National Security

Capitol Police hiring retired Secret Service agent to oversee event planning

The U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) has hired a retired Secret Service agent to oversee event planning, as the department works to make changes following the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

The agency announced the hiring of Wesley Schwark in a statement on Thursday. The department said he will "lead USCP's major event planning, to include National Special Security Events."

"Mr. Schwark's 25-year law enforcement career will help us improve our now Department-wide operations planning processes," acting Chief Yogananda Pittman said in a statement.

"This is yet another critical step we are taking to ensure a violent attack like January 6 never happens again," she added.

The announcement of Schwark's hire comes two days after Senate investigators released their report on the Jan. 6 attack, which outlined a series of intelligence and communication failures leading up to the riot.

The report included a number of warnings of violence that were poorly circulated and largely disregarded by top leaders in several agencies, which left Capitol Police officers unprepared for confrontations with hundreds of protesters both inside and outside the building.

The department said its leadership was "answering the calls for change from a series of post January 6 reviews," when announcing Schwark's hire.

Schwark was previously assigned to the Presidential Protective Division, where he served under the George W. Bush and Obama administrations. In that assignment, Capitol Police said, he conducted "numerous physical risk assessments and mitigation operations both domestically and internationally."

He also spent time in the Dignitary Protection Division, where he led special events planning.

Schwark's hire comes as the Capitol Police continue to face fallout following the Jan. 6 attack.

The department's assistant chief resigned from his post on Monday, which was followed by calls from the Capitol Police union for Pittman and other senior leaders to resign following the release of the report from Senate investigators.

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