tv U.S. Capitol Police Chief Testifies on Jan. 6 Attack CSPAN January 6, 2022 12:34am-2:41am EST
i thank you so much for listening. >> c-spanshop.org is our online store. browse the latest collection of apparel, books, decor, and accessories. there is something for every fan and every purchase helps support our nonprofit operation. shop at c-spanshop.org. u.s. capitol police chief, major testified about changes on the force after the attack. he took questions from congress. chuck schumer offered testimony praising the work chief manger
member blunt and our colleagues for being here today. thank you, senator lakey, for being here today -- senator lakey, for being here today. i want to thank our witness, thomas manger, who joined the department nearly six months ago after a lifetime in law enforcement. and is appearing before our committee today for the first time. we are grateful to the men and women of the capitol police for the work they do every day. tomorrow marks one year since a violent mob staged an insurrection in an attempt to disrupt the peaceful transition of power all congress was gathered to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. that mob desecrated our capitol
and delayed the county of the electoral vote. thanks to the heroism of the people who work with you, thanks to our brave law-enforcement officers, we were able to finish our work. i will never forget walking down to the house chambers from the senate floor with my friend, senator blunt, and vice president pence. it was 3:30 a.m., and we walked through that hallway, broken glass on the sides, spray-painted on the statues, remembering that just that day earlier we had done this joyful walk for what is every four years the peaceful transition to power no matter who wins, democrat or republican. there we were, alone in the hallway with two young women holding the mahogany box that had the last remaining electoral
ballots from the state of wyoming. while it was a sorrowful day and you lost officers and we had so many people injured, i had this moment i was thinking as we walked down that hallway, in the end, because of the bravery of your officers, democracy prevailed. many of us are member that insurrection for what it was, an attack on our democracy. it was also a brutal and prolonged physical attack on the law enforcement officers who risked their lives to defend the capital. five officers who reported for duty have since passed away, including capitol police officer brian sicknick, who died the day after the attack. four other officers died in the days and months that followed. howard leave in good -- jeffrey smith and we all remember billy
evans, who died in an incident unrelated to this attack. many more suffered physical injuries and even more sustained emotional trauma from the events of the day. we owe it to the police officers who defend the capital every day to make sure they have the resources and support they need to do their jobs. that is why in the aftermath of the attack the committee convened a series of hearings with every member of this committee involved. out of that came a bipartisan report that senator blunt and senator peters and i authored with findings and 20 recommendations for agencies across the federal government to be implemented without delay.
today we will hear that significant progress has been made to implement the recommendations that pertain to the capitol police. i think you and all your officers for that. the changes made since january 6 started at the top. we said the capitol police board must appoint a new police chief and they selected you in july. we have two new sergeant at arms in the senate. leader schumer appointed one, who has worked to put recommendations in place. in the house, speaker pelosi appointed general william walker , who has testified before this committee in that role. on january 6, we saw 75% of officers on duty forced to defend the capital in plainclothes. in some cases, they had less
protective gear than the insurrectionists. that is why we recommended capitol police have enough officers with appropriate training and equipment. in july, president biden signed emergency funding legislation to deliver resources to do that. we saw the former police chief that day delayed for over an hour trying to get approval to call in the national guard. he was trying to reach the sergeant at arm's, who were trying to defend their own chambers at a time when shots had been fired and people had been killed. senator blunt and i introduced a bill along with other members of this committee, including senator feinstein and senator warner. it was signed into law this month to make it easier for you to call in the national guard if ever such an emergency situation would arise again. we will never forget the
haunting words of an officer calling over the radio that day in the middle of the insurrection, does anyone have a plan? does anyone have a plan? the answer that day was no. we recommended the capitol police produce an operational plan for all large-scale events at the capital. that is now standard procedure. no will never be the answer again. we heard how officers on the front lines were left without critical information. we said the department needed to take significant action to improve handling of intelligence and it has worked to ensure information is shared with rank-and-file officers. while there is much to deal, including hiring multiple additional officers, and i'm sure you'll be asked about that today, as well as making sure the department is equipped to respond to the dramatic increase in threats against members of
congress, which is now exceeding over 9000 in the last year, more than we have ever seen, triple what we have seen, completely related to what we saw on january 6, that is a challenge for your department to respond to. today we will discuss the steps who have -- that have been taken and the work that lies ahead. there must be more done to safeguard the future of our democracy. i continue to support the work of the house select committee to bring the underlying causes of the insurrection to light so hold people accountable for what happened. it is crucial as ever in addition to that that we pass legislation to protect the freedom to vote in the senate. at this moment, we are dealing with laws that have been introduced or passed around the country, major overhauls to legislation that make it harder
for people to vote. it is if what was not accomplished with bear spray is now being attempted to be accomplished through laws that limit voting on weekends, that limit ballot drop boxes to one in a major city, laws that disband nonpartisan voting boards to be replaced bipartisan counting of the votes. that is what we are seeing across the country now. it is not the subject of this hearing, but it is related to what happened on january 6. with that, we look forward to hearing from you about the progress you have made and the work still to be done. now i will turn it over to senator roy blunt. i thank him again on a bipartisan basis for working through and this entire committee what we needed to do to make security recommendations for changes, funding for changes, the legal provisions
for changes as well as the respect and dignity that your officers deserve every day. thank you, senator blunt. sen. blunt: thank you. i know senator schumer is on a tight schedule this morning. are you sure? thank you, senator klobuchar. i am glad to be here today and glad we have the chance to thank the chief manger for joining us and for the leadership he has already provided. the january 6 attack on the u.s. capitol was a tragic day for our country. everyone who took part in that attack should be prosecuted based on their actions and plans. that process continues. i support it. as we approached today's -- approached today -- approached today's anniversary of the
attack -- and made an incredible difference in the ability to respond along with the national guard, federal law enforcement, and others we need to keep in the front of our minds as we have this discussion today with the chief. the u.s. capitol is our most iconic symbol of democracy. the whole world was watching to see how we responded to the attack. these officers were the true heroes of january 6. they defended the capital and everyone who works here bravely and without hesitation. thanks to their efforts, we were able to return to the senate and house chambers and finish our work. we were able to show the world that when our system is tested it will prevail. my colleagues and i are grateful for the capitol police continued dedication to the mission to protect the congress. it is our job to honor their service by doing our part to
ensure they are never faced with the circumstances they were faced with that day. the committee has held a number of hearings with respect to the events of january 6. this is the fifth of those hearings. throughout those hearings and in our subsequent actions, chairman klobuchar and i are proud of the bipartisan way we have been able to move forward to show we want to ensure capital police have resources necessary to protect the congress and the agencies -- agency's most valuable asset, the officers themselves. senator klobuchar and i introduced the just elation with our colleagues which passed the house and senate by unanimous consent and was signed into law on december 22. this legislation, the capitol police emergency assistance act, provides the capitol police chief with unilateral authority to request emergency assistance
from the national guard and other federal enforcement agencies in emergencies. as i previously mentioned, we held a number of hearings on the subject and released a bipartisan report with homeland security and the affairs committee in june of 2021, which outlined several recommendations based on extensive interviews with key decision-makers and first-hand accounts from law enforcement personnel and the review of thousands of documents. we have continued to pursue more information on this issue. we have worked with our colleagues on the emergency security supplemental appropriations act of 2021 to provide additional and necessary funding for salaries, overtime pay, trauma support, riot control equipment for officers, and specialized training. chairman lahey's leadership made
a difference in responding to the immediate need of the department after the increased workload and stress of what happened a year ago. beyond the work of congress, capitol police have been reviewing operations and looking at necessary changes in the department. we twice heard from the inspector general, including last month as he concluded his 11 month investigation into the preparations for and response to the events of january 6. i appreciate the opportunity to hear from chief manger on the security enhancements the department has made over the past year, the work being done to improve officer morale and retention, as well as the chief's observations after six months in command and his goals and vision for the department moving forward. one year after, we acknowledge there has been considerable
progress would also acknowledge, and i'm sure the chief does, that much work remains to be done. we will continue to work together to ensure the department addresses is critical needs and is positioned to be better trained and better prepared in the future. we owe that to the frontline uscp officers who protect members of congress, congressional officers, employees, and visitors to the capital every day. we also owe that to their families. chief manger, thank you for being here with us today. i look forward to hearing from you as you reflect on the changes the department has made over the past year and what work remains to be done. thank you, chair. sen. klobuchar: senator schumer, i know you're busy with something else but i mention
your leadership and making sure we got this in place. thank you for that and for your leadership. sen. schumer: thank you and let me think that chair of my -- of the rules committee, my good friend senator klobuchar, for the good work she has done in making our capitol safer. and let me think my friend the ranking member for his bipartisan cooperation on this important issue. and i thank you for the opportunity to speak now. i also want to thank today's witness, u.s. capitol chief of police thomas manger. 2021 was one of the hardest years ever for our capitol police, but chief manger has been outstanding in his first few months, ushering necessary reforms to the department. he will be the first to say the job is not done, but today the capital is safer than it was a year ago and i commend him for his leadership. i feel safe walking the halls of
this building. my colleagues, we are here today because one year ago the men and women of our capitol police stood on the front lines of the unthinkable in america, a violent assault on the u.s. capitol instigated by former president trump and carried out by a mob of reticles looking to halt the peaceful transfer of power. i remember january 6 as if it were yesterday. i have said repeatedly over the last year my experience of that day was like charles dickens' tale of two cities. it was the best of times, the worst of times, the best of times because at 4:00 a.m. that morning we had learned, those of us on the democratic side, the senators warnock and also if -- jon ossoff had won. i got on the floor of the senate
as we began to count the votes. i was only on the floor for about an hour, not even have an -- having given a speech, when a police officer in a bullet-proof vest grabbed me by the caller like this. i will never forget that grip. he said, senator, we are in danger. we have to get out of here. he did not explain what the danger was. none of us knew at that time. we went through a door, and this was shown on the video camera they used at the impeachment trial. i had not seen it until then. they show me walking with a police officer on either side. you do not see us for 20 seconds and then we are running out of speed. i was within 30 feet of these nasty insurrectionists. one of them had a gun -- had two
of them blocked out the door, lord knows what would have happened. that was quite a day. it was a tougher day for our capitol hill policeman. they were outnumbered, underequipped, yet their bravery, quick thinking saved many lives and prevented a violent riot from becoming something worse. it allowed us to meet and decide we were not going to let these insurrectionists stop us from going forward with the counting of the ballots, allowed us to come back that night at 8:00 p.m. and actually finish the counting, having the insurrectionists' objects to stop that count fail. we honor those who stood up that day, especially those we lost in the aftermath. we remember them and pray for their families. in the years since that attack, we have gotten a lot done in the senate to strengthen our capitol
police, to assure from a security standpoint that the violence of that day never happens again. early last year, i put in place a new sergeant at arm's, karin gibson, a, 10 person with a great deal of experience on the organizational side and the intelligence side. we installed the first all women leadership team in the history of the senate sergeant at arm's. as a member of the capitol police board, ms. gibson helped us find the new police chief, who sits here today. it was important to me that we had a new police chief who was confident, experienced, and dedicated. i am proud we have found such an individual in an j. thomas manger. last summer, we did a few other things.
providing tens of millions in overtime pay, funding for police officers, hazard pay, and retention of bonuses for capitol police. last month, we passed legislation authorizing the chief to summarize -- some of the national guard and future emergencies. we all know what we went through that day trying to get the national guard to come quickly. thanks to his work and the new leadership of the capitol police, the u.s. today is safer than it was a year ago, although we are continuing to work on that vital job. let's be clear. january 6 was not a senseless act of mob violence that sprung up spontaneously. it was an attempt to reverse through violent means the outcome of a free and fair election. make no mistake, the root cause
is still with us today. it is the big lie pushed by donald trump that is undermining faith in our political system and making our democracy, our country less safe. the biggest threat to our capital -- our capitol police and our democracy is the insidious motive stemming from the big lie, propagated by the former president and many of his republican allies across the country. we can and will continue to make sure the capital is saved from a security standpoint, but without addressing the root causes of the violence on january 6 the insurrection will not be in operation. it could well become the norm. just like the senate has the power to pass legislation supporting our capitol police force, we have the same power
and obligation to pass legislation to address these root causes that brought the big lie to life. that is what my senate democratic colleagues and i are focused on and committed to doing in the rules committee and among our caucuses. we must act. we must act. more than at any point in recent history, threats of political violence are on the rise. election administrators, basically people who are almost like civil servants, just trying to count the elections accurately, are facing harassment, even death threats, for carrying out their duty. isn't that a sad day in this country, when people who are nonpartisan in many situations simile dedicated to counting the vote fairly are threatened?
something is very wrong. by one measure, nearly a third of those who count the votes say they feel less safe on the job and many of them are quitting because they fear for their safety. what has this country come to when that happens? when the wellspring of our democracy, the fair, unbiased counting of the votes, which has been the hallmark of this country since we have started got which is the root of democracy, when people who do that are threatened with violence. what has come of our country? we must act. my colleagues, the threats i have mentioned are the symptoms of an illness festering deep within the bones of our democracy. unless we confront the big lie, unless all of us do our part to
fortify and strengthen our democracy, the political violence of january 6 risks becoming little more than a taste of dangers to come. all of us have a role to play to protect our democratic system. everyone from our capitol police to the voting public and those of us entrusted to serve in elected office. again, just as the capitol police have taken the experience of january 6 to institute reforms for the future, every member of the united states senate is called on to do the same, to reckon with the lessons of that terrible day and take action to cure america of the disease of the big lie. that means passing legislation to protect our democracy from subversion and to safeguard the right to vote, including the john lewis voting rights advancement act and freedom to vote act. in the weeks to come, i look
forward to working with all my colleagues to achieve this. for now, let me close by thinking she manger -- chief manger for beat -- being here. let me think senator klobuchar, senator blunt, and the rules committee for their role. i know it is not easy work. i know at times it has been met with resistance, but i commend you for keeping your eye on the big picture and doing your part to protect our democracy. it is my hope the senate can follow suit in the near future. sen. klobuchar: well said, i will now introduce our witnessed -- witness, mr. thomas manger. he was sworn into his current position on july 21 2021. he joined the department following a distinguished 42 year career in law enforcement.
most recently serving for 15 years as chief of police in montgomery county, maryland. during that time he was elected by his peers across the country to serve as the president of the major city chiefs association. earlier in his career, he served as chief of police in fairfax county, virginia where he rose through the ranks after joining the force following his graduation from the university of maryland. i will now swear in our witness. if you could please stand and raise your white -- your right hand. do you swear that the testimony you give before the test amount -- before the committee will be the truth, nothing but the truth and so help you god? thank you, you are now recognized for five minutes. chief manger: chairwoman klobuchar, ranking women are blunt -- ranking member blunt, thank you for providing me the
opportunity to speak about the improvements we have made following the events of january 6 and to speak about the remote -- the work that remains to be done. i want to acknowledge the men and women who worked tirelessly to fulfill their mission of protecting the u.s. capitol, the members of congress and the legislative process. it is my honor to work with these women and men who performed courageously. while i am proud of our officers the events of january 6 exposed critical departmental failures and deficiencies with operational planning, intelligence, staffing, training, and equipment. i am pleased to report we have addressed a significant portion of the recommendations issued to the department. in fact of the more than 100 recommendations issued, we have implemented and are addressing over 90 of them. the staff report issued by your committee listed five recommendations directed to the united states capitol police.
the department has implemented or in the process of implementing each one of them. i am prepared to discuss many of the recommendations but understanding the time limitations i will focus on the improvements most impactful and address the core of the findings and conclusions. i provided under a separate cover a more complete and formal statement that includes a detailed list of all of the departments' post january 6 improvements. the committee reported that an important entry beating factor was the lack of an operational plan for the joint session. an important first step that we turn to -- talk to address the concern was the onboarding of a former secret service official with extensive experience in national event planning. we take a multi-phased approach to our planning process. with a focus on information,
coordination and departmentwide dissemination of all intelligence before all large and high-risk events. this also includes the creation of the department's first critical incident response plan that allows us to more effectively and quickly obtain assistance from partner agencies , in short, a blueprint for operational planning has been created and put into place for all future significant events. if january 6 taught us anything it is that preparation matters. immediately after the department focused on the need to strengthen front-line officers, the civil disturbance unit for any demonstration that involves violence or the potential for violence, the need for a well-trained and well-equipped cdu is essential. recognizing the tactical importance, we developed a plan to elevate their status and incentivize them to remain in the unit.
the plan entails the creation of eight platoons. they will be permanent units whose members train together and are deployed together. we have done other things to strengthen the cdu and make it more effective, the establishment of the bicycle response team which works in coordination. we can deploy 100 trained and certified bike officers as well as a trained and certified officials to complement the cdu operations. our first responders cannot do their job without the proper equipment. therefore, we reviewed all cdu equipment and upgraded it extensively to protect officers and enhance the ability for crowd control. our improvements have touched every component of the u.s. capitol police department but few changes are as dramatic as the ones that we have made to the way we gather, analyze, share, use, and disseminate intelligence. however, improvements to the
lead intelligent component, the intelligence and interagency coordination division began before january 6. the department recognize that the iicd's decentralized structure had created silos. the continued focus on this has yielded significant improvements including a nationwide search for a permanent intelligence director and the department is in the final stages of that process and we should have something on board the coming weeks. the development of the capitol police intelligence product scare you shared with the intelligence community. the issuance of a daily intelligence report distributed to all officers and officials in the department. a biweekly testify intelligence hearing and coordination in advance of large and high-profile events. the realignment of task force officers to enhance intelligence sharing and dissemination and increased staffing. we have added nine new
intelligence analysts. 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 the committee for its ongoing support, in particular for your support for the capitol police emergency act. i acknowledge and appreciate the support that we have received the capitol police board. today, i am confident that the u.s. capitol police department made significant progress addressing the deficiencies that impacted the response on january 6. while more work remains to be done men and women of the capitol police stand ready to fulfill their mission each and every day. sen. klobuchar: thank you. i want to start by asking do you believe that the department would be great -- be better able to defend against the type of threat we saw a year ago today than the apartment was back then? chief manger: absolutely.
sen. klobuchar: we had a number of recommendations and i will not go through the mall and i know that having reviewed your testimony and our staff has spent significant time working with your leadership, and that you are making progress to implement the recommendations that are pertaining to the police department, is that right? chief manger: that is correct. sen. klobuchar: we had the inspector general in about a month or so ago and he issued 100 recommendations which we truly appreciated, and he talked about the progress that he knew of that you had made at the time and we have of course, after that hearing as is our job encouraged you to work with him and to report back on the progress. can you tell me where you are in responding to this and the progress you have made on his recommendations? chief manger: at the time when
the inspector general testified i think we had about 30 of the 103 recommendations implemented that we had finished. at the time we also had another 60 recommendations that were basically in progress that we had a detailed plan in place, but the plan had not been completed. in some cases the plan will not be completed until fy 23 budget is approved. some of these it will take time. the plan is in place in the work is in progress. we had basically addressed over 90 of the 103 recommendations and we continue to work on those. i think we have closed another five or six of recommendations. we continue to work on all of them. in fact, i have signed an inspector to work full time for the next several months to look at the recommendations that are
not completed, and to see what we need to do to complete them. so, we have a plan in place to address all of them. sen. klobuchar: you understand that we are very leader focused, senator blunt and myself on accountability on what happened so we appreciate that. i am sure we will have the inspector general back next year and we will continue this review. our report found that 75% of the officers, 900-1200 on-duty were forced to defend in their regular uniforms and many officers cannot access riot shields because they were locked on a bus. the emergency funding legislation signed into law included significant funding to improve capitol police officer'' equipment and access to a clip -- two equipment. do they have better access to equipment? and this is something that individual officers have spoken about me as well. chief manger: we have shields,
new shields because some of the ones that we had had were passed their expiration date -- past their expiration date, and we deploy those shields every day. i'm sure as you walk around the campus there are times when you pass through a door and you notice that there is a stack of shields behind the door. so, we have them deployed around the campus in case we need them. we have ordered all new equipment for our civil service unit officers. that equipment like many things is impacted by the supply chain issues going on. we should have that, my hope is this month, but certainly in the coming weeks we should have that equipment which will be deployed. i think the important part of your question is that any officer that would be deployed as a cdu officer now would have all of their equipment. it might not be new equipment,
but they will not come out there without everything that they need. so we have new equipment on order, it is upgraded and better, and we will be deploying that as soon as it comes in. hopefully in the next few weeks. but we will send no officer outs to work cdu without all of the equipment that they need. sen. klobuchar: mean civil disturbance unit for cdu. no more locked buses where they cannot access this? that is an unbelievable story, and they cannot get it. i remember the haunting words of the officer does anyone have a plan? the department has made clear progress in respect to operational planning. in your testimony you called this game changer the fact that you have this departmentwide incident assessment plan. can you briefly expand on what has been done to improve
preparedness. i noted that you hired someone that has key experience with that, anything else you want to add? chief manger: we have an action plan prepared for tomorrow. this is a copy, it is 25 pages long. in it, everybody's responsibilities are laid out and this is shared with everyone, so that a captain in charge of one division knows exactly what is going on in the other divisions as well as his or her own. so, we are sharing information better and we are signing responsibilities and people know what they are. we have backups to each one of -- for each of the commanders. the blueprint that has been created we have used it many times since the sixth, and we are very confident that it gives us everything that we need to ensure the planning that we do in the sharing of information and that everyone on the
department understands what their responsibilities are. sen. klobuchar: i noticed an art legislation that was cosponsored by many members of this committee gave you and in general the capitol police chief authority to request assistance from the national guard in an emergency. it was cloudy at best before and a difficult procedure. how would this improve your ability to respond and potential future emergencies at the capital? -- the capitol? chief manger: it cuts through the red shape and allows -- tape and allows the police chief to make that call directly. i spoke with the department of defense and a meeting with them later today to make sure that we have the process down so that if its time ever came that we needed to make that call, everyone would know what the expectations are on both sides of the call. so, that is very helpful, but i would just say this, that my
hope is with the other process and planning that we have put into place there will not be the need for a panicked call in an emergency, that those things will be planned ahead of time so that we will have better coordination in advance. sen. klobuchar: we speak to officers in the capital and my colleagues and i thank them every single day. one of them that we know is that many of had vacations canceled and they have been working significant over time and sometimes that is by choice. right now we are down officers and this is something that was happening across the country. it is happening right now, and it is something that you are uniquely challenged to deal with. i know that there are more than 400 officers short. can you tell us your plans to change that? chief manger: i have short-term plans and longer-term strategies. i think the important long-term
strategy is that we intend to hire 280 police officers in this fiscal year. in a normal year we were at higher less than half of that. because we want to get ahead of attrition, attrition that has increased over the last year we will hire 280 officers this year and our intent is to hire 280 police officers for the next three years to get us ahead of attrition and to where we need to be in terms of staffing. shorter-term strategies are to look at hiring to reemploy annuitants, and allowing for lateral transfers and hires from other agencies, and then also looking at contract security officers that can assist at particular locations where we do not really need an armed capitol police officer and we are hoping that that would free up officers to be held over less frequently, to be able to get their days off
as they planned, and address some of the staffing issues that are really impacting the morale of this department. sen. klobuchar: your long-term plan is to hire actual officers, full-time? chief manger: correct. sen. klobuchar: i mentioned the threats against congress and many committee members have experience them, over 9000 threats in 2021 alone, an astounding number against 500 some people. i understand that you hired these additional threat assessment agents. what steps are you taking to protect members of congress and the people who work with them? chief manger: what we are trying to do is have that are coordination. -- better coordination. we can control into a lot when members are on campus. when they go home, when they go to their home districts, we are trying to work with local
