U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) on Tuesday, July 6 announced that they would install two regional field offices in California and Florida to investigate threats to congressional members in the wake of more security after the Capitol riot on January 6.
“It has been six months since rioters attacked the United States Capitol and our brave police officers and law enforcement partners who fought valiantly to protect elected leaders and the democratic process,” Acting USCP Chief Yogananda Pittman said in a statement, citing the death of two officers Brian Sicknick and Howie Liebengood.
“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.”
According to an April report, officer Brian Sicknick died of natural causes one day after the riot; he was previously believed to have passed away from injuries sustained during the event.
Officer Howard Liebengood died by suicide on January 9. His family has demanded his death be considered “in the line of duty,” but Pittman at the time said the title can only be given to “officers who die while carrying out official law enforcement responsibilities.”
“Even the deaths of the law enforcement officers who tragically took their own lives after the terrorist attack on September 11th were not considered Line of Duty Deaths,” Pittman said in a statement, according to CBS58.
The threat against members of Congress has more than doubled in May, as reviewed by Capitol Police, which compared to 2020 has spiked by 107%. Aware of their vulnerability, multiple lawmakers have urged more personal protection in Washington and in their respective districts.
“The USCP has enhanced our staffing within our Dignitary Protection Division as well as coordinated for enhanced security for Members of Congress outside of the National Capitol Region,” Pittman wrote.
The Chief Capitol Police confirmed that there would be field offices in California and Florida to assist the department with the investigation into the threats faced by members of Congress “with additional regions in the near future.”
Due to the discovery of broken and improperly stored gear, Pittman said the department is acquiring police armor, firearms, surveillance, and rioting equipment. The protective preparation included personnel training with the National Guard in cities such as Seattle and Virginia Beach.
Based on the May report, the U.S. The Secret Service composed of more than 100 agents and analysts dealt with approximately 8,000 cases of intimidation last year. Meanwhile, the Capitol Police which only has about 30 agents and analysts encountered 9,000 cases over the same period.
The Justice Department estimated that there were at least 800 individuals involved in the Capitol breach. More than 400 of them have been detained and charged with criminal indictments, and arrest is still pending for others.
Allegedly, members of Marxist Antifa and Black Lives Matter (BLM) groups blended among the mob that stormed the Capitol building on January 6. However, many of the heavier verdicts reported by the media were focused more on the members of far-right groups such as the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys.