According to a report by security experts reviewing the Capitol riot on January 6, the U.S. Capitol Police were “understaffed, insufficiently equipped, and inadequately trained” to protect the complex from the attack. The experts recommend 900 new officers be hired and a retractable perimeter fence be put around the Capitol grounds.

Ret. Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré and his team wrote a 13-page report that identifies various flaws in the Capitol’s intelligence-gathering and recommends a long list of reforms to Capitol Hill security.

Additionally, the proposal would grant the chief of the Capitol Police the power to summon the help of the National Guard and other reinforcements in the case of emergencies. Other members of the Capitol Police Board, including the sergeants-at-arms in both chambers, currently must sign off on any decisions.

Honoré will be holding three separate briefings for lawmakers about his findings and recommendations.

The following are the recommendations for Capitol Hill:

  • Fencing and other infrastructure
    • 7-foot fencing with razor wire erected around the complex that can be easily erected and taken down.
  • More officers
    • A “plus-up” of 874 new officers, 350 positions to cut down on the 720,000 overtime hours accrued in fiscal 2020 and 524 positions to fill “capability gaps.”
  • Body cameras
    • Officers are equipped with body cameras, which can protect them from false accusations and help investigations and prosecutions.
  • Mounted units
    • Police horses, used in cities like Tampa, Chicago and Atlanta, can serve as a “moving wall” that can help control large crowds.
  • Aging K-9s
    • Increasing the size of the K-9 units to detect explosives.
  • Home security
    • Capitol Police to expand its program protecting lawmakers receiving threats, with special protective details for when members are outside Washington.
  • Background checks
    • Tighter background checks on people with access to the Capitol to decrease the risk of “insider” threats.

The report has surfaced amid the growing criticism of the tough security measures implemented  since the January 6 attack, requested by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“In securing the Capitol grounds, competing desires for maximum public access and guaranteed security create a situation where neither goal is achieved,” the report reads.

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