officers in those jurisdictions to ensure the safety and security of staff and officers and so we can provide advice and recommendations in terms of how to better secure locations whether offices or homes, but we can also work more closely with local law enforcement partners to solicit their help. the biggest challenge i think we have is keeping up with the number of threats. we have doubled the number of officers that investigate these threats, agents that investigate these threats, and if they continue to go up the way we have, clearly we are going to need additional officers to aside to this responsibility. sen. klobuchar:, thank you. senator blonde? sen. blunt: the chief on the issue of bringing in contract employees and officer has
suggested that the union rep that this be a problem for them. do you want to talk about how you're going to deal with that. my view a bigger problem for them is the overwork and extended stress of being short so many officers, but tell me how you plan to work with the officers who are concerned about bringing in non-sworn officers to do even parts of this work? chief manger: i have been in discussions with the union about this specific issue. they mentioned a number of concerns, and our conversations and our attend -- intent is to address the concerns. what we agree on is that these officers need relief and we need to allow these officers to get more time off, stop being held over on shifts, not being forced
to work overtime when they would rather be home with their families. so, again, i talked about the strategy in place, so contract security would be a temporary solution until we can get more officers hired, and my intent is to address the concerns that the union has with regard to where these contractors security officers are assigned. sen. blunt: what kind of temporary program what it be? would you anticipate a multi-year bid for one year bid with possible extensions? what are you thinking about as you begin to think about how you look for contract employees? chief manger: realistically i think it is going to take us at least two to three years to get up to our staffing in terms of hiring new officers. so, having that as an option to use over the next two or three years i would like to have that option. sen. blunt: just to be sure that
we are straight on this, hiring the officers to get to the officers you are currently allowed to have is the problem here as opposed to the congress saying we are going to give you 100 more officers than you are currently capped at, that is an unrealistic moment for us. your goal is to fill the slots that you already have been allowed to have, and you are 400 short. are you 400 short right now? chief manger: actually 457 short. sen. blunt: 4, 5, 7? chief manger: yes. sen. blunt: if you -- if i understood your thought of hiring 280 officers over the next years as other officers retire and find other opportunities, that number fought -- sounds about right to me to get up to where you want to be. how long is the training process from the time you bring an
officer in until you have them available for service? chief manger: from the time they are hired than to deploy them by themselves is close to a year. sen. blunt: so hiring annuitants who have retired and are willing to come back to work is one of your thoughts. chief manger: that is correct because you're hiring back someone without experience and they could go back to work day one. sen. blunt: would you just try to evaluate the level of training that officer already has when you hire laterally and then determine what additional training is necessary before you put them into the line? chief manger: exactly. sen. blunt: i think every police force in america and certainly every big police force in america has a lot of the same challenge of people leaving the big force for a smaller force in
some other community or leaving with frustration and the whole idea that defunding the police was ever any real option for the country. the inspector general testified before us that he thinks that in his view, restructuring to where the u.s. capitol police was more of a protective agency instead of a law enforcement agency, i am not absolutely sure i know what he means by that. but why don't you give us your sense after six months on the job, what is your vision on what the capitol police force would look like two years from now and five years from now and maybe even longer if you have thought through the way that this force stood -- should function to do its job? chief manger: thank you for asking that question. first, i think that where i
agree with the inspector general is the fact that we need to expand and enhance our ability to investigate threats against congress, to provide protection to members against congress, to our counter surveillance activities to enhance security in the home districts, and in that regard, we need to expand our protection capabilities. but, make no mistake, we continue to have to be a police as well. the difference between the u.s. capitol and the white house with the cia, or other facilities, it is that we are open to the public. someone can walk in off of the street. not now because of covid, but somebody can walk in off of the sidewalk and say i would just like to look around and walk around. so, we deal with the public every day and demonstrations
every day. we have to respond to crimes most days. we are handling demonstrations, making arrests. we are staffing posts, we do crowd and visitor control, employee screening, crime prevention, crisis negotiations, all of which are part of being a police department. while i agree that we need to expand our protection capabilities, i do not think we can walk too far away from police responsibilities because they will remain. in answer to your question about where i think we need to go. one of the ways that we need to expand our protection capabilities is to take the work that we do in terms of investigating threats, take the intelligence responsibilities, and make those invested -- investigatory and create a new
bureau, have a new assistant chief, an additional assistant chief so you will have dignitary protection and response police continue to grow and that need and that workload has increased. uniformed services will always likely be the largest bureau that we had. but looking at intelligence and investigations and creating a new bureau with its own assistant chief is a direction that we need to go. this then speaks directly to the ig's recommendation that we need to move towards a more protection focus because that will what -- that is what will allow the department to do. sen. blunt: i have more questions if we have time for a second round. thank you. sen. klobuchar: thank you. next up virtually is senator warner, chairman of the intelligence committee and also has played an important role in our response since january 6 and
before then to other threats to our capital and democracy. thank you senator wrote -- warner. sen. warner: first of all, let me what i echo set echo what i said last hearing. thank you and ranking member blunt for the way that you have conducted the investigation and how the rules committee has stepped up in terms of the assessment of making sure that we can protect the capital, so i think both of you. we have the opportunity to work together, and you were chief in fairfax, and people still sing your praises. we went through the most challenging three weeks plus of the whole region, but i know you are the right person at this
critical moment in terms of the evolution and direction of the capitol police. i am going to pick up where chair klobuchar just indicated and do a question about the structure. i know you are about to name this new deputy chief who will be on intelligence, can you expand that and when do you expect to name the individual? and talk to us about the intelligent functions of the capitol police. will they mostly be senior intelligence from other entities rather than doing their own intelligence work if there is indication of some kind of organized threat, will you pursue that or will the fbi, taught me more through the structure in this intelligence unit. chief manger: first, you may be aware that we did have a
civilian director of intelligence on january 6. that person left in the weeks following the sixth. so, we have been doing a nationwide search. we are going to make a final selection in the next couple of weeks and my hope is that we have someone in place shortly thereafter -- shortly thereafter. we have a confident acting director there now. i think the changes that we have made in the way that we gather, share, disseminate intelligence, there has been a lot of changes, the big thing is is how we use intelligence. one of the problems of course on the sixth is that we had information and it was not acted upon. intelligence is -- the only use that real intelligence is is if it is actionable and it can help
you formulate your plan in terms of how to deal with a situation. so, we have now, which we did not have, our own intelligence analysts. we have put nine new ones in place in the last few months. they have the same training as an fbi analyst and a homeland security analyst. so, we are speaking their language and sharing information. we have people embedded with the fbi and dhs, and we have our task force officers on different taskforces with the fbi. we are now plugged into all of the places that we need to be plugged into. also while we are still sharing information and getting information from homeland security in the fbi we are not totally dependent on them. we have our own folks who are also doing research and doing their own analysis, so basically we are staying connected to our
partners in the federal intelligence community, but we are not just passive recipients, we are active in the intelligence community and in terms of sharing our information and making sure that all of the information that we get gets down to our folks both the officials and the officers. sen. wyden: are -- sen. warner: that means the investigatory role is not something that the capitol police will take on. that will still be reliance on the api -- fbi, dhs and other partners. you might have the analysts, but the pursuit of the plotters would be the fbi not the capitol police, is that correct? chief manger: for the most part. but when we get information about threats against congress that is a priority for us. so, we will take those cases and
we will run with them. occasionally the fbi helps us with those cases, occasionally homeland security, but they have to prioritize things too. our priorities are threats against congress. in some regard we in fact are taking the lead role in some of these cases when they have to do with threats against congress. sen. warner: one last question. one of the things, it may have gotten better but we still have moved in terms of the intelligence communities the willingness to share information on a regular basis. my hope, and can you speak to this, do you have interoperable systems so that you do not have to be reliance upon an agency, a partner to greet you in person or adding agents at a level enough that they can realtime get that intelligence that might
be being looked at from the fbi or some other agency or do they have a broader reach? chief manger: we do. we have daily intelligence briefings with partners around the region and, as i mentioned, we are plugged into the fbi and remain plugged into homeland security. we remain partners with everything that mpd is doing and washington, d.c.'s homeland security. we are absolutely connected and are speaking the same language and sharing information on a daily basis with all of those partners. sen. warner: thank you, sir. sen. leahy: i want to thank you and senator klobuchar in the bipartisan way you have held a very important series of hearings about the insurrection of january 6. you know that i have enjoyed all
of these years with working of -- with working with both of you. chief, i am glad to see you here and i have enjoyed our conversations that we have had. i think back, i am beginning my 28th year in the senate, but i look at january 6 of last year. i never thought i would see a day like that. a violent mob driven by the rhetoric and lies of a disgraceful former president of the united states, they attacked our seat of government, they threatens not just the lives of the senators here in this room, not a congressional staff of capitol hill reporters, and chief, you know so well the dedicated law enforcement officers are sworn to protect the capital and the people who work here and what they face.
i have served here so long i have gotten to know most of these officers over the years, dedicated, hard-working people. those in uniform, and those in plainclothes. in fact, one of the officers who died, i first knew him as a teenager. this hits home. this is the capitol family. and, hundreds of these heroes help protect the capital bank -- capitol today and they are vigilant in upholding their oath to protect and serve. i see it as president pro tem of the senate and those who protect that office. but, some are no longer walking here. the officers of the capitol police and washington, d.c. metropolitan police who gave
their lives protecting our lives , they cannot be out of our thoughts or prayers. their sacrifices should not be papered over by those who want to pretend nothing happened. chief, you came out of retirement to take on an immensely important job and at an unenviable time and i praise you for doing that. it is a force that is struggling today with morale and memories and shortages. you spoke as recently of this -- as this weekend about staffing shortages and the capitol police. last year the senate appropriations committee released a bill for fiscal year 2022 to provide many million dollars more and that is pending these appropriations bills. senator blunt has been helpful
and on the republican side the appropriations committee strongly supported the extra 100 million that we put in the last bill. but if congress fails to reach an agreement to pass fy 22's spending bill, if you are held to last year's spending levels, how does this lack of increased funding prevent the protection -- impact the protection of the capital? chief manger: it would impact everything we are trying to do in terms of making and sustaining improvements especially in the areas of intelligence, to terry protection, threat analysis and security infrastructure. we would have to ask -- have to suspend our health and wellness is to -- institutes that we have started.
the biggest impact would be the ability to increase staffing. all we would be able to do is replace people that left. we cannot survive and continue. we have to increase our staffing , as i talked about before. that would be the biggest impact. sen. leahy: i commend those republicans and democrats who joined me to get the extra money for the capitol police. and i hope that we can come together, both parties to get our appropriations bill through this year so that you will have the additional funding that we put in there. and, tell me how you use some of these additional resources, which would of course disappear if we get stuck with a continuing resolution? chief manger: first, the retention bonus that we were able to provide officers, i think is going to really have a
great benefits. over 90% of our department signed an agreement to stay for another year, minimum another year. this will definitely should slow down the attrition to allow us, hopefully as we hire more so the retention bonus was one of the ways and we were able to use that to help with our staffing issues. hazard pay, anyone that was here on january 6 got hazard pay. we got the new cdu equipment. cell phones for every police officer. one of the big issues was officers were not getting intelligence information. they get briefings every day on their cell phones and operational information on their cell phones. there are training initiatives that we want to get to, replacing and replenishing equipment that was deployed on the sixth.
we have been able to do that as well. that money has gone to good use and has really put us in a much better position than we were in. sen. leahy: thank you chief. in eighth -- in a few minutes i will open the senate as my capacity of president pro tem and i will be speaking to a lot of senators this week in both parties, let us get these funding bills through, certainly, you are an example of a department that needs it. chair, thank you. sen. klobuchar: thank you. we appreciate you and senator shelby's work to make sure that this chief and his officers have the resources that they need. thank you so much. next up, someone who has been incredibly active on this committee and we appreciate his work, senator merkley of oregon. sen. merkley: thank you madam
chair and thank you chief mansour -- chief manger as well as recommendations from the inspector general's office to enhance security of our capital -- capitol complex. i want to directly thank the men and women on the capitol police force for their heroism on january 6 and their service and resiliency in the aftermath of that very dark hour. we have made a lot of progress in the past year as this hearing is highlighting, and there are challenges to come that are also a part of this hearing. and i want to just touch on a couple of them. first, i want to be clear about the number of officers currently on the force, you mentioned the numbers were short, but how many officers are on the force currently? chief manger: i am going to have
to get back to you with that number. here is what i can tell you. over the past year 153 officers either retired or resigned from the department. we have 175 on any given day on some type of leave, many of those are out due to covid, and so, basically, we are 400 -- i might have said 457, it is 447 short. i would think that we are somewhere between or around 1700 that we have. between 1600 and 7000 that we can -- 1700 that we can deploy at a post or assigned to a responsibility. sen. merkley: that puts into context both the shortage and
also the desirability to hire 280 officers this coming year. and do you see, apart from the issue of funding, assuming there is adequate funding, is that a feasible objective to achieve? chief manger: i believe it is. it will be a challenge, there is no question, hiring that many officers the real challenge is to hire the right officers, quality candidates. we have a plan in place to get them trained and -- that has been the chokepoint in the past, getting through the training and the federal law enforcement training center. we have a plan to get all the officers through training. and i think some positive news is that so far we have not had difficulty in recruiting people. we are getting plenty of people
showing interest in wanting to be a part of the organization. we are selective about who we end up hiring, but i believe it is realistic and we will do everything we can and we have a plan in place to get 280 folks on board. sen. merkley: there was a recommendation that all members should maintain a security clearance. you mentioned that intelligence is coming through the officers on a daily basis and i know that may not necessarily mean security clearance rated intelligence, but is that -- do you feel like that is a recommendation that should be fulfilled, that each person obtain a security clearance, and if so, do we need to have some sort of way to prioritize those security clearances given that the security clearance process is completely backlogged right now? chief manger: the answer to the second part is absolutely yes,
we would have to have some method to get those done. this is where it comes down. i believe that that recommendation has merits. but i am concerned about the fact that i am trying to hire 280 officers. if that clearance process slows that hiring process down, that is a concern to me. i do know that we have many of our personnel that have security clearances and certainly i can look at assignments and say yes, someone in this particular assignment would need a security clearance. i also think that as we hire new officers not every single officer in every assignment would actually need a security clearance. while i think long term we can look at that. in the short term, i am concerned about it holding up a hiring process and do we really -- actually focusing on where we need the officers and where we
require security clearances. sen. merkley: it should not be a requirement to get folks on board, but as you get them on board, and you feel the need of those clearances, please raise to us the need to be able to clear the path so that those who need those clearances will get them to fulfill the full range of their contributions to their fours -- to the force. thank you very much. sen. klobuchar: thank you very much. next up we have a very constructive member as well, senator o. thank you for being here. sen. crapo: --capito: as a recipient of the service that you and the capitol police provide and in our districts and many times to look at the security of our own officers and security, i want to express our deep appreciation and gratitude.
thank you and i hope that you will pass that along. i read through your statement, and i read a news clip, i guess this morning, talking about the scars that are remaining from the capitol police from the january 6 incident. terrible incident. how is morale? how many of your officers have actually asked for additional mental health help? do you feel you have the capacity for that? where's your level of concern a year later? chief manger: one of the priorities we had was to make sure that we had programs in place to deal with not only just the daily stress of the job, but folks that were actually gone through traumatic incidents or experience that trauma. we have instituted a robust peer
support program and we are in the process of hiring and i think we have already hired a couple of trauma counselors. we have got formal programs in place now so that officers can seek that health. i cannot tell you how many have sought that help because it is confidential, -- sen. capito: i was just looking for a ballpark. is there a great take up? chief manger: a fair number has -- have availed themselves, and i think as they hear from other officers how much these programs have helped, it might encourage more officers to seek the help as well. i am glad you asked about the morale issue. morale for somebody who has been a cop for over 42 years, morale is always -- what i have learned it is in the eye of the beholder. you will always have cops that will tell you morale is as were said it has ever been and you
have other cops that show up and no matter what happens they are happy to be there and love their job. it is really -- but what it comes down to these officers need to believe in their hearts that this department cares about them. that what happened on january 6 when the department let them down that the department will take responsibility for fixing those failures and for making sure that that never happens again. that will take time. for some officers they have seen improvements and they appreciate it, and for other officers who are more cynical, perhaps they are going to wait until the first time we are tested again and are we ready for the test. it is one of my responsibility is to make sure that you restore -- that we restore the confidence for the officers in the department. sen. capito: let me ask you this , and a lot of the retrospective that we have done there were, on
the intelligent side, questions as to social media paying enough attention to the run-up to january 6. what adjustments have you made in terms of the coordination between you and other agencies in terms of the social media monitoring? chief manger: this is one of the areas where we are taking more responsibility. we are not trying to worry about something that is going on in a foreign country. what we are worried about and paying attention to is threats against congress and the capitol. that is our focus, and so while you have other intelligence community folks looking at anything and everything, we have folks in place now that are paying attention to those kinds of threats and statements that cause concern. so we have folks that are not only looking at that but are watching for that, but we are also then ensuring that if it
crosses that line in terms of being a crime, what someone says on social media that we follow up on that. sen. capito: has that changed over the last year? is that a new addition? chief manger: we have more people doing that. i think before the sixth i am not -- i do not know if we had anybody doing it. we have eight or nine people in place doing that with more on the horizon. our biggest challenge right now is keeping up with a caseload in terms of the threats against congress. the ones that crossed the line where we have to do a criminal investigation. sen. capito: thank you again and i know you have been asked about the 400 openings that you have talked about and the recruitment, and you know, i know that probably law enforcement in general, i do not know what the female ratio is, that i am sure it is quite low. i noticed that too and the
capitol police so i hope that you are making special efforts to diversify the workforce as you have this opportunity to hire more people, it is a great career and i am grateful as i stated. thank you so much. sen. klobuchar: thank you. next up, senator king who brings his strong sense of independence to this committee and we appreciate him as well. senator king. i'm in give him a minute here. sen. king: i am sorry now i am on. sen. klobuchar: you are all good. sen. lee: -- sen. king: i am hoping that you will convey our appreciation to the men and women of the capitol police, whenever i am interacting, my sort of standard comment is
thanks for looking after us, and that we really do appreciate it, and in the day-to-day of politics it is hard sometimes for people to realize that, so please convey the deep appreciation and thanks from all of us that we care about what they do and we appreciate what they do for us. a couple of things, you touched on the issue of security clearances. that is a problem throughout the federal government although i must say it was better than two or three years ago. one of the questions that have plagued us is reciprocity. do you have a situation where somebody has a security clearance from another federal agency but then when they come to apply to you, they have to start all over? or do you have a reciprocity arrangement where they are cleared for the state or the fbi, they are also clear for the capitol police? chief manger: if it is done by either the department of defense
or fbi, typically if it is done by any federal agency i would think that that would suffice for us. sen. king: i would urge you to look into that because it does not make much sense, believe it or not there are plenty of places where the reciprocity is not honored and it delays the process. you can have a good recruit, but they get discouraged by the length of the security clearance process and find another opportunity and in this economy we cannot afford to lose good people. a couple of other questions and observations. in terms of your planning, it seems to me that one of the things we learned on january 6 is that there is a lack of preplanning, in other words a lack of imagination. we have to have people thinking the unthinkable and saying ok what happens if? what do we do? i hope that is the case and my question is that do you feel we
have adequate communication and coordination with other agencies that might be important from an intelligence point of view such as the fbi or the other intelligence agencies? or with law enforcement d.c. metropolitan police, the natural -- national guard? are we working on pre-existing coordination and communication plans so that we do not have to make it up on the fly in the case of an emergency? chief manger: yes we are. in fact, it has become a part of our blueprint that we use in terms of our preplanning for these events to reach out to those partner agencies and ensure that we are sharing information, that if we plan or believe that we will need their help that we plan for that well ahead of time, so that we are able to do, and we end up doing
table exercises and the commanders to show where we need the folks deployed and what responsibilities that we are going to give to them, so absolutely that is part of our planning process. sen. king: i hope that extends to the intelligence side as well. you mentioned you are developing some of your own intelligence capabilities. we have enormous intelligence capabilities are at the federal government. my concern is that we still tend to have silos. they are excellent silos but they are still silos. i hope that the coordination includes intelligence. chief manger: one of the problems that we identified shortly after the sixth is the fact that even internally we had intelligence silos within our organization. those are gone and with the briefings that we have with our
partners will people times a week, and he silos that existed previously certainly do not now. sen. king: final question i remember we discussed this, not you and i, but in a prior hearing. at his work with the architect in the -- architect of the capitol in terms of physical infrastructure and the ability to seal the building effectively and, again, we are back to silos. i hope there is a close relationship between your department and the architect of the capitol, because your people's job could be a lot easier if we had windows and doors that could easily be closed in the case of an emergency. chief manger: one of the things that we have done is to make sure -- the architect has done is to hear everyone's voice. he has brought experts into doer views and provide
recommendations but has ensured that everybody has been able to lend their voice to their concerns. i think that has been part of his planning process. sen. king: thank you very much and thank you to all of your people for the great work that they do on our behalf. thank you madam chair. sen. klobuchar: thank you very much. next up, senator cruz, thank you for being here. sen. cruz: thank you. welcome, and good morning. thank you for your service and i want to start by thanking the roast -- the heroic service of the men and women who serve alongside you. we are approaching a solemn anniversary, and it is the anniversary of a viral -- violent terrorists attack on the capital. we saw the men and women of law enforcement demonstrate incredible courage and bravery, risk their lives to defend the
men and women who serve in this capital. we are grateful for that courage and we appreciate the selfless sacrifice of the men and women who keep us safe. and, i will say my view is that anyone who commits an act of violence should be prosecuted. anyone who assaults a law enforcement officers should go to jail for a very long time. and i think that is a principle that is true regardless of the politics of the violent criminal, whether they are right wing, left-wing, or no wings at all. if you assault a cop you ought to go to jail for a long, long time. and i hope we get some agreement that that should be true regardless of the political context that substantively and purportedly justifies the violence. that we will stand with the men
and women in blue. i thank you for your service and i thank those who serve with you for your serve as we reflect on what happened to years ago, it is always worth asking, as we have, this committee has, as you have, what could have been done differently, what could have prevented the breach of the capitol, what could have invented the riot getting as far as it did. so let me just start with that question, with the benefit of hindsight. what could have been done to better secure the capital, to stop the ride outside and prevent them from penetrating as far as they did? >> i think clearly documented intelligence failures, they were leadership failures within the capitol police department. if folks -- if the intelligence
had been acted on the way it should have been, and we would have had enough people here, i think it would have been a different story. that is one of the things -- one of the changes we put into place is that, with a few phone calls, i could get double or triple the number of police officers we had , trained, equipped police officers here to assist us in our responsibilities to protect capital and the members of congress. and we will be tested again, senator. i do not know who it will be or what -- or when it will be but we will likely be tested. what will be different is we will be paying more attention to the information that together ahead of time, putting together a better plan, begetting getting the help that we need preplanned here on campus before we need
it, not making panicked because later on. i say that to not any way criticize the folks here on the sixth. they had a difficult challenge. i frankly have not been looking behind me. i am looking forward about what we need to do to make changes. but clearly, when you look at the recommendations and what happened, we were -- we did not have the people, we did not act on the intelligence, and we were not prepared the way we should have been. that has changed and next time we are tested, we will not be making those same mistakes. >> one of the things we have seen the last two years as a dramatic increase in threats directed to lawmakers, and those threats are bipartisan, directed at republicans and democrats, the chairwoman and i have discussed this at length, and
