Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 28, 2015

Posts in "Campus Police"

March 24, 2015

Social Media Policy Stirs Up More Trouble Within Capitol Police Ranks

Use of social media is the subject of a controversial department directive. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Officers’ use of social media is the subject of a controversial department directive. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sharing photos and posts about the scene of the March 7, 2014, crash that landed a silver car in a tree southeast of the Capitol got a few Capitol Police officers into trouble with the department.

Disciplinary action taken against one officer who posted “stupid stuff” got employees curious about what the agency deemed unprofessional when it comes to social media use, according to Jim Konczos, chairman of the Capitol Police Labor Committee’s executive board. So the union asked department leadership to clarify. Nearly a year later, Chief Kim C. Dine has issued strict new guidelines on how employees can use Facebook, participate in online forums and comment on news sites, both on and off the clock. Full story

February 4, 2015

Capitol Police Drug Bust Goes Bust

Charges may be refiled agains suspect arrested in a Dec. 23  drug bust. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Charges may be refiled against a suspect arrested in a Dec. 23 drug bust. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A New York man arrested on Dec. 23 in one of the biggest drug busts in recent Capitol Police history had his case dismissed in January, when the government failed to produce a witness.

Police found 60 blue oxycodone pills, along with drug paraphernalia and cash, during a search-and-arrest initiated two days before Christmas — in broad daylight on an empty Capitol campus — when the man drove up to the South Barricade in a gray Honda Civic. Dennis A. Silva, 25, was charged with possession with intent to distribute what appeared to be prescription narcotics, a felony punishable with up to 30 years in prison. Full story

January 20, 2015

(Don’t) Put Another Log on the Fire for SOTU

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As President Barack Obama makes his State of the Union address Tuesday, no one will be cozying up to a fireplace in the Capitol to listen to the speech.

One element of a multi-faceted security process involves closing down the Capitol fireplaces to avoid the smell of smoke, which would presumably cause alarm, during the president’s speech. Workers were spotted taking away firewood Tuesday and notices were posted explaining the fire’s absence. Full story

November 14, 2014

22 Officers Join the Capitol Police

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 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.


Capitol Police Replenish Their Ranks After Hiring Freeze

Capitol Police Investigating Ohio Man for Possible Threats

Anonymous Tears Through Capitol Police Barriers

Roll Call Results Map: Results and District Profiles for Every Seat

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July 23, 2014

Capitol Police Stop Another Gun From Entering Cannon Building (Updated)

(Hannah Hess/CQ Roll Call)

(Hannah Hess/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 12:25 p.m. | Capitol Police confiscated a 9mm Ruger handgun from the bag of Camden, S.C., resident Ronald William Prestage shortly after 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning at the Cannon House Office Building. Prestage, 59, was arrested and charged with carrying a pistol without a license, a District of Columbia offense that carries up to five years in prison.

Records indicate he has a concealed carry permit in South Carolina. Prestage is a veterinarian and farm operator, and is president-elect of the National Pork Producers Council. He may have been on the Hill to lobby on agriculture issues.

Two officers escorted Prestage from the building in handcuffs around 9:35 a.m., and loaded him into a waiting police van. He did not respond to questions from CQ Roll Call.

Prestage was taken to Capitol Police headquarters for processing, according to department spokesman Shennell Antrobus.

The northeast Cannon door reopened around 9:50 a.m.


Shucard Pleads Not Guilty to Carrying Pistol to Capitol Hill

Handgun Incident Casts Campus Security in New Light

Marino Staffer Arrested for Bringing Gun to Cannon

Webb Aide Could Get 5 Years

Gun-Related Arrest Is Nothing New for Capitol Police

Scarce Prospects for Senate Shooting Down D.C. Gun Control

D.C. Could Become Nation’s Most Permissive Gun Jurisdiction, Under House Proposal (Video)

July 9, 2014

Embezzlement Charges Against Capitol Police Officer Stir Up Criticism of Department Hiring

A guilty plea to embezzlement charges from the head of the Capitol Police’s Office of Diversity provoked U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Richard J. Leon to exclaim, “I’ve never seen anything like this in my 12 years here.”

Leon rejected Diversity Officer Deborah K. Lewis’ planned misdemeanor guilty plea on allegations that she stole public funds while employed at Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He called federal prosecutors’ claims that she embezzled more than $1,000 a crime that was “on its face a felony,” and instructed her attorneys to come up with another strategy.

To the rank-and-file officers of the Capitol Police, the case that stunned the judge is an all too familiar example of questionable hiring choices for civilian jobs in the department’s administrative division. They count an attorney who was disbarred for dishonesty and misrepresentation before being hired by the department, and a current contract worker who was fired from the D.C. government as part of a nepotism investigation, as among the Capitol Police’s most contentious employment decisions. Full story

June 27, 2014

Body Recovered in Lower Senate Park (Updated)

Investigators construct a crime scene barrier in Lower Senate Park where an unconscious man was discovered Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Investigators construct a crime scene barrier in Lower Senate Park where an unconscious man was discovered Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 3:58 p.m. | The D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner removed a body from Lower Senate Park on Friday afternoon, following an investigation by Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.

