Capitol police union rejects private security proposal

Capitol police union rejects private security proposal

“We are working hard to recruit more officers. In fact, we have a virtual recruiting event on Friday, ”Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger said in a statement. the maximum hiring age at 40 and the maximum retirement age at 60.

In a televised interview on Sunday morning, Manger launched a proposal to recruit contract security guards in certain “side posts,” such as garages, which Capitol Police officials said did not require an armed officer. the Capitol police.

“We believe that if we are able to put contract security guards in some of these positions, it will free up a number of sworn police officers and we can put them where they are needed and where we need them. ‘an armed police officer from Capitol Hill,’ he told Fox News on Sunday.

A job posting, posted Sunday, invites applicants to apply to Inter-Con Security Systems, Inc. for the “exciting role of unarmed security guard” for the Capitol Police.

The responsibilities listed include many of the tasks assigned to current armed police officers on Capitol Hill: “Access control”, “Deal with visitors for entry into a facility”, “Conduct inspections and checks”, “Patrol and responding to calls ”,“ Managing traffic ”,“ Monitoring and operating safety and security systems ”and“ Reporting incidents and writing incident reports ”. The wage starts at $ 24 an hour with an additional $ 4.23 an hour for “health and wellness.”

For comparison, a Capitol Police soldier earns about $ 64,815 per year, according to the department, or about $ 31.16 per hour. On its website, Inter-Con said it has worked with the departments of state, homeland security, energy, justice and defense and worked on the security of more than 100 U.S. and foreign diplomatic missions. in “very high risk environments such as civil war, cartel violence, epidemics and terrorist attacks.”

The department is currently facing a understaffing, with 135 officers having resigned or retired since January 6, although Capitol Police say not all departures are linked to the attack. Officials aim to hire 280 officers this year, including in recruitment events which takes place just one day after the first anniversary of January 6.

Manger told POLITICO in a recent interview that the department was “probably 400 officers below where we should be”.

Congress allocated millions of dollars to the Capitol Police as part of an emergency program in July, including funding to help detain officers and close security gaps around the complex. However, progress on a larger package, including increased funding for the Capitol Police, has remained elusive.

Papathanasiou noted in his statement Monday that retired General Russel Honoré, who led a congressional security review, recommended that Congress fund hundreds of additional officers. He also said he was concerned that too few officers would be able to respond to rapidly growing threats against the Capitol or individual senators or representatives. Threat investigations in 2021 are expected to exceed 9,000 cases, down from just 902 in 2016, according to statistics recently released by Manger.

“We have never seen a threat environment like this and given the deep division in this country, this could very well be our new normal,” Papathanasiou said in the statement, scheduled for the first anniversary of January 6. , which is Thursday.

The union leader also pointed out that Michael Bolton, the United States Capitol Inspector General of Police, told Congress in December that less than a third of Bolton’s 104 recommendations to strengthen security on Capitol Hill had been fully implemented. Bolton warned that significant gaps remain in training, intelligence and operational planning.

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