Jan 5, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Capitol Police chief calls for new agency to respond to rising threats

US Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger testifies during a Senate hearing.

U.S. Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger testifies during a Senate hearing on Jan. 5. Photo: Tom Williams via Getty Images

U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger told a Senate panel Wednesday he sees the need for a new protective agency within the force to investigate and respond to rising threats.

Why it matters: Manger's remarks on the eve of the anniversary of the deadly Jan. 6 riot come amid an increasing number of threats against lawmakers, and as the Capitol Police force remains 457 officers short.

Driving the news: "One of the ways that I believe that we need to expand our protection capabilities is to ... take our intelligence responsibilities and make those investigatory and intelligence responsibilities, and create a new bureau — have a new assistant chief," Manger said in testimony before the Senate Rules Committee.

  • "Our dignitary protection and protection responsibilities have grown," Manger said, adding that "the workload has increased."
  • Manger said Tuesday at a news conference that there have been over 9,000 threats to lawmakers in 2021 alone.

The big picture: The Capitol Police force also plans to hire more than 280 police officers a year for the next three years, Manger said, adding that it would "get us ahead of attrition."

  • "We're getting plenty of people who are showing interest in wanting to be a part of our organization," Manger said.
  • "We're still very selective about who we end up hiring. But I do believe it's realistic and we're going to do everything we can to — and we've got a plan in place to get 280 folks on board."

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