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tv   U.S. Capitol Police Chief and Others Testify on Capitol Security Changes  CSPAN  January 31, 2022 4:03pm-6:12pm EST

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opposed to violence, whatever the source may be. it has no place in our democracy and the free expression of a person's political point of views. thank you to the witnesses and this meeting -- of the senate judiciary committee will stand adjourned. thank you. a new mobile video app from c-span, c-span now. download today. now a hearing on changes to
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u.s. capitol security. capitol police chief tom manger and architect of the capitol brett blanton appeared talking about staffing needs, increased funding and communication shortfalls, among other topics. this runs just over two hours. >> good morning to our panel. i'm pleased to welcome the chief of capitol police, tom manger, the house sergeant-at-arms, william walker, and the architect of the capitol, brett blanton, thank you for being with us today. we will never forget the events of january 6th. the capitol was attacked by violent insurrection. lives were lost in the days and weeks following. 140 police officers were assaulted. $1.5 million worth of damage was done to the capitol. and the lasting impacts of that
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day continue to be felt across the capitol complex and our community. how we remember and respond will determine how we collectively learn from the trials and mistakes that day. as we move forward, we do not want to fall into the trap of preparing to fight the last war. rather, we must thoughtfully plan to ensure the next one never happens. ignoring the mistakes of the past or refusing to learn and grow from them will only continue to leave the capitol campus vulnerable to unknown and unexpected threats. a lot of important work remains to get to the bottom of what happened that day, and i commend my colleagues on the select committee who are engaged in that very important work. the purpose of this subcommittee and this hearing specifically is not to litigate the facts of that day. our purpose today is to review where we are one year later and what changes have been made
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since january 6th, 2021, and to look ahead at what is still needed to keep members, staff, visitors, capitol police, and all employees on campus safe. in may 2021, the house passed a comprehensive security supplemental bill with significant investments in the capitol police, security improvements and member security. but after inaction in the senate, a slimmed down, compromised bill was agreed to in july of 2021. unfortunately, this included only $300 million of earmarked funding for the architect of the capitol for windows and doors and new security cameras. and $70.7 million for the u.s. capitol police salaries, equipment and other expenses related to the january 6th insurrection. in all, the shortsighted version
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that could get support from the republicans in the senate did not include other items, such as backfilling, funding for other activities in the aftermath of the attack, funding for security screening vestibules, landscape architecture, and retractable security barriers to protect the capitol complex and resources to improve member security and security in district offices. today i hope you can provide updates to the subcommittee as to how capitol police and the sergeant-at-arms are currently protecting the campus and its workforce and talk about the next steps to ensure the future physical safety of our campus. what changes have been made to improve the safety of doors and windows? what plans are in place to ensure a mob cannot again overrun access points in the capitol?
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what efforts have been taken to recruit and retain additional capitol police officers? simply, how is the capitol a safer place to work one year later? this subcommittee is interested in hearing about both how those supplemental funds are being spent and what gaps remain. on top of that, i need you to address the consequences to the safety and security of the capitol complex, if the fy-2022 regular appropriation is not enacted. as you all know, the continuing resolution runs out on february 18th and there are those who believe that it's better to punt instead of doing the hard work of funding the government. what are the repercussions to the legislative branch if the 2022 bill is not enacted and we are stuck with a continuing resolution at fy-2021 funding levels. i look forward to your answers to the questions i have raised
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and i want you to know that we're thankful for your service and the staff of your organizations that work so hard to make this house run. at this point, i would like to yield to my friend and colleague, jamie herrera beutler for any opening comments she would like to make. if not, mr. newhouse. >> can you hear me okay? thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you, general walker, chief manger, and mr. blanton for being here today. you know, i echo chairman ryan's thanks for everything that you do. we will be forever grateful for the heroic actions of your officers, your employees, on january 6th of last year and we're grateful for the actions of the metropolitan police department from d.c., the
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national guard and the other numerous other law enforcement agencies that came to the aid of the capitol, as well as we're grateful to their families at home, they did a lot for us and for this nation. the security threats that are facing the legislative branch are growing and changing. after 9/11, we were primarily concerned about foreign terrorist groups. and since january 6th, those foreign terrorist groups and the violent domestic groups on the right and left have revealed that there are a lot of vulnerabilities at the u.s. capitol. we must make changes to ensure no groups can successfully attack the u.s. capitol. or individual members. political violence has no place in our society, our democracy, or legislative process. and i hear this over and over again. i've heard so many people say, this group has been doing it, so this group can do it. this group has been doing it so this makes that okay.
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it always come back to when is it ever okay? that's the function of your democracy. that's the thing that sets us apart and makes us different. it's never okay. over the past year, congress has provided both funding and reforms to assist you in protecting the capitol complex. through the security supplemental appropriations bill, there was provided funds for the needs of the capitol police and security enhancements for the capitol building itself. we also have provided the capitol police chief the authority to request national guard and other agency support in an emergency. we need to ensure that the brave officers who are protecting the capitol and the functions of the legislative branch have the appropriate training and equipment. they should never again face circumstances like january 6th. we need to ensure that the leadership in place is providing actual leadership and support
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and train -- and has been trained in these types of circumstances to provide security coordination for large scale and routine events. i believe we need to ensure that intelligence is gathered, disseminated and acted upon in a productive way. and these changes don't just take funding. they require the leadership of each of you who is here to testify today. and that's what we're excited to hear about. we want to hear about the security supplemental funding is being used and if there are any additional funding or legislative requirements necessary to security the legislative branch and its activities. security is fundamental. it's up to you, the members of the capitol police board and your agencies to provide assurance so we may carry out our constitutional duty representing the american people without obstruction or fear. with that, i yield back. >> thank you, ms. herrera beutler. next is the chair of the full
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committee, representative rosa delauro. >> can you hear me? okay. yeah. thank you, both, for the hearing this morning and i want to say a thank you to our guests, general walker, chief of police manger, and to mr. blanton for testifying today. on january 6th, 2021, our nation gazed into the abyss and understood more fully than ever before that democracy and our democracy is fragile. a year later, it is still difficult to comprehend the gravity of this attack on our democracy. and i will never forget that amid this insurrection, capitol police told us to, quote, hit the floor and grab the gas masks under our seats as the mob headed for the house chamber. because of these brave women and
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men, our democracy proved its resilience, our institutions withstood the threat and we overcame the chaos. in recognition of their sacrifice and to uphold our responsibility to protect the republic, this committee passed into law almost a billion dollars to fund the capitol police and security the united states capitol, the citadel of democracy. with funding provided in the security supplemental, the capitol police have made changes over the past year in five critical areas. training, equipment and personnel, operational planning, the civil disturbance unit, and intelligence and incident command. but they still need our help. one year after the whoever horrors of that day the capitol police are still recovering. while their physical wounds may have healed, there is still so much more they will need to
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rebuild. over the past year, 135 capitol police officers have retired or resigned leaving the force dangerously depleted. those serious manpower challenges have also made it harder to take officers away from their posts for the training they need. for instance, i've heard directly from officers that they need more and more frequent trainings. and i heard from one on january 6th about training in the capitol itself and that we haven't done anything like that by way of training since 2007. so especially training within the capitol. we also know that the capitol police itself has identified the need for more training, more training staff and a larger training facility that could better accommodate the force's size and mission. i also understand that while
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progress has been made, there continues to be concerns about the adequacy of equipment for officers to protect themselves and this institution, and i hope we can discuss that today. finally, my colleagues and i have continuing concerns about the security for members and our office staff in our districts. that came up over and over again from members of about the sense of their security and the security of their families in districts. and while the house included -- in the house proposal, there was funding for member security and in their districts as well. that funding was outrageously, in my view, stripped in the u.s. senate. the number of potential threats has only grown. so sooner or later we will have to address this issue. and we want to hear your perspective on that matter.
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while we have already passed a security supplemental, we can continue to provide funding and oversight through this subcommittee's -- to this subcommittee's efforts here. and we have voted in this committee to increase the funding by $88.4 million. but this is being held up as my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are refusing to negotiate the appropriations bill. that is keeping the capitol police stuck at last year's funding levels and denying these heroes the resources they need to keep the capitol and all who work and visit here safe. as the architect of the capitol, mr. blanton, put in his -- in his testimony that delayed
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funding for projects has consequences. i believe it is time for my republican colleagues to work with democrats on government funding legislation that supports the brave men and women of the capitol police. we need to honor their sacrifice by providing the certainty that comes with sufficient annual funding. we need to have this conference process begin and i hope that we can use the insights from this hearing to shape the final legislation. we want to hear from you, to our witnesses, what do you need? how can we help? what reforms, including the capitol police board, must happen? by having these discussions, we can continue the long process of helping our community to heal and by doing so we can keep on moving forward. persisting in our quest to build a more perfect union.
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with that, i thank chairman ryan and ranking member herrera beutler, and i yield back. >> i thank the chairwoman. without objections, your written testimonies will be made part of the record. once the statements are complete, we will move to the question-and-answer period. i ask the panel to summarize your statements and highlight your efforts to the committee. we'll begin with chief manger. after his statements, we will turn to sergeant-at-arms walker and conclude with mr. blanton. chief, please begin. >> thank you. distinguished members of the committee, thank you for providing me the opportunity to speak about the significant improvements we've made following the events of january 6th, 2021, and to speak about the work that remains to be done. i want to begin by acknowledging
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the men and women of the capitol police who work so tirelessly to fulfill their mission of protecting the united states capitol, the members of congress, and the legislative process every day. and while i'm proud of our officers, the events of january 6th did expose critical department failures and deficiencies with operational planning, intelligence, staffing and equipment. i'm pleased to report that we have addressed a significant portion of the many recommendations issued to the department, in fact, of the more than 100 recommendations issued by the inspector general, we've implemented or are in the process of addressing over 90 of them. however, there's more work to be done. i also want to thank this committee for its support in providing the department the resources needed to address its critical needs. one of the most critical failures identified in the wake of january 6th was the lack of a department-wide operational plan for the joint session. an important first step we took to address that concern was on boarding a former secret service official with extensive
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experience in major event and national security event planning. guided by his expertise, we now take a multiphased approach to our planning process with a focus on information gathering, intelligence, asset determination, internal coordination, and most importantly, department wide dissemination of all intelligence and critical information before all large and high-risk events. this includes the creation of the department's first critical incident response plans which allows us to obtain assistance from our partner agencies. in short, a blueprint has been created and put into place for all significant future events. if january 6th taught us anything, it's that preparation matters. immediately after the 6th, the department focused on the need to strengthen our frontline officers for any demonstrations that involved the potential for violence, the need for a well-trained, well-we equipped cdu is crucial.
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recognizing the importance of our cdu officers, we developed a plan to create eight platoons and incentivize officers to remain in the unit. these platoons will be permanent units who members train together and are deployed together. of course, our first responders can't do their job without proper equipment. we've reviewed all equipment and with the assistance of this committee are upgrading the equipment to protect our officers and enhance our ability for crowd control. few changes are as dramatic as the ones that we've made in the way we gather, analyze, share, use, and disseminate intelligence. improvements to the department's lead intelligence component, the intelligence and interagency coordination division, began before january 6th. these improvements include a nationwide search for a permanent intelligence director and we're a couple weeks away from making that selection. the development of the united states capitol police
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intelligence product that is shared with the intelligence community, the issuance of a daily intelligence report distributed to all officers and officials. bi-weekly classified intelligence briefings, coordination with intelligence and law enforcement partners in advance of large or high-profile events. and we've increased our staffing by eight intelligence analysts since january 6th. we continue to be forward-looking in our efforts to ensure that the department has a strong and proven intelligence collection analysis and dissemination program. i want to thank all of you for your ongoing support during this process. i also acknowledge and appreciate the support that we have received from the capitol police board. today, i'm confident that the united states capitol police department has made significant progress in addressing the deficiencies that impacted the department's response on january 6th. and while more work remains to be done, the men and women of the capitol police stand ready to fulfill their mission each and every day.
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>> thank you, chief. general? >> good morning, chairman ryan, ranking member herrera beutler, chair delauro, i appreciate the opportunity to testify before you today and thank you for your ongoing support. it's an honor and privilege to serve this great institution. before i begin i must acknowledge the debt of gratitude we owe the capitol police, the metropolitan police department, the national guard and all the many law enforcement officers who came to support the capitol police and defend democracy a year ago. we must remember those we have lost over the past year, officer
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brian sicknick, officer howard livingood and officer billy evans and remember that many officers continue to bear scars from that fateful day. some seen and some unseen. however, their steadfast commitment to this institution serves as a powerful inspiration to all of us and i'm fortunate to work collaboratively with the dedicated officers of the united states capitol police. let me get to the bottom line, we are unquestionably safer today than we were a year ago today. the question is, are we safe enough? the answer is, work remains. because the threat landscape today is ever changing, the security of the united states capitol, its members, their staff, and our visitors is a never-ending journey, not a destination. to meet the security challenges posed by the constantly evolving
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threat, the officer of the house of sergeant-at-arms and the united states capitol police and our partners, the architect of the capitol and the chief administrative officer, we all must collaboratively work hard and be ever vigilant and proactive. what has changed? the house sergeant-at-arms is leveraging human resources and technology and partnerships like never before to provide the safest atmosphere possible. we have hired security subject matter experts from the united states secret service, the united states intelligence community, the department of homeland security, and other agencies. these experts have deep knowledge, broad experience and a history of success protecting people, property and data. these personnel additions supplement the existing dedicated and professional hsaa house sergeant-at-arms staff that we already have. member security is my highest priority.
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the way i'm approaching this, member security has five dimensions. member security at the united states capitol, member security at the residence, member security during their travel, events in their districts and the overall threats to members. after january 6th all spaces within the capitol complex occupied by members have access to duress alarms. that's security in the capitol. i request resources for every member to have a state-of-the-art home security package at their residence in the district of columbia in the metropolitan area and at their district residence back home. i request resources for a member travel operation center to support all domestic and foreign travel by members. this would build on newly created partnerships with the department of homeland security
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specifically, the transportation security administration, and the department of state specifically the overseas security advisory council which the house sergeant at arms has joined and this is helping us regarding threats to member travel. for events in each member's district, i strongly, strongly recommend a standardized sweep of training for all district law enforcement coordinators be completed. my office is developing new training protocols to include videos for district coordinators. the topics include security awareness, threatening risk assessments and risk mitigation strategies. i further recommend that the coordinators be either a former law enforcement officer or someone with strong relationships and network in the local law enforcement community. ideally, i would like somebody that is a retired law
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enforcement officer with hr-218 able to carry a weapon under the provisions of hr-218. the coordinator would meet with local law enforcement to assess security for members. my plan would include re-energizing regional and national district coordinator security conference that is would be attended by the united states capitol police leadership and house sergeant-at-arms staff to ensure coordinators are kept up to date on the latest security solutions. i believe threats to members should also be deterred through the aggressive identification of prosecution of offenders, the unprecedented number of threats must be addressed and disincentivized. the identification, arrest, prosecution, punishment and publicity surrounding the adjudication of people making
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threats against members will make clear this behavior will not be tolerated. when i served as a special agent of the drug enforcement administration we had agent attorneys who supplemented u.s. attorney's offices. they were made special assistant u.s. attorneys. the fbi and other agencies also followed this practice and it is to go after and prosecute the cases when there's a backlog. i shared this concept with the united states capitol police and i'm pleased to tell you, share with you, that they have followed it and they have hired attorneys who are assisting with the backlog of prosecutions against individuals making threats to members of congress. really thrilled about that. this has to stop. it's a huge, number one priority of mine. in addition, we are also working in concert with the united states intelligence community to facilitate the gathering of
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threats against members. we are collaborating with the department of justice on prosecutions, the objective is to more effectively integrate state and local prosecutors in bringing those making threats against members to justice. what i mean by that, mr. chairman, is that there are counties in the united states that at the local level, it is a crime and we need to come after this holistically. if we can't go after an offender federally, we need to do it state or at the county level. my objective is to -- with this objective, i like to ask members to urge the department of justice to provide their full support and assistance to all prosecutable threats made against members. i really believe this is something that we have to stop before something tragic happens. threats against members must be an enforcement priority for the
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department of justice as well as state and local and county jurisdictions. another priority of mine is the hardening of the capitol, both physically and electronically. we're working collaboratively with the united states capitol police board, the architect of the capitol who can more fully comment on the physical security assessments under way and the chief administrative officer on the cyberthreats that are facing the capitol. identity access management is also an initiative that will increase security at the capitol, working in collaboration with the subcommittee and the capitol police, i would like to institute a capitol access verification entry system. i'm calling it c.a.v.e.s. if this takes off, it would allow the members to know who is coming into the capitol. it's not telling members, you can't bring an individual in, but you should know about this -- about who is coming to visit you.
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just like credit card companies know their customers, we should know our visitors. that's another thing that i have -- am i out of time? i see the red up there? >> yeah, start wrapping up, general. >> okay. >> we'll go through a lot of this in questions. >> the last of my security priorities is the establishment of capitol security officers. the capitol security officer concept is based on the united states marshal service to augment deputy marshals which protect judges and courtrooms in the 94 judicial districts in the united states. so the -- i have rebriefed the capitol police board and i'm working with the capitol police toward implementation. so i'll just summarize, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you all this morning. i'm appreciative of your unyielding support and the partnerships we are developing to enhance security of the complex and its members. i'm happy to answer your questions, thank you.