let me say to the -- let me say, the capitol police does a tremendous job working to deal with those threats and working to keep us safe. sen. cruz: we are grateful for that. the two areas you identified for improvement or intelligence gathering and manpower. on the manpower side, you talked about the ability to surge additional resources. what are the sources of those additional officers to search on the manpower side. -- side? on the intelligence i, what we need to do on the front-end to anticipate the threats we need to be ready for? tom: in terms of staffing here, we have got federal partners, state and local partners, the national guard. all of whom we have coordinated with since the sixth, we have
sat down and say when we need help, here is how we will do it. one of the things, and i thank the senate and house for passing the supplemental. we have included in their was funding -- there was funding so that when we asked for state and local help, and at one point for one event we had an additional 400 to 500 police officers, trained civil servant police officers here, to enhance our capability, we were able to offset the expenses from those partners so that when we make the request, we will get a yes. metropolitan police department and chief contee -- we could not a better partner than mpd. i speak with the chief fairly frequently. anything that we need is -- again, the answer is yes from
mpd. we know we need to talk ahead of time to plan for these things, which takes me to your second question about the intelligence and what we're doing on the front end. we did not -- prior to the sixth, we were not sharing information the way we should be. and we were not disseminating it to our own people. -- people the way we should be. intelligence is only useful if you act on it. when you get intelligence, you need to say how does this impact our operational plan? we have heard this and had this intelligence and we believe it is credible, what will we do about it? those are changes that we have made and put into place so we are sharing it, acting on it, using it, and disseminating it to our own officers. we are going to get tested again, but we have put things in
place to make sure that we will not be impacted by intelligence failures or failure to plan ahead or imagine or failure to have enough people here. those are things we have put into place that i am confident that when we are tested again, we will be fine. sen. klobuchar: thank, senator cruz. thank you for the focus on member security and we will continue to work on that. next up is senator padilla with his past work as secretary of state for the state of california. thank you,m senator padilla, for being on today. sen. padilla: thank you. before i get to a couple questions to prioritize, i want to take the opportunity to comment on something that senator cruz just raised. i appreciate the fact that he
recognized, last january the sixth, i believe he called it a reference to rioters. i believe it was an insurrection personally. you can discuss with the proper terminology is but even if it was just a ride, we saw the results of that incident. we saw a violent attempts to disrupt congress, to disrupt the process of certifying the election results and it's part of the greater, peaceful transfer of power. we saw deadly violence, we saw tax and assaults. we saw insults and disrespect for capitol police officers. if we are in agreement to recognize january 6 or what it was, then we should also agree on a bipartisan basis to ask questions.
was it organic and spontaneous or premeditated? if it was organized, you will have a hard time convincing me otherwise that we have to ask the question, who was behind it? who organized, who incited this. we had the opportunity to set up an independent bipartisan commission to answer those very questions, but unfortunately our republican colleagues would not vote to do so, so now i and so many people across the country eagerly await the results of the committee established in the house, a bipartisan committee that seeks to answer some of these questions. let me now transition back to the topic at hand, issues at hand, and some questions i was hoping to raise. in the context of this information, chief, i think you for the service at this time and
for your four years of work at law information -- law enforcement. like many of my colleagues, i will not repeat issues. i want to highlight one specific question, the role of disinformation in the lead above january 6. what has been done since the insurrection is another. i am referring to the former president of the united states and his political allies seeking to whitewash. some claim to those who attacked the capitol were "peaceful protesters." perhaps nobody knows just how false those claims are that the women and men of the -- those claims are are the men and women of it capitol police bloodied defending the people in this building and defending democracy itself. chief, what do you say to those who continue to perpetuate the lie that last january 6 just
wasn't that bad? what do you say to that? >> we are not concerned about political ideology. we are concerned about behavior, about people that break the law. people break the law, there are extremists on both sides of the spectrum breaking the law and we are here to protect the capitol, the members of congress. i would say to anybody that wants to come to this capitol and peacefully demonstrate, we will protect your right to do so. anybody that comes here and decides they want to break the law, we will do everything in our power to stop you and ensure the capitol and members of congress remain safe.
sen. padilla: do we what we saw in the capitol was just another day, people exercising their constitutional rights, or was it unacceptable, fatal, violence? chief manger: as i watched the events of january 6, i was, at the time, retired. i was, at the time, watching on tv, and i was horrified by what i saw. i saw police officers being assaulted, and that is the reason i'm sitting here today, because i wanted to do what i could to help this police department and to better protect our nation and the capitol and what this capitol represents. sen. padilla: thank you for that. clearly we have ongoing work to do. my time is up and i want to recognize senator cap at the raised -- one senator raise the
issue of mental health. i do have one question about physical health. we know that businesses, organizations, entities, public and private across the country, have been impacted by the covid-19 pandemic. whether it is individuals unable to work because they have not been vaccinated or people who are not able to work because they have contracted covid-19. chief, can you talk about vaccination levels within the departments and what steps were encouraged vaccination rates for those on vaccinated yet? chief manger: i think we are over 70% of our employees were unvaccinated and like every agency -- we just had a call of law enforcement agencies around
the region yesterday, we are being hit hard by folks both vaccinated and not vaccinated with this latest variant that are testing positive and we have dozens of officers out on isolation. we have dozens of officers that have been out long term with the impacts of covid affected -- covid. it has affected our staffing levels and with all of the other challenges we have, covid is wreaking havoc as well. sen. padilla: thank you for your responses and for your service. sen. klobuchar: thank you, senator padilla. senator braun, you have a few more questions? sen. blunt: i do. thank you for the time to ask if you more questions. chief, there have been concerns expressed about individuals in senior leadership jobs in the
department. you have been there six months. what are you doing to address those concerns among the officers themselves? chief manger: right after the sixth, the chief of police resigned, and both sergeant and arms a week or so after the sixth were gone. in the weeks after that, there were -- our director of intelligence left, we had an assistant chief retire, two deputy chiefs retire, director of security services, two high-ranking civilian directors in our agency, intelligence and security services, left. when i got here, if you look at the top level of our
organization and top 11 people, six were gone. less than half of the leadership positions with the folks here on the sixth. as soon as i got here, the first thing -- my first order of business was to assess my leadership team. and assess and look at who was here biding their time, waiting to see what happens, and who was here working as hard as i was going to work in improving -- making the improvements the agency required. for the past six months, i have made that assessment. i made that assessment in light of discussions with the sergeant of arms, in light of discussions with past capitol police chiefs, made it in light of the no-confidence votes that the union held, and i consider all
of that information. bottom line, when i assess somebody's performance, i look at, what have they done since the 60? what have they done to help or improve the agency? i have made those assessments, and i know part of my leadership team is working as hard as i am to make the changes that need to be made. and i know that are still a lot of people that have differing opinions. i still understand the union stands by its vote of no-confidence but the fact of the matter is, a vote of no-confidence is not an objective evaluation of someone's performance. it has meaning. a vote of no confidence has meaning. but i'm trying to evaluate people's performance objectively in terms of what they are doing
to help this organization. as i move forward, i do think we -- i do think i need to add an assistant chief to my leadership team, for all of the reasons i talked about that move toward being a more protective agency. as i make my decisions about where we will be in six weeks, six months, six years, i am now at a point where i am ready to talk more publicly about what we need, come to the oversight committees, go to the capitol police board about organizational changes that need to be made, because i cannot make any organizational change without approval from the capitol police board and this oversight committee. so the time is now to have those
discussions, to talk about bigger plan, and understanding that not everybody is going to agree with my assessment, not everybody is going to agree with the direction i may want to go. i'm the one responsible for this department. i am the one responsible for the safety and security of this campus. so the decisions i make are not -- i have no predisposed notion about anybody. i made the decisions based on the last six months of my leadership team and my assessment of the department and where we need to go to be in a better position to fulfill our mission. sen. blunt: thanks, chief. i'm very supportive of one, understanding the vacancies you already had when you came to the job, and two, taking the time to evaluate not only who you had and what you needed, and i think i can speak for the chairman, committee, and certainly i can for myself and we are looking
forward to working with you as you come up with any reorganizational structure that as you pointed out this committee would have to approve. but after decades of work as the chief of police and after entering the second six months of your work here beginning to make those permanent decisions i think is important, and we look forward to working with you on those. i think my last question would be, of the unresolved recommendations from the ig or the big recommendations we made in our june report, which do you think are the most important to try to resolve as quickly as you can? chief manger: the intelligence recommendations, operational planning recommendations, and making sure we have the cdu situation squared away.
those are the top three i think priorities. sen. blunt: thank you, chief. thank you, chair. sen. klobuchar: thank you very much. just one or two more questions and we will let you go back to your work, chief. i want to thank you for being here today. the first question i have is a pretty straightforward one about training. it is one of the things we identified as an issue the inspector general, and his reports, identified the need for consistent training. i have had individual officers in the last year talk to me about that, what kind of training they had leading into this. some of that includes officers not receiving disturbance units as we say cdu training since they left the academy. also the inspector general raised concerns about maintaining up-to-date certifications for specialized roles such as intelligence analyst, k-9 officer's, and
others. how has the department improved access to prioritization of training and what are your top priorities for expanding training? chief manger: with the specific issues that were brought up in the recommendation from this committee's report, those have been squared away. we made sure we had those certifications in place and a process in place to make sure that is sustained. i will tell you, i've had so many training priorities. we need to start doing more training here and more training there. the biggest challenge is the staffing problem. you can't do training if you are so short of staffing you cannot pull people off a post to send them to training. sen. klobuchar: say not only have the trainers but you are pulling them off of the front
lines to have them trained. you need to get these people in place. chief manger: exactly. here's what we have done. we are just getting virtrum machines, it is basically a virtual training machine. we will put one in the capitol and apply a couple other of these machines. we will not have to pull an officer on post all day. we can pull them off for a half-hour and say go through this training program, whether it is the, use of force, whether -- these virtual trainings implements are great for a number of areas. sen. klobuchar: sometimes it is better to do training for a shorter period of time anyway then sitting there all day. chief manger: right. and we can do it without impacting staffing. one of the things i also want to do is focus more on leadership training. i do not think this department,
like many departments, does enough leadership training and i'm talking about for first-line supervisors and for commanders. i want to make sure we develop the leaders in this organization so that whenever i do leave, the sergeant of arms, oversight committees, can look at it and say, you know what? we have three to five people within that organization we believe could be the next chief. that is my goal. very good. sen. klobuchar: -- sen. klobuchar: very good. i notice on january 6, it was not only the capitol police. there were other law enforcement agencies that step in -- stepped in, not to mention the national guards outside of law enforcement in maryland and virginia and d.c.. can you talk about the importance of maintaining strong relationships with law enforcement partners in the
capitol region? i think that is one of the reasons there was so much interest in you for this job because you have those relationships and what steps have been taken to improve the department's coordination and mutual agreements. as a former prosecutor, i have 45 police department's in my county and i was well aware of how some of the smaller suburban areas and towns needed those mutual aid agreements and needed to pair up with other departments. but this is in a major city to major city. can you talk about the mutual aid agreements? chief manger: yes. if i can harken back -- so often we have folks with so much seniority here, let me harken back to my younger days. when i was a brand-new police chief in fairfax county and truck -- chuck ramsey was the police chief in washington, d.c.. chuck ramsey said we have a big event coming, can you come chief, send us 150 trained
officers to assist with this event, auntie called in regional park around the capitol beltway and was able to get, again, 800 to 900 police officers to supplement what he needed. i am a big believer in using the resources that we have in this region and have done it my whole career. when i got here, i made the same phone calls to people i have known a long time and leading agencies around the beltway. i said can you help? the immediate answer was yes. we put in a process to request that assistance and ensure we get the help we need. i have the same relationship with mpd, the same relationship with federal law enforcement officers, park police, u.s. secret service, and we have that
relationship with the national guard. all of these things have been put in place and we have been talking about it ahead of time so there will not be a panic call on the day of, it will be a more orderly planning process for the events that will be challenging to us. sen. klobuchar: thank you. last question, fbi, department of justice continue to investigate the events of january 6, outside of the work of course being done in the house, thorough work. they have brought over 700 criminal cases related to the attack. we just heard from senator cruz and his support for these prosecutions as well as many others on this committee. is the capitol police continuing to work in coordination with the department of justice in its investigations and prosecutions, and you agree it is particularly important to hold accountable
those who attacked capitol police officers? chief manger: i am a firm believer the biggest deterrent of criminal activity is people think they will face consequences for committing a crime. so i think anytime you have police officers assaulted, anytime you have a situation like we dealt with on january 6, people do -- if they committed a crime they should be prosecuted. we have been working closely with the department of justice. this ties into -- we have not talked about it but as you know, we are starting to have field offices around the country and our relationships with local prosecutors there and the fact we have attorneys assigned to those field offices. all of that is enhancing our reputation for prosecution of threat cases and other cases involving our mission here to protect the capitol. sen. klobuchar: thank you very much, chief. we heard today about the progress you have made, and most
importantly, the progress that your officers and what they have done here. i know senator blunt and i wish we could have them all in front of us to thank them because we know in the end, while you are the chief, it is individual officers that are the ones on the front lines making decisions every day about how to handle situations. i think on january 6 last year, they did not have the support they needed, whether it is their equipment, the plan, whether it was a direction that day. yet they still valiantly did their job. i want to reiterate, while you are a witness today, we see all of them before us as well. my memories of them with cuts on their faces, the looks on their faces, trying to get senators to safe locations, trying to assure people that they needed to stay where they are and it was going to be ok and doing the work of
even clearing the chamber with the help of others and other frontline staff people who we could go back and finish our jobs that night, this was not just about bread and butter doing your job. this was actually about saving our republic. it is, to me, what makes the capitol police such an important agency and unique and special agency for our country. i want to thank you. we are going to continue asking you questions as this goes along, as you know, and we will have you back again next year. but we will continue to work with the inspector general. we like that oversight. i know it is not always easy but it is important we continue to have that oversight and encourage you to continue to -- continue you in your work to recruit and retain officers, the number one challenge ahead for you and many chiefs across the country, as well as finding a different way
of using your resources and those are on the country to protect members, which we have seen of course be under more and more threats. we thank you for that as well. with that, senator blunt, do you want to say a few words at the end? sen. blunt: thank you, chair. i think it is a good opportunity for us to talk to the chief and think about the extraordinary bravery and service that the capitol police force provided not only on january the sixth but frankly every day. again, i want to express my great appreciation to their families as well. when they leave to come to work at the capitol, their family has no idea what they will face the day. that is the case for law enforcement everywhere, but the tempo here is such now that i think it has been a particularly challenging time for families as
well. as i said a moment ago, we look forward to continue to work with you and talk about your plans for reorganization and what we can do to move forward and certainly to do everything we can to encourage you as you try to recruit members to get this fours back to the level it needs to be for the safety of everybody involved and particularly for the officers and job they do. thank you, chair and chief. sen. klobuchar: the record will remain open for one week. thank you you, chief, and we are adjourned. thank you.