Capitol Police opening up new offices in Florida, California to handle threats to Congress
US Capitol maintains heightened security as lawmakers struggle to meet with constituents
Fox News’ Chad Pergram reports.
The United States Capitol Police (USCP) will open new regional offices in response to increased threats to members of Congress since the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, the police agency announced Tuesday.
The first announced two field offices will open in California and Florida, with additional states expected in the “near future,” acting USCP Chief Yogananda Pittman said in a statement Tuesday.
The police did not reveal the cities in which the new regional offices will be located or details on why they were needed beyond saying the purpose is “to investigate threats to Members of Congress.”
A spokesperson for the USCP did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment for additional details.
Acting chief of the U.S. Capitol Police Yogananda Pittman listens during a news conference after a car crashed into a barrier on Capitol Hill near the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Friday, April 2, 2021.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
The expansion of the Capitol Police presence beyond Washington D.C. is part of a greater effort to protect lawmakers in their home districts in the face of increased concerns for their safety. The police reported in May that there’s been a 107% increase in threats to members of Congress compared to 2020 and predicted no let-up in sight.
In response, USCP also increased staffing for its Dignitary Protection Division and enhanced its coordination with local law enforcement to protect members of Congress when they are home, the police said.
California and Florida are two of the largest states in the country and therefore have two of the largest congressional delegations, including senior ranking party leaders like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.
Members of Congress have reported having to take extra security precautions at their homes in response to the increased threat level. In one instance, Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., had to call the police in Charleston after her house was vandalized over Memorial Day weekend with profanity and anarchist symbols.
USCP’s Pittman announced Tuesday an array of steps the police have taken since the Jan. 6 riot to better protect the Capitol, increase training and to beef up equipment and communication capabilities.
“Throughout the last six months, the United States Capitol Police has been working around the clock with our Congressional stakeholders to support our officers, enhance security around the Capitol Complex, and pivot towards an intelligence-based protective agency,” Pittman said.
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