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>> thank you, general architect of the capitol blanton. >> thank you, chairman ryan, ranking member herrera beutler, chair delauro, members of the subcommittee, i appreciate the opportunity to testify today and i appreciate the support of this subcommittee in protecting the capitol after the events of january 6th. as you hear all of our panelists are united in our efforts to make the capitol safe, secure and open. i can honestly say we are safer today than we were on january 5th. however, there's more to do. as i reflect upon the somber events last week, i remain focused on ongoing efforts to demonstrate our collective strength and resolve. u.s. capitol is a symbol of western democracy. this among the most significant architectural buildings in the entire world. with your ongoing support we can protect and preserve this
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cherished institution as well as all those who serve here. in doing so, we cannot forget heroic actions of the capitol police. sergeant-at-arms staff and my staff on january 6th. during those harrowing hours, personnel sheltered congressional staff. staff raced to reverse the air flow to clear the around of chemical irritants within the capitol. we set up eye wash stations and provided water for capitol police officers in need. once the security officials cleared the building, employees worked tirelessly to clean up and begin repairs. carpenters covered windows and doors with plywood, crews cleaned up pepper spray and fire extinguisher residue. through their resilient and unwavering efforts aoc staff ensured congress could go back to work, and while congress was
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doing its job, the staff worked nonstop to finalize preparations for the 59th presidential inauguration. the pace was urgent and immediate. in order to address these needs, we received congressional approval to transfer funds from other important projects so that repair work and security assessment could be completed right away. over the past year, in close coordination with the capitol police, as well as a house and senate sergeant-at-arms, aoc staff has improved security measures across campus. some of these changes are more visible than others, we have worked continuously throughout the pandemic to keep the capitol safe. we know our efforts are critical to the safety of members and staff working on the capitol campus. we are proud of the role we played in ensuring continuity of operations. at the same time, you all know well the growing cost associated with the pandemic is draining our agency's resources. we're extremely appreciative of
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the funds you provided for the pandemic response and c.a.r.e.s. act and the security supplemental. looking ahead we hope to continue working with you to address ongoing needs. our fiscal year 2023 budget request will reflect projects related to the security needs of congress, the supreme court and the entire capitol complex. we will seek funding for projects previously approved by congress that were put on hold as a result of the budget transfer that i mentioned earlier. as a subcommittee considers future campus wide security improvements, aoc will need adequate resources to complete our support of the police. and while fiscal security improvements are a top priority, i'm committed to keeping a positive work environment where people have the support to serve congress on behalf of the american people. i would like to take a moment to express my deep appreciation to
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all aoc employees. every day, continually impressed and inspired by the level of commitment, resilience displayed by our employees. the capitol is an exceptionally resilient. both in terms of physical structure and its people. we on the capitol police board share a common obligation to protect and preserve this international symbol of democracy. i'm confident our capitol will continue to stand the test of time. i look forward to collaboration with my colleagues to achieve this goal. on behalf of all of our staff, i thank you for your support and look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you, mr. blanton. i appreciate it. i'm going to kick it off here. i asked a couple of questions in my opening statement that we'll get to -- i'm hoping you can touch upon those.
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specifically, on the impact of the continuing resolution to your offices, what would that -- what would that mean if you could each give us an answer on that. we can -- we'll go in reverse order. mr. blanton, since we have you on the screen, you know, we're very frustrated about the continuing resolution and would be interested in your views on the impact of it. >> thank you. my largest concern with a continuing resolution is actually with the cannon project. we need to have money this summer in order to award the next phase of the canon project. if that is delayed, that's going to end up affecting a cycle where we won't be able to complete the project within the two-year time frame that is required for each phase of the project. there are additional projects that are -- upgrades on the capitol plaza, more security
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infrastructure, and then update upgrades to the sprinkler system within the capitol so we actually have a fire code-approved building. and any continued delays will delay the implementation of any of these projects. >> when you said the security projects, which ones would be affected by the cr? >> barriers and kiosks for the capitol police. truck interdiction systems. >> okay. general? >> yes, sir. for the greatest impact for the house sergeant-at-arms is going to be our inability to hire talent. as everybody knows we're trying to acquire security professionals. that's the biggest thing. and it may be some impact on our travel to go out and do
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assessments of -- security assessments that we've been doing could affect our police services. number one, would be hiring individuals. and that's pretty much all i have right now, sir. >> chief? >> well, continuing resolution would impact just about everything that we're doing to make and sustain improvements, especially in the areas of intelligence, threat analysis, dignitary protection, criminal critical security infrastructure, all those areas where we have work load demands because of the 6th and the recommendations that we've received as a result of the 6th. it would suspend our health and wellness initiatives which are very robust. it would end our student loan repayment program. but the biggest impact would be our inability to increase our staffing. you'll see in our fy-22 and fy-23 budgets, we're asking for
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288 new recruit officer and is our plan is to hire 288 new recruit officers in both of those years to get ahead of attrition. this basically would leave us in a position where all we could do is replace the officers that have left. we've got to get ahead of attrition. staffing is our biggest challenge that remains. >> all right. ms. herrera beutler? >> thank you, chairman ryan. and i think it's important since right now we're spending a lot of time talking about the cr that the democrats passed out of the house that's being negotiated. i think it's important to note that republicans are very happy to negotiate that. i think crs are as detrimental as the next person. however, i do think that i've heard from our colleagues in the senate that, you know, there are policies that the democrats are going to have to come to the table on, long standing protections like hyde, national
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defense and border security, you know, there are some high-level issues that need to be addressed. i think if my friends are interested in making sure we don't end up with a cr, they should make sure that their counterparts in the senate are willing to do that negotiating. it came out of the house. it's done. i don't think crs are a good idea. but i think -- if they want that bipartisan support, there needs to be some bipartisan efforts put into the bills. and i want to take it back a little bit to where we're at with regard to -- you know, the aoc. i know in the last year that we've been asked for large sums of money, there's been money that's been moved from account to account to cover the cost of the fence, to cover immediate needs, and i have been supportive of those things pretty much as you've asked, mr.
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blanton, and part that have is i do trust -- one of the things you've asked for is money for a compromise security review and i've got to say i'm a little frustrated that i have not -- our offices -- and i don't nope if the majority has. maybe the minority hasn't seen it. i did talk with our counterparts on the authorizing side of this committee, updates on how the money that we've let this year, the $10 million, the security investments, updates on how that money has been spent. maybe it hasn't been spent. maybe it isn't completely expended or you have plans for it. but i haven't gotten, you know -- i hear you saying we need more support and i'm -- i am ready to step up on that front. but i haven't actually heard the details of what's been done to date, especially with that specific assessment. could you provide a little clarity? >> yes, thank you for the question. so the assessment is complete. it's well over 2,000 pages. and what we're doing now is
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doing an executive summary so we can provide that executive summary and say if you want to see the 2,000 pages, we'll have that in the scifs. so there were some delays with the completion. it was completed in late december. and so the executive summary should be coming out shortly. >> i understand delays. i definitely understand that. everybody -- everybody here who -- some folks have assumed new roles in leading an agency that needs a lot of fixing. i have a little bit of frustration that we're being told we aren't quite providing everything but as far as i know, we haven't even gotten the update on what your recommendations are and i'm anxious to see that. i think ir your campus wide assessment is critical to putting in place the, you know, soup to nuts,
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the whole deal for security of the u.s. capitol. i'm going to switch gears to the capitol police leadership and i know -- i think it's, like, six of the highest -- the 11 members of the capitol police leadership team have left for various reasons, morale issues in the department and it's been heavily scrutinized. i wanted to see, chief manger, if you're -- what your plans to fill some of these vacancies -- honestly, overall, what can be done to restore some of that morale. i know there were over 130 officers have left the department this year. i know this is happening nationwide. i can tell you finding talent has been a huge issue and i wanted to know if you're looking at hiring folks outside of the normal scope, ex-secret service agents, folks from homeland security, people who have been trained, and if there are any impediments there? because we need to at least get ahead of attrition get over the
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hurdle. over to you. >> so thank you. and i'm -- three questions. leadership, morale and hiring. let me hit all three of them. first of all, the first thing i did when i got here was to assess my leadership that i had and as you pointed out, 6 out of the top 11 people in the organization had left. the chief, both sergeant at arms had gone the day after january 6th. but for the capitol police, we lost the assistant chief who is in charge of operational planning on the 6th, gone. the director of intelligence, gone. the director of security services, gone. two deputy chiefs retired. and so more than 50% of the senior staff was not here when i got here. so what i -- my biggest task was to assess the leadership that i had. i wanted to determine who is just waiting around to see what's going to happen and who has been working since january 7th to try and improve the
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failures of this department. and the folks that have remained, i have great confidence in. they've done a great deal of work. and some of these folks include people that had the vote of no confidence. and i understand that. but a vote of no confidence, while it's an important statement by the union, it is not an objective performance evaluation. and what i did coming in, i had no preconceived notions, but the folks i have are working their tails off. there's more to be done. we've got to replace those folks -- i think there's strong talent within the organization. but i also believe that bringing folks from -- in from the outside is still an option that i'm considering. and we'll move forward and i'll certainly keep the committee apprised of my decisions as we move forward. in terms of morale, it's a difficult issue.
