Capitol police chief calls for permanent fencing, back-up security
Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman on Thursday called for the Capitol to have permanent fencing and back-up security to prevent another riot.
“In light of recent events, I can unequivocally say that the vast improvements to the physical security infrastructure must be made to include permanent fencing, and the availability of ready, back-up forces in close proximity to the Capitol,” Pittman said in a statement.
The Capitol police, along with other officials and organizations, have been reviewing the events of Jan. 6 and assessing the security of the Capitol building.
A seven-foot security fence was erected the day after the Capitol was overrun by hundreds of supporters of former President Trump. Police were severely outnumbered and the riot left five people dead, including a police officer.
While the security fencing has been up around the Capitol since Jan. 7, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) said Thursday that she did not want fencing to become a “long-term fixture” in the city.
“As I noted earlier this week, even before September 11, 2001, security experts argued that more needed to be done to protect the U.S. Capitol,” Pittman said. “In fact, a 2006 security assessment specifically recommended the installation of a permanent perimeter fence around the Capitol.”
“We don’t want extra troops or fences to be a long-term fixture,” Bowser said.
Pittman took control as acting police chief for the Capitol two days after the riot when the previous chief stepped down. Security in the city will continue to remain high with the upcoming impeachment trial of Trump in the Senate.