Jan. 6, 2021 Violence in the Capitol

Review of Capitol Security Calls for Major Changes After Jan. 6 Attack

By Rohini Kurup
Monday, March 8, 2021, 1:45 PM

A report released on March 5 that was commissioned by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls for sweeping changes to U.S. Capitol security in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 attack. Pelosi tasked Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré—best known for leading the task force that was in charge of the U.S. military response to Hurricane Katrina—with leading the six-week nonpartisan review of security at the Capitol. The recommendations outlined in the report include expanding the Capitol Police’s intelligence team, installing a retractable fence around the building and establishing a permanent quick-reaction force for all of Washington, D.C..

The report says that Capitol Police is ill-equipped to deal with the “volume and nature” of threats against the Capitol and members of Congress, many of which “increasingly come from domestic elements.” It recommends filling the current 233 Capitol Police vacancies and adding an additional 874 positions to “fill assessed capability gaps, which includes intelligence specialists, operational planners, supervisors, Civil Disturbance Unit (CDU) personnel and trainers, and dignitary protection agents.”

In response to the communications issues and slow deployment of National Guard troops on Jan. 6, the report recommends giving the Capitol Police chief the authority in emergency circumstances to request National Guard and external law enforcement support without the Capitol Police board’s preapproval.

“Any security measure that reduces physical access to the Capitol Complex makes it less accessible to the public it serves,” the report says. “As representatives of the people, Members understandably seek to be available to their constituents and transparent about their travel and activities, yet such openness can create physical security vulnerabilities. As such, a bicameral approach to security improvements is essential to reducing vulnerabilities and safeguarding Members in the Capitol and in their Districts.”

You can read the report here and below: