Congress’ former top cop thinks there should be major changes to security at the 276-acre Capitol complex, saying its open and accessible campus is “much to my chagrin.”
Terrance W. Gainer said in an interview he would add gates around the Capitol perimeter and consider re-routing traffic around campus. Gainer made his comments as a federal judge ordered Omar Gonzalez to undergo a mental health evaluation within the next 30 days to determine whether he is competent to stand trial on federal and local charges of infiltrating the White House on Sept. 19. The case is causing major repercussions for the Secret Service.
It also prompted Gainer, the former Senate sergeant-at-arms who also served four years as the chief of the Capitol Police, to frankly address the challenges for guarding the complex against intrusions.
“One of the challenges the chief has, or the director of the Secret Service, is keeping everybody sharp all the time,” Gainer told CQ Roll Call. “Up on Capitol Hill we have, you know, 25,000 employees and 3 million visitors so it is very open, and keeping the officers alert and active, you know, is an important challenge.”