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what i've learned is that morale is in the eye of the beholder. you're going to have some cops who took this job, they had expectations, when they get here, they find out that the job is more difficult than they thought it was going to be. and they have to sort of reconcile that. and i've tried to tell, you know -- tried to tell my folks over and over since i've been here, that the people we serve appreciate what we do. and what we've got to do -- what i think my responsibility is to restore the confidence that these officers -- i want these officers to have in the department. the department let them down on january 6th. we've got to restore that confidence. and i'm doing everything we can to address that. the supplemental, there were a number of things in there, hazard pay, retention bonus, student loan repayment, a specialty pay for civil disturbance unit. health and wellness initiatives. my hope is that they've had some
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impact on morale, but we're -- we still have more work to be done there. last issue, the hiring. you know, we've got a goal of trying to hire 288 people this year. 288 people next year. we got to get ahead of attrition. one of the reasons we're so far behind as mentioned, over 130 people left last year -- or since january 6th, but the year prior, covid closed down our -- the training academy in georgia. we weren't able to get any new hires through in 2020. you got a year where we get few officers, another year where we lose 130. it's put us in a difficult position. we put a lot of recruitment initiatives together. we're not having any -- getting -- having any trouble getting people to apply. the challenge is to make sure we hire the right people.
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and i think that we're doing our best to make sure we hire people that have integrity, a spirit for public service, encourage, passion, emotional intelligence, and my hope is that we continue to hire good people to be capitol police officers in terms of the leadership, again, as i said before, i think we've got good talent internally, but we also need to look outside to see if there's good folks that we can bring in. >> thank you. i yield back, chairman. >> thank you. chairwoman delauro. >> thank you, i want to thank our witnesses and the speed and lackrity with which you moved in the chaos, the aftermath of january 6th. the changes that you have made,
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including that we were unable to get you all of the money that the house proposed in that first supplemental, and money was taken out and now what we want to do is figure out where the gaps are and be able to help fill those. i have to say something quickly before i ask my two questions, which is about the state of the negotiations on the omnibus. i think it's important to note that to date that there has not been a -- the democratic proposals as reflected in the bills that are out there all 12 appropriations bills in the house and in the senate, but to date there has not been a republican counter offer or offer of what our colleagues on the other side of the aisle would like to see in an omnibus going forward, and we will continue to ask for that and my
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hope is we will get there. with regard to the policy, rioters and et cetera, just for clarification, the normal process for the appropriations committee historically, i have served on the committee for some 25, 26 years, is that you deal with you are dealing with a top line and getting the numbers with defense and nondefense laid out, and go down and deal with the rioters. to say that we would not enter conversations about top line and et cetera without the dismissal of all the policy issues is unprecedented, in addition to which we have to have a thorough review, debate and discussion of all of those in order to come out with a bicameral, a bipartisan piece of legislation, so just to clear the record. if i can, i would like to get to my two questions.
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chief manger, i wanted to say thank you. no member or staff members were physically injured on january 6th, okay? now, you note in your testimony that without the restrictions of covid-19 the capitol would have been open to the public on january 6th. so that's safe to estimate there would have been thousands more people in the capitol that day if not for covid-19. can you describe how the police response on the 6th would have been different with such a increase in population at the capitol, and would you expect the same results in the overall safety and the funding, was it significant enough to ensure they could respond to such an attack with the capitol at full staff capacity, and quickly for you, chief, and for general
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walker, the issue of -- in district of funding for members and district offices and families, we know that there are about 10,000 threats. if you can describe, chief, in detail the steps that that the u.s. capitol police have taken to ensure that all threats are investigated, and general walker, in your testimony you recommend standardized training for the district law enforcement coordinators. are there other security enhancements needed for staff to remain safe in their districts? is additional funding necessary for such protection? so chief manger, if you could begin, and then general walker. >> yes, ma'am, the supplemental did a great deal to help us out. i am not sure how we would have made many of the improvements without that. i said the retention bonus and
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hazard bonus and the funding to pay overtime to officers, this has helped us just day-to-day operationally, and helped us retain officers who might otherwise have left. but in addition, it's given us the ability to ensure that we can order the equipment and get the equipment that our officers needed, the civil servant officers, we ordered state of the art equipment for them. some has come in and we expect it all to be in within this month is our hope. we will get that out to our folks. i should say that none of our civil service unit officers, if anything happened today would be going out there without equipment. if we don't have equipment for the folks we are not deploying them as cdu officers, which is what happened on the 6th. there's money for training. there's the health and wellness
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initiatives, the counseling services that we were able to deliver, the employee assistance programs that we have been able to initiate, all have been tremendously important and we have been able to do. with regard to -- i just have to say that with regard to reopening the campus, the equipment, operational planning and all those kinds of things, we are ready. the staffing is the biggest issue. we are 4 -- around 450 officers below where we need to be to be able to do the workload that we -- that we have a responsibility for. it gets to the threats in congress. we are investigating the threats against congress, but i will tell you we are barely keeping our head above water for those investigations.
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we have been able to put the -- the regional offices have been able to help a little bit, but the fact of the matter is we will have to nearly double the number of agents that work those threat cases. we have increased the number over the last couple of years by necessity, but even now it needs to be increased even more. so in their fy-22/23 budget, you will see additional positions be requested whether it's for dignitary protection capability, or increased threats, and the other place where is the workload increased dramatically. look, we have a ways to go before we can reopen the campus, but we're working toward that. and if i can get 288 recruits on board this year, it will get us a long way to staff the post to able to staff and open back up, but we need some time. >> mr. chairman, if i can ask general walker to comment, but i
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wanted to say to chief manger, with the team here, if you can really get to us, get to the chair and the ranking member, specifically the way you pointed out, the staffing, what's needed, what are the resources that are necessary in order for us to keep our head above water on the threats, and how we would reopen this campus, because it's going to be reopened and there will be many, many, many more people here. we need to be prepared for that. so that document will be critically important. general walker, if you could address the security enhancement for members and staff and district, and i know you have talked about the training for that law enforcement coordinators, and what kind of funding do you need? >> i think we need robust funding. in the best case scenario in a perfect word, each case district would have two district
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coordinators, and both of them should be well versed in law enforcement, retired or former law enforcement officers. the law enforcement officer with five to ten years and the ability to qualify for hr-218 that would allow an officer, man or woman, to be able to carry a weapon, who knows about protection, who could understand making assessments of an event that a member is going to attend. i would double the member -- i would double the district law enforcement coordinators and have them travel statewide and have authority to carry a weapon statewide. regarding your residences, i believe we should pour money into securing residence, lighting, that would come on, motion sensors, motion detectors, video doorbells, video equipment inside and out that would -- and then
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relationships so we would understand what are the threats in a community. the new member, where do you live? how many calls for service do the police respond to? what types of calls? burglaries, robberies, thefts, homicides? we need to understand where our members live and what level of protection they need to be afforded. we do need to throw funding at protecting members. thank you for the question, ma'am. >> thank you for the indulgence of the chair and committee for going over my time. thank you. >> no problem. representative clark. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to echo the sentiments of my colleagues, our deep gratitude to the capitol police and the sergeant in arms and the architect of the capitol and
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their staffs for not only the protections on january 6th but how you are working to meet the ongoing threat environment we are in. we are deeply grateful. chief manger, i wanted to go back to talking about the almost 447 officers that you are short. is there -- are there themes that we can be helpful with that are merging in problems and recruiting and training? i specifically want to know if the salary disparity between capitol police and other federal law enforcement agencies is playing a role? >> so i guess the short answer
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is, we have got with the staffing needs we have, we have to give ourselves every advantage in terms of hiring. and i will confess that i don't know how competitive our salaries are, but i know that with the retention bonus, the hazard pay and the specialty pay we have been able to give to specialty units have helped us in recruiting and retaining good officers. i think that we need to look at -- we can have folks do a study in terms of comparing our salary and benefits compared to other law enforcement agencies that we compete with, and if we need to make adjustments, i will be the first one to let you know. >> oh, great. can you tell me a little bit about the strategies that you have found to be most effective in addressing the trauma and stress and burnout within the
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force so we can work on improving our retention? >> yes, ma'am. so in terms of -- for police officers, and i think you can say this for any occupation, you really have two goals with those kinds of initiatives. first is helping employees to cope with the daily stress of the job. the second goal is to help employees through crisis, and that is when they are involved in traumatic events, provide them with trained counsellors to try and build their resiliency. you have the daily stress and traumatic incidents, and we have put together initiatives where we are contacting with the center of mind, body and medicine, and we stood up our own health and wellness center, and we have employee assistance, health, nutrition, trauma and informed care specialist, support dog program, three fitness centers and a chaplain program, so we are trying to have wrap around services for whatever our cops need.
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>> for the protection of our force and those they serve, can you tell me what systems you have put in place to try and root out any dangerous or extremist groups that may have infiltrated our force? >> i think it all begins with the hiring process, and you have got to make sure that the background investigations that we do, the polygraph test that we give, the deep dive into an individual social media, the social media, it is also tremendously important to really determine is this person suitable to be a police officer. then, that's where it starts, but i think after you hire somebody you do need to ensure that you have the kind of checks that are necessary to make sure that there's not something that is changed in terms of their background, and right after
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january 6th, as i am sure you are aware there were probably at least 30 cases where there were complaints against officers, questioned their actions during january 6th and were they somehow assisting the folks that had broken into the capitol, the groups there, and most of those cases were handled before i got here, but i have handled, i think, three of them since i have been here, and there's one officer who we determined, in fact, had -- his actions were not consistent with the department's mission, and that officer is no longer here. another officer, you know, made a mistake, but he was not in
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cahoots so to speak with the protesters, the rioters. the third case, i think, the officer was exonerated. having in depth -- having really good in depth investigations to determine if an officer is involved or engaged in some kind of activity that would lead to a question about their loyalty to our mission, that's important as well, to make sure those types of investigations are done thoroughly and decisive action is taken on those cases. >> thank you so much, chief. mr. chairman, i have forgotten how quickly five minutes goes by. maybe a second round. >> yeah, for sure. >> ms. clark, can i add to that? >> sure. >> the house sergeant of arms has developed an insider threat awareness program to uncover insider threats and employees that do lose their compass, and that will be briefed to the board if not this month, the
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next board meeting in february, and we are going to work collaboratively to have these briefings, and the goal is to have people, police officers trained as inside threat specialists, and we have recognized the signs and symptoms and indicators of somebody's who allegiance has changed. part two of that is to introduce some kind of security clearance for u.s. capitol police officers. the thing with the security clearance, as you all well know, they expire, so you have to have this periodic reinvestigation. has your allegiance changed? do you have close and continuous contact with groups that are nefarious? your foreign travel, on duty or off, that needs to be reported. who are you associating with? i will leave it there, not to
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take too much time, but i just wanted to let you know, representative clark and others, that the sergeant in arms has partnered with the intelligence community and the homeland security agencies to create a -- and the fbi -- to create the robust insider threat program. thank you. >> thank you, general. thank you, chief, and thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. mr. amodei. >> hey, mr. chairman. good morning. nice to see you. it has been quite a while, i trust you have been doing okay without daily support from me, so we will get to the topic, okay. >> sounds good. i'll try to make it without you. >> okay. way to tough it out. i want to join in congresswoman herrera butler's thing that it
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would be nice to have the accounting info, folks, about murder rates and the money you have gotten so far. the only reason i say that is to be intelligent about what you need to continue down the road and stuff like that, it would be kind of nice as an appropriator and in an oversight capacity to be able to say we followed up on just what was done with the supplemental so far, obviously as well as the stuff going forward. i would like to join in that request. we will circle back with you folks off-line, not on the committee's time to see if there's some security aspects, that's fine, and we can get a briefing or whatever. i do think that's kind of a fundamental thing as we sit here a year after the fact and say, okay, what have we learned and what have we started to do.
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chief, let me ask you a quick question. when you talk about personnel and needing all these folks, remind me how long it takes to identify, train, whatever from when you decide i am going to hire tim ryan to be on the capitol police to when tim ryan shows up on his first day of work? that's not something off and on or a 60 day thing, i don't recall, and how long does it take to complete from recruitment to background to training to they are on the job? >> the better part of a year. from the time we focus in on hiring somebody to the time we can put them out by themselves where they can go to a host by themselves, the better part of a year. >> that's important in terms of our expectations, if we fix the appropriations problems next week, we are still in 2023, basically, before we start thinking about fully staffed in a perfect world? >> somebody asked earlier, and now that you reminded me, i
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didn't answer this part of the question. we do have other strategies to try and get -- to ease some of the staffing issues. we're looking at rehiring retirees, bringing them back. we are looking at hiring lateral positions, so you know, we can look to other federal law enforcement agencies to allow people to come over and join our agency, and the use of contract security that general walker talked about. these would all be short term strategies to allow us to get us over to a point where we can relieve some of the staffing hardships that we are experiencing today for our officers, and then as we -- you know, if we are able to hire 280
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officers a year over the next couple of years, that's going to get us ahead of attrition and put us where we need to be. >> so you are thinking outside of the box, but nonetheless it's like this is going -- and, good, i want to let you know i am going to request to sit down with you and talk about what you talked about in some of the other stuff in your testimony as well as the general, but i want to alert both of you that i think is an ongoing problem since i have been affiliated with the committee, and that's the office buildings. i don't know anything about the senate ones, obviously, i try to stay away from those, but nonetheless, i will tell you, i think the screening culture needs to change. i hope the analysis that the architect of the capitol is doing as well as you guys on the capitol police board bring a new analysis into that. as i look, we have done what we have kind of always done, and when the sergeant in arms talks
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about knowing who is in your neighborhood and stuff like that, when i look at what goes on to come into the three buildings that i am familiar with, and it's like, you know what, it's a cold day out today so you have people lined out the door, and you have the same sort of thing where you are going through the metal detectors, and i see no attempt to say, hey, how can we do a better job at this where we don't have people sweating out there in july and freezing in january? how are we screening them? i am encouraged to hear the sergeant in arms wants to use technology to have a better idea of who is coming and going, and i have to tell you, some of the spaces -- this is not rank and file, this is leadership, where you have a space the size of a closet, and then another entrance is not being used because, well, i don't know, is something where we can do better, and i think with the change in leadership, we probably ought to take a look at
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that. i know some day in the future somebody is going to build a capitol visitors center over here in a parking lot somewhere, but quite frankly i don't think that's imminent. the last thing i will leave you with, and this is for the general. we have been asking for an update on what we can do to screen people before they go in to vote for the metal detectors without making it looks like an adjunct part of the airport, and we want to screen people for metal before we go and vote, and that's fine with me, but we ought to be able to do it where it doesn't look like it's toledo international and a tsa operation. i have been told before that the technology exists to do that, and i am looking forward to an update on how we're going to restore a little bit of decorum to just the act of walking into
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the chambers and making sure nobody is carrying. i look forward to all of that stuff off-line. thank you, mr. chairman, for your indulgence. i yield back. >> thanks, mr.amodei. does anybody want to comment on the chief from nevada's comments? >> i will share with you that i have met with the secret service. they have come over and they have done an assessment, the technology does exist and we are working on it. that's something we would need funding for, but -- and we would have to work with the architect of the capitol to have something less intrusive but protect the structure, so we are, we are working aggressively on that as we speak to speed up the process to look less like an airport terminal but at the same time be sure that nobody is bringing a prohibited item on to the floor. >> mr. chairman, if i might, and
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general, i look forward to your brand of aggression in the coming year as opposed to the aggression in the past year. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. the gentleman from new york, mr. adriano espaillat? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for your input today. i have expressed in the past concerns about what may be the next attack. i feel very strongly that it won't be the same way we were attacked during january 6th, that it may have a different sort of like approach, and as much i have expressed my concerns about bomb sweeps. you know, there was two bombs placed in the dnc and rnc, they were placed there and it sort of, like, distracted law
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enforcement away from the epicenter of the insurrection. i just wanted to know, has any measure been taken to increase the k-9 unit, training and sweeps around the capitol complex and the parameter around the capitol complex to ensure that we're not attacked in that form, in that fashion, in addition to that, any potential drone attacks may be something that we ought to prevent against, and i wanted to know if any measures have been taken regarding these two methods that could be used by insurrectionists in the future? >> yes, sir. chief manger here. yes to all of your questions. we have put together a better
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procedure to do what we call foundation checks around all of the buildings. we are -- i just got numbers in the last day or two about the number of sweeps that we have done for -- that our k-9s have done around the buildings over the past year, thousands and thousands of sweeps, and we're looking at the number of k-9s that we have and are looking to increase them over the next year or two, just so we can ensure that we do an adequate number of sweeps, multiple a day if need be, to ensure the safety of our campus if explosives. >> besides the sweeps done, you have increased the k-9 unit since january 6th? >> yeah, i'm not sure. i don't know the answer, and i will get back to you if we have
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increased that, but i know we are looking over the next year or two to increase the number of k-9s that we have. we're also looking at and working with the capitol police board with the -- with regard to the issue of drones. >> okay. but nothing has actually occurred regarding these two -- the drone piece and the increase of k-9? >> well, we increased the number of sweeps we do with k-9s, and that's dramatically increased, and it's not just the vehicles coming in but it's also around all the buildings. there has been work done and we're working with contractors to make sure that we have the ability to counter any drones that come into our airspace. that work is under way. >> okay. my second question is regarding
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the construction reinforcements to the exterior and interior doors and camera systems and window replacement throughout the campus, what has occurred there? has there been an improvement with reinforcements to the exterior doors and interior doors and camera systems and window replacements in the campus? >> i will start with the -- i will start with the interior doors. prior to being informed, we have installed in leadership offices, breach resistant hinges to reduce the ability for people to get inside on the doors. in the chamber, we have increased security of the doors there.
