Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 29, 2014

Posts in "Capitol Police"

November 25, 2014

Ferguson Protesters March on Capitol, SCOTUS, DOJ

ferguson 002 112414 440x292 Ferguson Protesters March on Capitol, SCOTUS, DOJ

Protesters chant in front of the White House on Nov. 24, following the announcement of no indictment in the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Facedown on the pavement — meant to emulate the body of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was shot and killed on Aug. 9 — one protester sprawled on the sidewalk outside the Department of Justice in downtown Washington on Tuesday morning.

Only camouflage pants and sneakers were visible beneath a pile of blankets. Ribbons of tattered, yellow police tape snaked though the scene, some draped from the necks of about two dozen fellow demonstrators who surrounded the body, passing a bullhorn and shouting rallying cries in support of protesters in Ferguson, Mo., to pedestrians and police along Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest.

“If black people in St. Louis can do it, then anybody can do it,” cried Lydia, a Howard University student and native of Missouri, who declined to give her last name. She told CQ Roll Call that she joined 200 other students in a march from U Street Northwest to the White House on Monday night, venting anger over a grand jury’s decision not to indict Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Brown. Full story

November 21, 2014

Capitol Police Chasing Law Enforcement Accreditation

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Under Capitol Police Chief Kim C. Dine, right, the department is pursuing accredidation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As a legislative branch agency, the Capitol Police force is subject to oversight by both chambers of Congress, the Government Accountability Office, the Office of Compliance and other external entities, including an independent Office of the Inspector General.

The department also holds itself to more than 350 meticulous standards set by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc., better known as the CALEA. The nonprofit corporation was established in 1979, through joint efforts of major law enforcement groups such as the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Sheriffs’ Association as part of a movement to bring more professionalism to policing.

For more than 13 years, Capitol Police have maintained CALEA accreditation, paying around $100,000 in fees. On Nov. 22, the department’s accreditation will be up for its latest review. Full story

November 20, 2014

Republican National Committee Headquarters Hit With Blue Spray Paint

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House Majority Whip Steve Scalise outside the RNC’s headquarters. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A vandal struck the Republican National Committee headquarters on Veterans Day, according to Capitol Police.

Around 7 a.m. on Nov. 11, a security guard spotted a young man spray painting a large blue “V” on the front door of 310 First St. SE, according to the police report. The graffiti was thwarted by the guard, who handcuffed the perpetrator and called Capitol Police.

Wilbert Henry Norton, 24, of Floyd, Va., was arrested and charged with destruction of property under $1,000, a misdemeanor. As a condition of his release, he was ordered to stay away from Capitol grounds, including all congressional office buildings.

The RNC paint job appears to be an isolated incident, though other buildings in the area have been targeted in recent months, according to sources familiar with the location.

Asked if there’s been an increase in vandalism around the Capitol grounds, the department provided statistics. To date in 2014, six incidents of graffiti have been reported to Capitol Police. That’s an uptick from five in 2013, but a decrease from 2012, when 10 graffiti incidents were reported on Capitol grounds. Some members faced vandalism in their districts that year, a backlash to passage of the health care overhaul.

In an email, Lt. Kimberly Schneider, a spokeswoman for the department, said Capitol Police “strategically deploy our assets throughout the Capitol Campus as part of our primary law enforcement mission to protect the Congress, the Capitol Complex, and the legislative process.”

Capitol Police work with the Architect of the Capitol to remove markings whenever graffiti is reported.

Kyle Trygstad contributed to this report. 

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November 18, 2014

Native American Tribe Protests Keystone Vote (Video) (Updated)

Updated 11:15 p.m. | A Senate vote to approve the Keystone XL pipeline Tuesday took an odd turn after Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., read the final vote tally as protestors of the pipeline in the Senate Gallery burst into song.

Capitol Police officers dragged out five protesters, including Greg Grey Cloud of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe as he bellowed a tribal song. Grey Cloud, who wore a headdress, continued singing as he was knocked to the floor and pulled to the wall of the hallway. Full story

November 14, 2014

22 Officers Join the Capitol Police

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The U.S. Capitol Police Recruit Officer Class 177 is sworn in during a ceremony in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The United States Capitol Police welcomed 22 new officers to its force Friday morning at the swearing-in ceremony for Recruit Officer Class 177.

