Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 4, 2015

Posts in "Senate Sergeant-at-Arms"

February 23, 2015

Capitol Police Chief’s Leadership Questioned

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

The State of the Union car chase has put Dine’s leadership of the Capitol Police under scrutiny. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The State of the Union night car chase that ended without arrest added new strains to already tense relationships inside the law enforcement community on Capitol Hill.

Capitol Police officers who were disturbed and embarrassed by the Jan. 20 incident allege it’s part of a frustrating pattern. They say commanders have instructed the rank and file to refrain from “low-value” stops — including traffic violations involving drunk driving and drug impairment on streets around the Capitol campus, multiple sources confirmed — because those arrests do not contribute to thwarting terrorism and protecting Congress.

Within the Capitol, House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul D. Irving and Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Frank J. Larkin were frustrated when they were unable to get an accurate portrayal of the facts about the high-speed chase that ended on Washington Avenue Southwest, adjacent to the Rayburn House Office Building.

Full story

February 11, 2015

Phone Scammers Target Congressional Offices

Congressional offices have been warned of fraudulent phone calls. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congressional offices have been warned about fraudulent phone calls. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Security officials are warning Capitol Hill employees to be alert for telephone scams targeting congressional offices, a reminder that Internet-calling technology makes phone calls as big a threat to Congress as cyberattacks.

On Monday, the Office of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms sent out a notice about illegal phone phishing incidents, involving callers trying to elicit sensitive information about the Senate network, including IP addresses, files present on Senate computers and how to obtain remote access. Full story

February 9, 2015

New House Cybersecurity Policies Show Ongoing Threat

Miller has announced new cybersecurity procedures. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Miller’s panel has announced new cybersecurity policies. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In the wake of recent cyberattacks, the House has instituted new policies to strengthen cybersecurity, but some lawmakers acknowledge more must be done to address the ever-changing threat.

The Committee on House Administration sent an electronic “Dear Colleague” letter to congressional offices recently, detailing the new policies aimed at bolstering staff cybersecurity training and centralizing the security structure. Full story

February 5, 2015

Capitol Police Make Rapid Response to CodePink Protesters After McCain Outrage

Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., confers with an aide during a Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing in Dirksen Building on the nomination of Ashton Carter to be Secretary of Defense, February 4, 2015. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Police quashed two outbursts during McCain’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Order was promptly restored when CodePink activists disrupted a Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday, one week after Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., was “raising hell” about a delayed response by Capitol Police.

The nine uniformed officers inside the Dirksen committee room swiftly escorted a man in an orange jumpsuit from the front row of a hearing on the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba detention facility after he hopped to his feet and yelled, “What’s wrong with you, America?” in reaction to remarks from Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. Full story

January 22, 2015

McConnell’s Sergeant-at-Arms Team’s Time Together Goes Way Back (Audio)

Deputy Senate Sergeant at Arms James W. Morhard, left, and Sergeant at Arms Frank J. Larkin, are interviewed by Roll Call in the Capitol, January 9, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Deputy Senate Sergeant-at-Arms James W. Morhard, left, and Sergeant at Arms Frank J. Larkin, are interviewed by Roll Call in the Capitol, January 9, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The two men at the helm of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms office first crossed paths nearly two decades ago as staffers on the chamber’s Appropriations Committee.

In 1997, freshly-minted SAA Frank J. Larkin began a congressional fellowship with the subcommittee in charge of Treasury Department funding, bringing his unique perspective as a Secret Service agent and former Navy SEAL to the turbulent and often arcane process of crafting appropriations bills. Full story

December 17, 2014

McConnell Announces New Senate Sergeant-at-Arms

Willison to join the ranks of former SAAs (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Willison will join the ranks of former SAAs (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is sweeping the decks at the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Office, replacing SAA Drew Willison with former Navy SEAL and Defense Department alumnus Frank J. Larkin for the 114th Congress.

James W. Morhard, a former chief of staff on the Senate Appropriations Committee with more than 20 years of experience in the chamber, returns to Capitol Hill after a decade in the private sector to replace Michael Stenger in the No. 2 spot in the office, the Kentucky Republican announced on Wednesday. Full story

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

Former Sergeant-at-Arms Howard Greene Dies at 73

Former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Howard O. Greene Jr. died at his home in Alexandria, Va., Sunday at the age of 73.

According to Greene’s ex-wife Elizabeth Letchworth, his death was very unexpected. Greene died from an aggressive infection in his stomach. Letchworth said he was surrounded by family and friends when he died.

Greene first came to the Senate as a door messenger at age 26 and served the chamber for the next 28 years. The Delaware native retired from the Senate in 1996, stepping down as Senate sergeant-at-arms and doorkeeper, the chief law enforcement and administrative officer elected by senators. Full story

October 30, 2014

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

President Barack Obama parts ways with then-Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer at the bottom of the House steps after the annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon the Capitol's Rayburn Room in March.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(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.


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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