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the project themselves are classified. i am willing to take an off-line discussion where we can go into more detail. i will say a good security project from my perspective when it comes to, like, the chamber, it's something you don't even know is there. i would really want to walk you through and show you what we have done, and you would think this looks like it was there before, but it's a different door. >> what about cameras? >> the cameras are under the purview of the capitol police. we install the infrastructure form and the capitol police decide where they need to be placed and how many, and i will pass that over to the chief. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> i want to thank the gentleman from new york. the gentleman from washington state, mr. newhouse.
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>> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i appreciate that. i want to thank all three of our witnesses for being here, and thank you for your services and please relay my appreciation to everybody you work with for their service to us as well. i want to ask all three of you my questions and then i will turn the floor back over to you for your responses. first of all, chief manger, as was to be expected in the months following january 6th of last year, morale at the u.s. capitol police was low, as you eluded to, rank and file officers demonstrated they had little or
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no faith in the capability of police leadership, and like your estimation, you already addressed your level of faith in your current leadership, and i appreciate that. i would like your estimation of the level of faith that you believe the police officers on the ground have in the leadership of the organization at this time? secondly, i would like to ask you a little bit about the u.s. capitol police memorial fund that was established, i think in '98, after the tragic loss of two individuals that defended the capitol from a lone gunman, and then it was expanded after the congressional baseball shooting in 2017. my understanding is that many -- we have 140 plus police officers injured on january 6th, and i just wanted to ask about the level of distribution to some of the families and to some of the individuals in the amounts that may have been given to
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individual police officers as a result of january 6th? then for general walker, i would appreciate being able to visit with you earlier this week and get to know you a little bit, and i look forward to working with you over the next coming months as we work on the important issues here, but i wanted to talk to you as i said earlier about the opening of the campus, and there has been discussion about that, if you could talk about what you have been able to establish for that eventual reopening? is there any coordination, i guess, between the house and senate? they seem to have a different set of metrics. it seems things are more open on the senate side and i wanted to know about some of the differences and the reasons for those and what we can look forward to in the future. i know this is a big interest of a lot of members and certainly
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want to keep staff and members safe at the same time, but we do want to open up the peoples' house back to the people. and then for mr. blanton, you stated a year ago -- i appreciate you coming back to me with this this year, but the fact that you were never contacted with the possibility of deploying the national guard to help secure the capitol ahead of january 6th, and obviously that's a big part of your responsibility, which, you know, the operation and preservation of the complex, and you are a member of the capitol police board, so are you -- do you feel that you are engaged in the board's decision-making process? do you have voting power?
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i want to ask if you feel that in the last year communication among the members of the police board has improved, and if not how would you suggest it could be improved in order to prevent the kind of issues that we saw from happening in the future? with that, mr. chairman, i will start with chief manger and i appreciate your responses. >> yes, sir. so in terms of the morale from the officers' perspective, i understand fully after january 6th why the confidence of the officers, the confidence in the department, their confidence in the leadership of this department was not very good, and that's an underestimate. they believe that the department let them down, that the department's lack of operational planning resulted in injuries, deaths, and i know that a fair
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number of officers still to this day are not satisfied that there has been accountability. i would, again, point out the fact that the following day, the chief, the sergeant -- both sergeant of arms were no longer in their positions, and all the other leadership that has left the department since then, so -- but i do understand from the officers' perspective, and it's not universally bad morale, you know, in our department. there's a lot of officers that do enjoy working here that come to work and believe in their mission and believe that they are doing good work and doing important work every day. again, it's a mixed bag in terms of the offices' perspective. with regard to the memorial fund. there's good news with the memorial fund. we have just -- i know it has taken a long time, but we have now got a draft form in place so that officers who want to apply for money from the memorial fund
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and we have a policy in place, and it's going to go out to the union shortly for their input, but it's finally in place so that we can move forward with officers applying for money. only two officers have received money from the memorial fund, and both of those officers were killed in the line of duty, and their family received money. we typically keep confidential who gets and how much they get, but i will say that two officers have received money from the memorial fund and that the maximum that any family can get is $200,000. and if i -- mr. newhouse, if i could just, and i know you didn't ask me this question, but with regard to the national guard, i so appreciate what the
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congress did in terms of giving me the authority to make that call, but let me stress that, you know, i spoke with two or three previous -- actually, three or four previous capitol police chiefs about their relationship with the capitol police board and many of them expressed their view that it was a very dysfunctional relationship. i have not had that experience at all. i get great cooperation from the capitol police board, and frankly, i think mr. blanton has been around for a while, but you have two new sergeant in arms and a new police chief and we are working together as a team with one mission in mind, and that's to make this campus as safe as it can be.
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for what its worth, that's my opinion. >> general walker? >> yes, representative newhouse, thank you for the question. we would be ready -- we have a plan to reopen the capitol. the challenge is, everything we are hearing from admiral monahan tells us that opening the capitol is not safe right now, that it is -- we're focused on security right now because of the rising number of covid infections. people are walking around, some with nafks, some without masks.
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representative, i see people, members, staff without masks. i'll walk up to them and ask them to put the mask on. some just walk away from me, some put it on. so i think we opened the people's house, which will be open. but i'm hoping it's open once admiral monahan gives us the green light to open it. we're leaning heavily on what admiral monahan is telling us regarding this pandemic, this epidemic we are facing right now. thank you for the question. i hope that answered it. >> it's helpful. thank you. mr. blanton? >> yes, thank you, representative. i will say unequivocally, this is a completely different board than what we had on january 6th.
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not in just people, but it's functionality, its unity and engagement across -- this -- the leadership changes have been significant. i can tell you, we are in a much better place. >> okay. appreciate that. i appreciate your indulgence mr. chairman. mrs. clark is right, five minutes is shorter than it used to be, so thank you. >> seven minutes is shorter than you think, too. ms. wexton? >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you to all of the witnesses coming today to testify and sharing your stories and what you have been doing. i am the last person to ask questions, and at least in the first round so i have the benefit of everybody else having asked their questions, that's good although they were the same questions i was going to ask, but there has been a lot of questions about morale.
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chief manger, you said the officers believe the u.s. capitol police let them down and did not have the operational security to take care of them and protect them on january 6th, and the reason they believe that is because they did let them down, and that's something they have had to deal with since that time. i very much appreciate the changes you made and what you are doing to show that you are not just going to talk the talk but walk the walk. the proof is in the pudding, and show me, don't tell me, so i appreciate everything you have done with that. and i want to thank everybody for the center of wellness, and that's going to be so helpful for the officers. as most of you know, it was a constituent of mine, and i have gotten to know his family and we are pleased that no other family of a capitol police will have to go through what they did.
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i am looking forward to coming to the ribbon cutting hopefully in better times when we are able to do that. i want to thank the capitol police and sergeant in arms for having the chamber training, and i participated in it and i did, and probably members didn't but i did, and thank you very much on behalf of myself and ms. butler as well for putting hair ties in the escape hoods so we can put our hair up and get a tight seal. that's something a lot of people don't think about, but thank you for that. i hope and pray we will never need to use it again, but it's good to have that information there. about recruitment and retaining new officers within the united states capitol police workforce, one of the things we had been talking about is one of the issues we face with them is that they don't get their pension based upon their overtime pay rates, and i know that many, many officers have been working
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a lot of overtime. it has been -- it's been an issue for many years. it probably is still more of an issue, so my first question for you is has there been discussion about that where that would change the pensions, and what is the status for overtime for fy 22 thus far? >> there has been discussion about including overtime in the retirement calculations. i can tell you that in my years of experience, i have seen departments do that, and then decide that it was not sustainable so i think that i have seen how it manifests
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itself in terms of, you know, senior officers, some who never worked overtime before but in their last couple of years they are working all the overtime they can, and how it impacts other peoples' ability to work overtime, so as long as we work through those issues so that it's something that is sustainable and can work, i think we can find some way to benefit our officers by including some of that overtime in terms of the retirement calculation. now i have -- i have lost track of your second question? and this is more with the spike of covid, as general walker mentioned. we have, i think now close to -- it's well over 100, and maybe even 200 officers that are out because of covid. they may just be out for the isolation period. we have a number of officers out long term because of covid, but it's really impacting it. yes, our overtime is going to be
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so far as every bit as bad in fy 22 as it was in '21. >> what is the capitol police policy for quarantining for covid after a positive test? >> we abide by what the office of the attending physician tells us, and that just changed from if you are asymptomatic -- i should not speak for the attending physician, and my recollection is if you are asymptomatic, it has gone from ten days to five days of isolation. >> you testified you have contract labor, contract security that you are using. how many contract security officers are you using and how
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long do you anticipate having to keep them on? >> right now it's zero. we're trying to get around 40 or 50 onboard. we still have to brief -- we're briefing oversight committees and we are still discussing with the union. they have some concerns about it. we are still discussing with the union their concerns and we want to address their concerns, but we are ready to get this done. hopefully in a matter of a few weeks will start getting some contract folks into give us some relief in terms of our staffing. >> and then you also testified that every capitol police officer now has a cell phone. that was not the case before, is that correct? >> that is correct. they are getting intelligence
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and operational updates every day. >> are they getting those by cell phone or are they getting them in roll call? how are you deploying those briefings? >> is it based on previous threats? >> it's more reactive, but we certainly understand that -- i mean, we keep track of the number of threats each member gets, and we are cognizant of that and we do what we can to try and prevent future threats, or provide some advice and some strategies for those members that have a high number of
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threats, how they can maintain a better level of security. >> thank you. mr. chairman, i see i have also over stayed my welcome and used too much time. i will yield back with that. >> i thank the gentle lady. i have a couple questions, and we will do a second round for those members that want to stick around and ask another question. general, talk about really threats to members. how many threats have there been in the past year or so to members of congress? how does that relate to a normal year? >> so i believe the information that i received from the u.s. capitol police, there was almost 9,000, so double the number that it was last year. if not 9,000, approaching 9,000 threats.
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those threats come in a whole variety of threats. you know, menacing or just somebody saying something reckless on the internet or social media. but the number i think i have from the chief was closes to 9,000. >> you say there's no -- there's no law that would allow for a prosecution of a threat to a member of congress, i mean specifically to a member of congress, it would have to be more general prosecution? >> yes, sir, chairman ryan, right now the threat has to be investigated, and does the person have the capability to act on the threat? is it somebody just talking? is it diminished mental capacity, somebody just getting out there saying something and that individual is in a wheelchair and a nursing home and can't really do it, but it's just making a threat? so we have to investigate the
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threat, the capitol police has to investigate the threat and then determine does this person have the means, capability and motive to act on the threat? once that is determined, sometimes the prosecution, state, local, federal, is not following through on bringing these people to justice. that's where i think more emphasis needs to be leveraged to make sure that if the capitol police believe they have sufficient evidence to go to an assistant u.s. attorney or state's attorney, then it needs to be prosecuted, and i think that would be therapeutic. >> you think that needs to be, it's your recommendation, more weight behind that so an additional law that would be specific to members of congress that the u.s. attorney would be able to then utilize in the prosecution, or do you think the current legal regime is enough
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to kind of put the emphasis out there and duty prosecution as a way to prevent future threats? >> well, i think both, chairman ryan, i think if we could strengthen the laws that currently exist, so if you make a threat against the president, that's a bucket right there, or anybody of the successors to the president, i believe i understand it that way, i know it's the president and the vice president and the line of succession. if members of congress could somehow be elevated to have that kind of status, i believe that would go a long way in stopping these individuals from making these reckless threats. somebody is eventually going to act on it, and it could be a tragedy if we don't do something about it? so chairman ryan, i think if
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anytime we could strengthen the laws that protect members, i think we should go after that. >> i appreciate that. i mean, those of us on this committee feel a deep sense of responsibility to our colleagues knowing that the 9,000 threats that are out there and the lack of funding, which is why, you know, we saw a significant increase in a lot of the security measures and the appropriations in the supplemental from the house version really tried to address a lot of these issues, and you mentioned, you know, having robusts security at members' homes and addressing the neighborhoods they live in and what the threats would be generally, and so i appreciate you speaking up on that. again, there's some allowance through our campaign committees to be able to provide some level of home security, but i don't believe people are out there sending us 10 bucks or 15 bucks for a re-election that would really want us to use that money for home security systems, and these threats are because of our
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official capacity, the official duties that we hold, so i appreciate you speaking up on that because it's very, very frustrating that, you know, we're not allowed to do these kinds of things, you know, to protect ourselves and our families when in many instances we are away from home but our families are still there, so it doesn't make for a good environment. i appreciate it, general. quickly -- >> can i add one thing? >> sure. >> i also think since you are talking about the law, i think it would be helpful if the united states capitol police investigative division could be given concurrent jurisdiction to have -- the fbi right now investigates threats against members and they investigate threats against all federal
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employees, but what is the priority? if the united states capitol police, and i am just thinking about this right now, is giving concurrent jurisdiction, the same authorities that the fbi has to go after people who make these threats, the postal inspection service, i happen to know for a fact they have concurrent jurisdiction to go after postal employees, separate from what the fbi does, and i am sorry, felt compelled to add that. >> that's great. chief, do you have any comments on this with regard to security that you want to add? >> just a couple things. one, i agree with the general that the capitol police -- i'm not sure that we -- i don't know, and perhaps the gentleman does, but i am not sure we don't have concurrent jurisdiction but i think we should make an affirmative statement that it's
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a shared responsibility because i don't want there to be any turf battles in terms of investigating those threats against congress. we have -- i think we have the primary interests in terms of investigating those cases, and so working with the fbi is good but we would -- we may take a case that the fbi says no it doesn't rise to the level of something we would investigate, where it's something we would take it and investigate it. the other thing is that i have -- since i have been here, i have reached out to local law enforcement in home districts of members of congress and i have had 100% cooperation. i know i may get to a point where i get a chief or sheriff that doesn't want to cooperate, and so far i have had 100% cooperation from the state and local authorities in terms of getting the assistance in what we have requested in regards to
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a member's home, family, safety and security issues, so we will continue to be that advocate for the members if they are having difficulty getting the assistance that they need in their local jurisdictions, if they come to us we will certainly be an advocate for them to get what they need in terms of making sure their families are safe and secure as well. >> chief, there's obviously a lot of chatter on the internet, you know, lot of stuff that -- that's kind of public. i think after the 6th a lot of these groups are trying to figure out how to be more behind the scenes with some of their plans, some of their views and all the rest. is there anything that we're doing proactively, at least that we could talk about in a public setting here, that you are trying to address as members are walking around, and maybe there's nothing on facebook and maybe there's nothing on twitter and nobody said something threatening but there may be a threat out in the community
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somewhere, so is there some strategy for us to have that connection with maybe local law enforcement or are there other ways of trying to figure that yes, and you are astute in your thought. i don't want to give you our strategies, but what i will tell you is that we have eight people, we've onboarded eight people. as intelligence analysts. they are working with other intelligence agencies and will work with state and local folks to share information with the whole purpose of keeping members of our families as safe as we can. >> right and quickly on the informed care at the center for mind body medicine i know we've beefed up the house office of well-being which of course you all in your staff will be able to access the different
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programming's there, some is with the david lynch foundation, we've got events program. that digs in on post-traumatic stress with veterans, trauma, which is the same as many of your rank and file members which they experienced on january six. we just want to constantly encourage the rank and file members to know that these programs are here. they are very beneficial, i know we talk about doing videos and things like that to let everybody know exactly how beneficial these are. and then the peer to peer support. i think that's going to be critical to have. the rank and file members, really peppered with people who know how to work through some of these issues around self care and trauma and all the rest. i really appreciate you leaning in on this. this is going to be very important for us to be able to retain a lot of the members. last question and then we will
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go to mr. butler. the issue of competition and recruiting, here 288 or so officers, that you want to try to ramp up in the next year. there is good competition here. i am just meltdown guy from ohio, but being here in d.c., seeing what's going on in southern meadowland and some of those departments, seeing what's going on in northern regina, the explosion of growth over the last 20 years. how are we able to compete and can we compete with those departments here locally for the talent that we need? >> well we can compete, and we are competing pretty well. we have not had trouble getting people in the door to take the test. and to express interest in wanting to be a part of the capitol police. our challenge is to make sure we hire the right people. and so, we have used the money that we got which was
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supplemental, to expand our recruitment x. recruitment efforts. women leaders, law enforcement other agencies, that will help us not only do outreach to get the numbers of people, but to get a diverse group of applicants as well. so, and we're going to have to bolster our recruiting staff, our background investigators. because we've got an ambitious goal to get 280 plus people in. so we're going to need more recruiters, more background investigators, and we've got those requests in. but i think we're going to be able to do it. you know we are going to work hard at it, we partnered with a lot of folks, i think we can be competitive and i believe we can accomplish this goal. >> and our wages, benefits and retirement are they compared are they competitive with those
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departments? >> they are competitive but we don't want to be in the middle of the pack, we want to be at the top of the heap. so we can have the advantage in terms of our recruiting efforts. so any place i think that we can bolster that, you'll be hearing from me so that we can make a decision about whether we want to change the compensation, the retirement benefits, all those kind of things. if we can make them better, we're going to get the advantages we need in terms of our recruiting. i will continue that conversation with you. >> that's right appreciate it. >> i actually had a question, for general walker, did he just leave? i wanted a clarification on his comments? is that possible. is he completely gone? >> no i think he's taking a comfort break. >> so sorry. >> okay then i will wait. when he comes back. >> one minute. >> take us time.
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i want to ask about, gus this might also be him but with regard to what the risk matrix or that something we are talking earlier about in regard to responding to threats on members. so what is the risk matrix, or the standard procedure for deciding when or would not to put up the feds. or is that not something we're going to do again? and is that a general walker question? i don't know? >> ma'am i am happy to give you a bit of information. that i think all of us, as capitol police, and we've had this discussion. we are all aware of the impacts when we decide to put up the fence. we understand the impact of the community, and many members do not like it so we're going to be very discerning moving
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forward about when we put it up. but i think one of the things that the architect has done, which is really improved the situation. he can put that fence up within 24 hours notice, and as you may have seen on september 18th or maybe you didn't see it, because we had up and down within 24 hours to get it up, 24 hours to get it down. on september 18th. so the architect has things in place that we can get the fence up and down very quickly. >> can i ask, i know you guys are so sensitive to what it means to put that up. is there a matrix, or a standard list of things that you have to tip to put it up. or is it a gut level decision that you make? when it happens? >> there are criteria that we
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consider. i don't know that we have a hard and fast matrix, to say well if this happens in this happens but if we feel there's a potential for violence, if we feel that there is an intent from a group to try and breach the capital. those are two things that we would say you know, better in an abundance of caution we should put it up. one of the things that is different from the sixth, is that if we have an event that we feel there is a potential for violence. or we feel there is a potential for someone to try to breach the capital, the staffing that we're going to have around the capital is going to be vastly different than what we had on january 6th. >> yes yes, thank you for that. quickly, because i wanted to ask you about trying to hire more, or maybe i'll go back to general walker after. but the what strategies are you
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guys experiencing when it comes to taking on officers who maybe are all ready trained. i was told there was an impediment to trying to hire lets a former secret service agents. or homeland security agents. folks who we know are trained. possibly to a higher level than some folks. and in this environment, what is preventing or broadening that recruitment pool, or is there nothing? >> there is. there is. we are in fact looking at mid tying lateral transfers in. we are looking at hiring retirees. and it depends on if you hire a retiree to come in at the level of a police officer, then it may not be an issue when you look at what their pension is. plus about their salaries. but that is the issue. the pension plus the salary, cannot be above a certain
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level. so if you hire folks, at mid level, or leadership levels you really are limiting yourself because of the salary cap that we had to deal with. >> so they can't come in because they're used to a higher salary. and it brings up their pension and messes up the -- . is that right? >> correct. >> okay thank you for that. general walker, i wanted to ask because i wasn't clear. is the house side of the capitol not opened because of security, or is it because of covid? >> representative herrera beutler it's because of covid. i'm responsible for security, and to me covid is a security risk that we're not going to take. and they made it clear to me it is not safe to open the capital to basically the covid challenges just too big. >> i wasn't clear if it was a
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threat or a staff officer or an issue and that's why the house side is not open. see that's what i think you are saying. i get that, it makes sense to me. how do you square that with the fact that the senate is open? how do i answer my consistent ones who want to come through our doors? how do you answer that? >> perception. when people comprehend things, what i have comprehended from the attending physician is that it is not safe to bring people into the capital. it is no different than -- it is high risk to bring -- to -- open up the capital to everyone that would have covid. how do we do the six feet spacing? how do we do all the other things that would come with -- how do we enforce the mask?
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right now, it is a federal law. you have to obey the direct shuns of a flight attendant. i have flown. i have had six feet distance. i've had that mask on. i never took it off. i'm afraid of covid, to be honest with you. until he says different, we are going to follow the direction and the guidance of the intending physician. i cannot speak to why the senate -- may be there listening to a different medical professional. >> i mean, it's one intending physician. i know you don't make that decision. i was just trying to understand the disparity that we're trying to explain to constituents. the senators don't wear masks, they don't -- they're not shut down. it's a challenge. i will leave that one for the record. thank you. >> i will add that the number of my own staff here who have
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-- one person won a vacation and came back with covid. we all had to be tested. we had members of the staff catch it. they were vaccinated. it's just a risk that i don't think we need to take. >> all right, thank you mr. beutler, miss clark. >> thank you so much. i want to follow up with questions for general walker. i wondered if you could go over briefly some of the information that you have shared about how the improvements you've made for the speed and accuracy of threats being disseminated, not only to members but to their staff as well. anything that the chief or the architect had to add, i think we saw a real breakdown in
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communication. i would love to hear about what you have put in place to help with that. >> yes, representative clark. -- we have hired former senior executive service level intelligence professionals from the department of homeland security, the u.s. intelligence community, and other agencies to help get right to the heart of the threat. we are working collaboratively with the capitol police, and their intelligence division, too best understand any kind of threat that can be facing the capital, the members, visitors and staff. it's really about acquiring the talent. >> you have also made cell phones available -- >> the capital police has done that.
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the united states police has given every police officer a cell phone. -- of information. >> could you talk about that a little bit, how those lines of communication have been approved? >> one of the biggest intelligence failures on the sixth was the fact that we had intelligence, but did not disseminate it to our own people. one of the quick fixes that was put in place very quickly after the sixth, was to ensure that our officers each had a cell phone. now, every day, they get updates -- intelligence updates and operational updates from their phone. in fact, some of my cops tell me that it was too much information sometimes. they would rather have too much of a not enough. the other shortcoming, and again, this has been a fixed by the fact that we have got new intelligence analysts and more
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intelligence analysts that are doing a better job at sharing information within the intelligence community here at the capitol and within the intelligence community around the region and the world -- or the nation, anyway. the way we share it, the where we disseminate it, the way we use it that is another key. we're using the intelligence that we have to inform our operational decisions. it goes back to miss beutler's question about the fence -- the criteria we use comes largely from the intelligence that we have about an event upcoming. we are making sure that we share information, that we disseminated to our own people and we use it correctly. >> thank you. just a quick question for the
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general. if you had your preference, would these law enforcement coordinators completely support your plans for regionalized-ing and trying to get former law enforcement -- would you ultimately like to see that reside under your office? or do you think that would be more efficient way to hire and train and coordinate with local law enforcement than the individual members designating someone on their staff? >> thank you, representative clark, for the question. i think it should come to the capital. i'm not sure if it should be the -- , or the united states capitol police. they have a lot on their plate already. as i think about it, and answer your question, i do think it most likely should be under police services of the house sergeant in arms. or under the capitol police and
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their operational division. at the end of the day, police talk to police. as chief manger has said, we're both members of i.e. c p. we called these organizations. police chiefs know us. you make those phone calls, police officers to police officer, police chief to police chief. they're very effective. to have a standardized, across the board 441 members, this is what a law enforcement coordinator is. this is what it is not. best-case an area, we will have two of them. these are people who really no law enforcement work, protection, assessment, security threats and threat litigation. >> great, thank you so much. >> thanks, miss clark.
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i appreciate it. thank you to the panel for sticking around. we held you an extra ten minutes. we've got a lot more questions, i think, mr. blaine, do we need to have a classified or private briefings from you on some of these issues with regard to the hardening of the capital and those kinds of things? >> yes, chairman. i would love a discussion of the comprehensive physical security assessment as well. -- i think we should do that and, obviously, sooner rather than later. also, with some of the intelligence stuff to, chief, i think we should do that in a private setting. i don't think we want to tip our hand to anybody as to what the capital looks like now forces a year ago. you all has given us assurances
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that it's safer than it was. the chief touched upon some of the things for the intelligence perspective and getting the word out to rank and file members. we're definitely gonna do something to really understand this in a way that we can make arguments for the needs to our colleagues, based upon that information. we certainly want to keep it going. to the extent you all can continue to speak up, you carry a lot of weight with the members around this place. the more you speak up on member security, on the needs -- chief, i'm looking at our police departments back home and the labor situation back home. to get 288 in the next year, it's going to be a grind. we want to do everything we can to help you make that happen. i know, if that's the case, there's 15 or 20 applicants for
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everyone officer that you'll be able to swear in. is that right? >> yes it is. >> okay, we've got some work to do. i want to thank our staff on the subcommittee for helping it putting us together. i want to thank miss herrera beutler, and the panel, and will see the mall in a classified setting. with that, the hearing is adjourned.
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topics include the ability of different agencies to communicate with each other, differences between urban and rural areas, and engagement with the public. homeland security subcommittees host this hour and 15 minute event. >> the subcommittee on emergency preparedness response and recovery will come to order. the subcommittee is meeting today to receive testimony on 20 years after 9/11. examining urgency communications. without objection, the chair is authorized to declare the subcommittee in recess, at any point. last month, our nation marks 20 years since the worst terrorist attack on u.s. soil. the committee on homeland security joined many of our colleagues from yo


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