US Capitol Police Face Staffing Shortage Amid Looming Anniversary of January 6 Attack
03:14 GMT 03.01.2022 (Updated: 03:15 GMT 03.01.2022)
United States Capitol Police (USCP) Chief J. Thomas Manger, in an interview with Trace Gallagher on Fox News Sunday, said the service is nearly “400 officers short of where we need to be.”
The news of the staffing shortage comes nearly a year after the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack that left 138 officers injured and one attacker dead of a gunshot wound. Four additional officers who responded to the attack committed suicide in the months following what is now considered to have been an attempted insurrection.
Manger detailed the difficultly the USCP
has faced to properly staff the force since January 6, 2021. He cited the 130 officers lost via retirement and resignation and the National Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy suspending classes in 2020
as the two primary causes of the staffing shortage.
Not only has the USCP faced an exodus of officers and limits on new trainees, but officer duties have changed dramatically since the January 6, 2021, attack. In the year since the violence, threats against members of Congress have increased.
"We've had to really shift the focus of just doing the typical job that we would do normally and put more resources toward investigating those complaints," Manger said. "Ensuring that members of Congress are safe not only when they are at the Capitol, but when they are traveling within their home districts as well."
The USCP received additional support with the passage of the Capitol Police Emergency Assistance Act of 2021. The bill, signed into law in December 2021, allows for the chief of the USCP to request assistance from the National Guard.
Manger voiced his gratitude for the bipartisan bill, saying, "It's crucial if you have a situation like we had on Jan. 6 where you have an emergency situation and you need to be able to request those resources and get them as quickly as possible."
The legacy of the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack looms large over the USCP and while meaningful changes have been made to help prevent a similar incident, the force reportedly remains reduced and stretched thin.