“The men and women you see before you today are joining a unique organization with a unique mission to protect Congress, its legislative processes, members, employees, visitors, and facilities from crime, disruption or terrorism,” Daniel B. Malloy, assistant chief of police and chief operating officer, told the recruits, their families and friends gathered at the ceremony in the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Malloy detailed the sizable tasks ahead for the new officers, pointing out the Capitol Police screened more than 9.8 million visitors to the Capitol grounds last year alone, along with 150,000 vehicle sweeps on campus and 27,000 sweeps off campus.

“I can’t wait to put what I learned in training to use,” new officer Zachary Madera, the recruit class’ president, said after the ceremony.

Madera, 22, from Grand Hill, Mass., has been interested in law enforcement from a young age. His father is a corrections officer and his uncle is a police officer, but Madera wanted to join the Capitol Police after learning about the opportunities for mobility.

While interning for the U.S. Marshals in D.C. as a student at Westfield State University, a Capitol Police officer came to speak to the interns about the force.

“He said he loved it because you constantly keep moving, you stay busy,” said Madera. “From that point on, I already knew I was going to apply when I was old enough … I got really lucky. I left [college] a week before I graduated — my professors all let me take the finals early — and next thing you know I’m sweating in Georgia.”

Recruit classes prepare for the force in Maryland and Georgia, undergoing grueling physical training and academic testing.

The 22 officers, ranging in age from 22 to 30, were able to relive part of their training during the swearing-in ceremony. After they took their oaths and received their pins and diplomas, the Training Services Bureau showed a video of highlights from camp.

With dramatic music playing, the officers saw themselves back at training camp and wearing black t-shirts with their motto, “Until the end, we will defend,” participating in firearm, active shooter, security screening, and geography training, which involved detailing the Capitol campus in chalk on black asphalt.

Now the new officers will be able to put their learned skills to the test. For the next four to five weeks they will participate in the Field Training Officer program, where they will rotate between the various departments. After FTO, they will receive their first assignment.

RELATED STORIES:

Capitol Police Replenish Their Ranks After Hiring Freeze

Capitol Police Investigating Ohio Man for Possible Threats

Anonymous Tears Through Capitol Police Barriers

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November 11, 2014

Capitol Police Investigating Ohio Man for Possible Threats

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The suspect lives in Wenstrup’s southwest Ohio district. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Capitol Police flew to Deer Park, Ohio, a Cincinnati suburb represented by House Republican Brad Wenstrup, to investigate a possible threat against federally elected officials from a suspect whose work history could place him in proximity to his targets.

The case stems from an Oct. 29 incident in which local police responded to a psychiatric emergency, according to Deer Park Police Chief Michael F. Schlie. Officers uncovered a firearm and a possible threat against various national level politicians when responding to a minor incident on a residential block, according to the department.

Schlie told CQ Roll Call that Capitol Police were contacted within five to 10 minutes of the arrest, while the suspect was being transported to a local medical facility. Local authorities were concerned that the suspect’s “spotty work history placed him in proximity to the objects of his anger,” according to a statement by the Deer Park department.

Wenstrup’s office is aware of the incident, according to spokesperson Olivia Hnat. She referred further questions to the Capitol Police.

Capitol Police officers flew in from Washington, D.C., to interview the suspect and executed a search warrant on his home, uncovering documents and writings by the suspect.

Capitol Police spokesman Shennell Antrobus confirmed to CQ Roll Call that the department is working with local and federal law enforcement, but did not provide further information about the nature or subject of the threats because the investigation is ongoing.

Schlie explained he had to be “tight-lipped” on details because the threats are against a member of the government and subject to health privacy regulations. “We’re concerned because our involvement here was there was a medical emergency and certain parts of that are protected,” he said in a phone interview.

A lieutenant from the department told the Cincinnati Enquirer that he would characterize the documents as “manifestos,” and that the investigation found the suspect “may have been in close proximity to the politicians, but there is no evidence he ever made contact with them.”

The suspect is under emergency commitment for psychiatric evaluation, according to the Deer Park Police department.

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November 7, 2014

Road Closures for Concert for Valor on Veterans Day

The star-studded Concert for Valor planned for Veterans Day on the National Mall will result in many road closures around the Capitol on Tuesday.

From 6 a.m. until the conclusion of the event, the following street closures and traffic restrictions will be in effect for vehicles:

  • First Street between Constitution Avenue Northwest and Independence Avenue Southwest.
  • Pennsylvania Avenue between First Street Northwest and Third Street Northwest.
  • Maryland Avenue between First Street Southwest and Third Street Southwest.
  • Cars northbound on Washington Avenue Southwest between D Street Southwest and Independence Avenue Southwest will be redirected.

For pedestrian traffic:

  • Union Square.
  • 100 Block of First Street Northwest.
  • Area north of and adjacent to Union Square (6 a.m. to midnight).
  • U.S. Botanic Garden will be closed to pedestrians (5 p.m. to midnight).

Temporary lighting, message boards, and signs will be in place around the Capitol complex to help people find their way to the concert, according to the Capitol Police.

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November 5, 2014

Anonymous Tears Through Capitol Police Barriers

Capitol Police confronted a mob of protesters around noon Wednesday. The protestors, who wore Guy Fawkes masks, tore through West Front barriers and yelled profanities at the cops.

“Bring the violence,” one man is heard screaming in footage of the rally posted to Youtube by Anonymous. Nov. 5 is Guy Fawkes Day, named for the 17th century anarchist who tried to blow up the British Parliament. The video shows one officer raise his fist to smash the forearm of a protester who is rattling the metal fence. “You work for me,” protesters later began chanting at the officers.

The Senate sergeant-at-arms warned of rolling street closures throughout the Capitol complex due to the midday demonstration activity. The protest concluded around 12:30 p.m.

Capitol Police arrested one demonstrator, according to department spokeswoman Lt. Kimberly Schneider. He was charged with crossing a police line.

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October 30, 2014

Former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Mooted as Next Secret Service Director

ireland020 031414 440x294 Former Senate Sergeant at Arms Mooted as Next Secret Service Director

Gainer, center, shakes hands with the president after the annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon in March. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Is the Capitol’s former top cop the best pick to replace former Secret Service Director Julia Pierson? The world’s largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers thinks so.

On Thursday, Fraternal Order of Police National President Chuck Canterbury sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson asking him to tap Terrance W. Gainer for the job. Citing Gainer’s 47 years in public service, Canterbury says the former Senate sergeant-at-arms and Capitol Police chief is one of the few people who can achieve the changes needed in the wake of Pierson’s Oct. 1 resignation.

“The rank-and-file officers know that Terry will do right by them, the agency and the mission,” Canterbury states. “Most importantly for the USSS at this time is confidence that a new Director can make the necessary changes and make them stick. Among those changes, perhaps one of the most critical is the minimization of tensions between the uniformed officers and the agent personnel which are a glaring component of current problems.” Full story

No Changes at Capitol Following Jeh Johnson’s Security Upgrade

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(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The recent order to beef up security at federal buildings does not appear to have resulted in any changes for the men and women guarding Congress. On Wednesday, a day after Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson ordered enhanced protection against the threat of terrorism for government buildings in Washington and across the country, it was business as usual on Capitol Hill.

Capitol Police stood guard around campus, patrol cars circled the perimeter and typical screening procedures stayed in place.

When asked about Capitol Police response, spokeswoman Lt. Kimberly Schneider told CQ Roll Call that the department “remains at a post-9/11 heightened level of awareness [and] continues to monitor and track global events.”

One cop on a mountain bike playfully kicked the seat of another officer’s bike as they wheeled around the Peace Circle at noon. Around 1 p.m. inside the Dirksen Senate Office Building, police patted down a man outfitted wearing a white turban and robe who declined to remove garments for the metal detectors.

Down the hall from the first floor entrance, staffers were learning how to respond to an active shooter incident. The Senate sergeant-at-arms developed the hour-long training in coordination with the Capitol Police in 2011. It is one of the highest-attended courses the SAA offers.

The attacks on Canadian Parliament last week prompted no significant changes to security around the grounds, Capitol Police said at the time. Johnson cited that violence and other world events in his announcement of new directions for the Federal Protective Service.

Members of Congress with jurisdiction over day-to-day operations, including Senate Rules and Administration Chairman Charles E. Schumer, did not indicate they were aware of any changes in protocol.

House Administration Chairman Candice S. Miller, R-Mich., is kept up-to-date on the status of security of our Capitol facilities, a spokesperson for the committee responded, when asked if there had been any briefings related to the DHS announcement.

Related:

Terrorism Threat Prompts Jeh Johnson to Order Security Upgrade at Federal Buildings

Capitol Police Monitoring Canadian Parliament Shooting (Updated)

Former Top Cop Suggest Capitol Complex Is Too Open

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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