Capitol Police received a report of an unconscious man in the park at about 12:15 p.m., according to department spokeswoman Lt. Kimberly Schneider.

Police cordoned off the northern third of the park with crime scene tape and closed Delaware Avenue between Massachusetts Avenue and C Street in Northeast D.C.

ABC7 news reports the victim was a homeless man who may have died as a result of exposure to elements. Temperatures were in the mid-80s.

Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report.

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April 15, 2014

Capitol Police Chief: We Are Not the ‘Media Police’

Dine reassured journalists in the wake of press-police run-in that future media encounters will be better handled. (Photo By Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Dine reassured journalists in the wake of press-police run-in that future media encounters will be better handled. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Capitol Police Chief Kim C. Dine clarified that his officers are not the “media police,” following a March 28 police-press run-in that nearly resulted in the arrest of a journalist.

Dine also apologized for the incident, in which an officer briefly detained BloombergBNA’s Ari Natter and demanded Natter’s driver’s license and Social Security number, after the reporter allegedly jostled the cop while trying to ask Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy a question.

In an April 10 meeting with Heather Rothman, chairwoman of the Executive Committee of Periodical Correspondents, and press gallery staff, Dine said he wished the incident had been better handled, according to sources in attendance.

News of Natter’s brush with law enforcement raised concerns among congressional reporters that police might interfere with their attempts to interact with the high-profile officials who are escorted around the Capitol by security details. Some questioned whether police “actions could have a chilling effect on future police-media interactions,” Rothman said.

Dine assured reporters that Capitol Police don’t care who is asking questions or what they are trying to ask, as long as they are a credentialed member of the press. He said his department’s job is to provide security and help move people around the Hill.

“The meeting went well and was very productive,” Dine said in an email to CQ Roll Call. Capitol Police fulfills “many roles in our status as a unique police agency and some of the most important things we do is protect the rights of citizens to express themselves and protect the freedom of the press as we go about our duties protecting and serving the legislative process.

“Our folks do this on practically a daily basis almost always with skill, tact and diplomacy,” he continued. “As such, we in fact are committed to excellence in our officers’ daily interactions with members, staff, our media partners, and the public. I, too, pledge to continue to work together.”

Dine also reiterated the contents of a February memo on interacting with the media, in which he notified officers that members of the media are permitted in an area closer than the general public that should safely afford a view of the scene, without interfering with law enforcement operations. He also emphasized that reporters need to make sure they have their press credentials on them at all times and visible.

In the wake of what Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance W. Gainer described as a “kerfuffle,” Rothman said she felt “pleased and reassured that Capitol Police views this as an isolated situation and that [Dine] wishes it had been handled differently.”

“We opened up a line of communication that wasn’t necessarily there in the past,” she said.

March 18, 2014

Police Identify Teen Killed in Shootout With Authorities

(Hannah Hess/CQ Roll Call)

(Hannah Hess/CQ Roll Call)

Police have identified the teen who died following a gun fight with authorities that took place a few blocks northwest of Union Station Tuesday morning as a 19-year-old from Hyattsville, Md.

Daquan Hendrix was wanted in the Feb. 27 homicide of Tykia Dickerson in Northeast D.C., according to the Metropolitan Police Department.

The shootout ensued shortly after 6:17 a.m., when officers from a fugitive task force showed up on K Street Northwest with an arrest warrant.

Police say Hendrix produced a handgun and fired shots at the officers. The officers then returned fire, fatally wounding Hendrix.

First responders then arrived and transported Hendrix to a local hospital where he died.

No officers were injured in the gun battle and the department’s Internal Affairs Division is conducting an investigation.

March 7, 2014

Police Conclude Investigation Into Capitol Car Crash (Updated)

Capitol Police have cleared the scene of a fatal single-car crash that propelled a silver SUV into a tree south of the Capitol early Friday morning.

No details have been released on what may have caused the high-speed collision as the driver headed northbound on South Capitol Street. The car hit a large, decorative flower pot — ironically designed to deter crashes and traffic — with such force that the vehicle was flung airborne, ripping branches nearly 30 feet above the ground from two nearby trees.

Updated 6:42 p.m.

First responders arriving on the scene around 3 a.m. found the silver SUV vertically wrapped around a tree, about 50 feet from the cracked pot. The force of the crash catapulted pieces of the car into the intersection with D Street Southeast. The Metropolitan Police Department identified the driver, who died in the accident, as 19-year-old Hunter B. Harries of McLean, Va. A toxicology report is “pending autopsy,” said MPD spokesman Hugh Carew.

Debris from the crash, including the SUV’s engine and a car door, littered South Capitol Street and a Capitol barricade. Officers on the scene said car parts had been found on the roof of the nearby Longworth Office Building Parking Garage, where staffers congregated to gawk and photograph the messy accident. Full story

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