said he plans to hire 280 officers a year and is on track to meet that goal, with 195 officers currently in training.
A key issue raised after Jan. 6 was that police were vastly underprepared for the rioting, despite some warnings and indications on social media.
Manger, who was appointed chief of the USCP in the summer of 2021, said communication issues between Capitol police and other law enforcement agencies were the “kinds of things that we immediately knew we had to fix.”
“The big things, the big failures that occurred on January 6th have largely been fixed,” Manger said, adding the force is “much better prepared.”
Manger is headed to the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday for a ceremony in which the USCP will receive a congressional gold medal, along with the Metropolitan Police Department, for defending the federal building on Jan. 6.
Congress previously passed a resolution honoring both agencies for their efforts in protecting lawmakers that day.
A mob of pro-Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in an attempt to overturn the certification of the 2020 election, leading to the injuries of more than 100 police officers.
Several police officers died by suicide after the attack, and Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick suffered two strokes and died of natural causes a day after the rioting.
Manger told NPR that Jan. 6 “was a very dark day in our country’s history and certainly a dark day for the Capitol Police.”
“I’ve often said that anyone who defines the Capitol Police Department by that one day is making a mistake, because these men and women are amazing professionals, courageous, smart and hardworking and very dedicated to their country,” he said.