(CNN) — Radical changes to improve the emergency response of the Capitol Police, more agents and mobile fences are some of the recommendations made by the task force that was created to review security on the Capitol, which public this Monday his final report.
The report includes recommendations to improve the ability of the Capitol Police (USCP) to gather intelligence information, a permanent rapid reaction force and the implementation of mobile fences that can replace the current temporary security structure. according to a copy obtained by CNN.
CNN had reported Friday that the executive copy of the report included recommendations for moving fences around the compound, a rapid reaction force of the Capitol Police on duty when Congress is in session, and a review of how members are protected. of Congress in their home districts.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi commissioned retired Lieutenant General Russel Honoré in January to lead the Capitol security review. The commission took place after the deadly mutiny on January 6.
Report details security breaches on Capitol Hill on Jan.6
This is the first detailed assessment addressing how to fix what went wrong on Capitol Hill on January 6, when the rioters managed to get past the walls and outnumbered the compound Police. The report covers everything from intelligence and emergency response failures to the Capitol Police personnel levels.
“The USCP was understaffed, had insufficient equipment, and inadequate training to secure the Capitol and congressmen when they were violently attacked by a large mob,” the report concludes.
CNN first reported last month Two sources said a draft of the review recommended adding more than 1,000 officers to the Capitol Police, establishing a rapid reaction force, and building an integrated system of walls and fences around the Capitol complex. CNN reported Thursday that Honoré had briefed senior members of Congress on the review, and that Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, said he believes Honoré is “hitting the mark” with his recommendations.
Acting House Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett sent a letter to all members this morning with a copy of the findings and recommendations of General Honoré’s task force, ahead of the three briefings scheduled for Monday. .
The report recommends that more than 850 people join the Capitol Police staff. This means, for example, filling more than 200 agent vacancies. Also add 350 additional agents and hire more than 400 people to fill gaps such as intelligence specialists, operational planners and personnel for the Civil Unrest Unit.
Furthermore, Honoré’s report found that security in the House’s 900 district offices was “inconsistent.” The task force recommends that funds be allocated so that each Congressional district office is equipped with the proper security systems. He also advises that security systems be established in the homes of congressmen when justified.
The report recommends that there be a mobile fencing option on the Capitol that is “easy to set up and take down,” along with a long-term retractable fencing system for the Capitol and Congressional office buildings. The plan acknowledges the opposition that has arisen to proposals to make the fencing around the Capitol permanent.
“Such a solution could allow for an open campus while giving security forces better options for the complex and its members in the event of a threat,” the report says.
The task force also recommends that a background check be done on individuals who receive ID cards at the Capitol. This includes members of Congress and their staff. According to the report, this “would decrease the risks of insider threats and improve the security of all members, staff and legislative employees.”
That proposal could face resistance from Republicans, who took the edge off the security measures Pelosi implemented inside the Capitol to install metal detectors just outside the House of Representatives.
“Too slow and cumbersome”
The task force pointed to the multiple intelligence and communication failures that occurred on January 6. The report concludes that the Capitol Police were unprepared to handle intelligence threats “due to significant capacity gaps, inadequate training, immature processes, and an operational culture that is not intelligence-driven.”
Recommendations include increasing the number of trained intelligence analysts. In addition, it suggests greater integration of intelligence functions into the day-to-day operations and planning of the Capitol Police leadership. “This is going to require a drastic, consistent and leadership-driven shift in the USCP’s cultural mindset toward threat-based operations and decision-making,” the report says.
The task force concluded that the “deliberate decision-making process” of the Capitol Police Board was “too slow and cumbersome” on January 6. It also recommended changes in the way in which external support from law enforcement agencies is requested.
Reset Horse Mounted Agent Unit
The report recommends that there be a dedicated rapid reaction force that could serve not just on Capitol Hill but throughout Washington. This could arise from existing forces or be created under the command of the National Guard of the capital.
The report proposes that the Capitol Police make multiple changes to specialized units. He recommends keeping the platoons of the civil defense unit on duty whenever Congress is in session and increasing the team of explosives detection dogs. He also suggests reestablishing a horse-mounted unit that was disbanded in 2005.
“In areas with a high influx of pedestrians or crowds, a well-trained horse and rider can help control crowds or quell riots with little serious injury to protesters,” the report says.
Republicans complain that the review was not bipartisan
In a closed-door briefing, Republicans argued that the review should have been more bipartisan.
“This was not a bipartisan investigation, it was the Nancy Pelosi investigation,” Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, told CNN. Issa opined that Honoré’s task force came up with “a lot of requests for money, not a really complete plan,” and questioned how many additional agents are being requested.
A Republican present at the session asked members of the task force if there was any evidence to show that a member of the Republican Party had been involved in planning the attack. The answer was no, according to a source in the room.
The Police agree on the need to implement certain improvements
Some Democrats also questioned Honoré. Representative Pramila Jayapal of Washington told CNN that she asked Honoré to explain who made the decisions about the security protocols that would be put in place on Capitol Hill before January 6, but Honoré said that was beyond the scope of the investigation and that other commissions were investigating it.
On the fence, Democratic Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois told CNN that he supported the modification, but that it was important that the Capitol remain accessible.
“If we become a fortress and something completely inaccessible to the public, I think somehow the insurgents win,” said Krishnamoorthi.
The Washington Democrat also asked him to say when the Capitol will be safe again. Jayapal explained that Honoré told members of Congress that at this time they can feel safe and that measures are already being put in place to ensure the safety of everyone on Capitol Hill. However, Jayapal said he did not have a clear answer on when certain measures such as mobile fencing would be implemented.
Capitol Police said in a statement that it hopes to “review the detailed recommendations of Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré and his team.” “We believe that it is necessary to improve the physical infrastructure of the Capitol complex. We also agree that we need to increase our strength and our overall response capacity, “he added.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism