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United States Capitol Police

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

United States Capitol Police
Emblem of the United States Capitol Police
Emblem of the United States Capitol Police
Badge of the United States Capitol Police
Badge of the United States Capitol Police
Flag of the United States Capitol Police
Flag of the United States Capitol Police
Common nameU.S. Capitol Police
Motto"A Tradition of Service and Protection"
Agency overview
FormedMay 2, 1828; 194 years ago (1828-05-02)[1]
Annual budget$516 million (FY2021)[2]
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agency
(Operations jurisdiction)
United States
Operations jurisdictionUnited States
Legal jurisdictionCongressional buildings, parks, and thoroughfares. Members of Congress, Officers of Congress, and their families throughout the United States, its territories and possessions.
Governing bodyCapitol Police Board
Constituting instrument
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters119 D Street, NE
Washington, D.C., U.S. 20510
Agency executive
  • Sworn Specialties:
  • Dignitary Protection
  • Threat Assessment
  • Intelligence Investigations
  • Criminal Investigations
  • Hazardous Devices (Bomb Squad)
  • Containment and Emergency Response Team
  • Patrol & K-9
  • Civilian Specialties:
  • Hazardous Materials Response Team
  • Intelligence Analysis
  • Emergency Management
Website Edit this at Wikidata

The United States Capitol Police (USCP) is a federal law enforcement agency in the United States charged with protecting the United States Congress within the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its territories. It answers to the Capitol Police Board and is the only full-service federal law enforcement agency appointed by the legislative branch of the federal government of the United States.

The United States Capitol Police has the primary responsibility for protecting life and property, preventing, detecting, and investigating criminal acts, and enforcing traffic regulations throughout a complex of congressional buildings, parks, and thoroughfares. The Capitol Police has primary jurisdiction within buildings and grounds of the United States Capitol Complex. It also has concurrent jurisdiction with other law enforcement agencies, including the United States Park Police and the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, in an area of approximately 200 blocks around the complex. Officers also have jurisdiction throughout the District of Columbia to take enforcement action when they observe or are made aware of crimes of violence while on official duties. Additionally, they are charged with the protection of members of Congress, officers of Congress, and their families throughout the entire United States, its territories and possessions, and the District of Columbia. While performing protective functions, the Capitol Police have jurisdiction throughout the entire United States.[3]

Jurisdiction and budget

The jurisdiction of the United States Capitol Police centers on the United States Capitol building in Washington, D.C., the adjacent congressional (House and Senate) offices, and the Library of Congress buildings. This primary jurisdiction is about 270 acres (0.42 sq mi; 1.1 km2), with about 58 acres (0.091 sq mi; 0.23 km2) being the Capitol grounds themselves.[4] The U.S. Capitol Police also have extended jurisdiction over parts of Northeast, Northwest, and Southwest Washington D.C.[5] The USCP provides protection detail to House and Senate leaders, other congressmen and -women depending on individual risk analysis, lawmakers' state and district offices (with the help of local police), and "off-campus" events such as presidential nominating conventions.[2]

Four congressional committees have statutory oversight.[6] The authority of the Police Chief is, in many ways, restrained. The Capitol Police chief reports to the Capitol Police Board, a three-person group composed of the Senate and House Sergeants at Arms and the Architect of the Capitol.[7] The chief is “whipsawed between partisan politicians and career professionals like the two Sergeants at Arms and congressional they literally have hundreds of people who think they're their bosses."[8] The pay for the USCP Chief is far less than many police chiefs in the US.[8]

In FY2021, the USCP had an annual budget of more than $515 million;[2] it employs more than 2,000 sworn and civilian personnel, making it one of the most well-funded and well-staffed police departments relative to the two square miles it guards.[4] USCP's budget is divided into a salaries account, used for overtime and benefits, and a general expenses account, used for equipment, vehicles, communications, training, medical services, forensic services, etc. USCP cannot transfer money between the accounts without the approval the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.[2]


U.S. Capitol Police officers attend training at the Capitol Police Training Academy in Cheltenham, Maryland and is one of many agencies that sends its recruits to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), located in Glynco, Georgia, for initial training. Rarely, recruits are sent to the FLETC location in Artesia, New Mexico. Following 12 weeks at FLETC, recruits return to FLETC's location in Cheltenham, for an additional 13 weeks of training. After the recruits' academy training, graduates are sworn in as law enforcement officers and assigned to one of four divisions to begin their careers. Once assigned, officers are assigned a Field Training Officer (FTO) for a definite period to provide additional on-the-job training. FTO's provide weekly updates on the subjects that have been learned and issue tests to the new officers. Officers are also subject to a one-year probationary period. Initial salary at the start of training is $64,173.00, with an increase to $66,423.00 after graduation. After 30 months of satisfactory performance and promotion to private first class (PFC), salary is increased to $74,478.00.[9]


USCP officers in 1940

The history of the United States Capitol Police dates back to 1801 when Congress moved from the city of Philadelphia to the newly constructed Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. At the time, Congress appointed one watchman to protect the building and Congressional property.

The police were formally created by Congress in 1828 following the assault on John Adams II, the son of John Quincy Adams, in the Capitol rotunda. The United States Capitol Police had as its original duty the provision of security for the United States Capitol.[10]

Its mission has expanded to provide the congressional community and its visitors with a variety of security services. These services are provided through the use of a variety of specialty support units, a network of foot and vehicular patrols, fixed posts, a full-time Containment and Emergency Response Team (CERT), K-9, a Patrol/Mobile Response Division and a full-time Hazardous Devices and Hazardous Materials Sections.[11][12]

In 1979, the Capitol Police got a separate chief of police; the role had previously been filled by officers of the Metropolitan Police Department.[13][14]

In 2005 Congress established the United States Capitol Police (USCP) Office of Inspector General (OIG) as a legislative agency. The Inspector General heads OIG, supervises and conducts audits, inspections, and investigations involving USCP programs, functions, systems, and operations, and reports directly to the Capitol Police Board.[15]

The Library of Congress Police were merged into the force in 2009.[16][17]

The Sergeant at Arms of the U.S. House of Representatives is a member of the Capitol Police Board and reports to the Speaker of the House.

Prior to 2021, four Capitol police officers had died in the line of duty.[18]

1998 shooting at the Capitol

On July 24, 1998, a shooting occurred at a security checkpoint inside the Capitol,[19] killing one U.S. Capitol police officer. Another Capitol police officer was killed when the assailant entered Majority Whip Tom DeLay's (R-TX-22) office.

Racial discrimination

Since 2001, more than 250 Black officers have sued the Capitol Police over allegations of racism. After the 2021 storming of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob, several Capitol police were suspended for possible complicity with the insurrectionists.[20]

Even though Washington, D.C. is 46% Black, only 29% of the Capitol Police is. This is in contrast to the Metropolitan Police Department (for D.C.), which is 52% Black.[20]

2021 U.S. Capitol attack

At a rally in Washington on January 6, 2021, Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani called for "trial by combat".[21] Trump encouraged his supporters to "fight like hell" and "take back our country", and asked his supporters to march to the US Capitol.[22][23] Eventually the building was easily stormed with little resistance.[24] Congress was in session at the time, conducting the Electoral College vote count and debating the results of the vote.

The rioters breached barricades erected by Capitol Police around the Capitol. Ultimately, one unarmed woman, Ashli Babbitt, was fatally shot by a USCP officer when she attempted to climb through a shattered window in a barricaded door, and three other rioters died in medical emergencies.[25][26] One USCP police officer was also injured during the attack, with another officer who responded to the attack dying off-duty days later.[27][28][29] More than fifty USCP and MPD officers were injured during the attack, and several USCP officers were hospitalized with serious injuries.[26]

Federal authorities said they were not prepared for the unrest; however, far-right pro-Trump supporters had organized the unrest on pro-Trump far-right social media websites, including Gab and Parler, in advance.[30][31][32][33] The ineffectiveness of Capitol Police's response to the rioting was harshly criticized, as was the contrast between it and the aggressive response of federal law enforcement to the George Floyd protests in the summer of 2020.[34][25][35][36][37]

At the behest of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund announced his resignation the following day, effective January 16, 2021.[38] Two other officers were also suspended in January 2021.[39] Six Capitol Police officers were suspended and 29 more were being investigated in February 2021.[40][41]

Yogananda Pittman was named Acting Chief of Capitol Police following the attack. She was the first woman and first African American to lead the agency.[42] Pittman served in an acting capacity until July 22, 2021, when she was replaced by J. Thomas Manger.

April 2021 Capitol car attack

On April 2, 2021, a suspect identified as Noah Green used a car to hit two Capitol Police Officers and then hit a barricade. Officer William "Billy" Evans died and the other officer was hospitalized. Officers shot and killed the suspect. The Capitol was locked down. Green said on social media that he believed he was a victim of "mind control".[43]

Organizational structure

The agency is led by an "Executive Team"[44] with the Chief of Police at the head, who is supported by an Assistant Chief of Police for Uniformed Operations, and a Chief Administrative Officer. There are about 18 bureaus and offices,[44] and an Inspector General.[45] Due to threats and other security measures in the wake of the 2021 United States Capitol attack, the agency announced plans to open field offices in California and Florida on July 6.[46] Congress has enabled joint oversight of the Capitol Police Board[47] and given the Chief of the Capitol Police emergency powers to request national guard or other federal assistance in cases of civil disturbance.[48]

Rank structure and insignia

Title Insignia
Chief of Police Four stars
Assistant Chief of Police Three stars
Chief of Operations Three stars
Deputy Chief Two stars
Inspector One Oak leaf
Captain Two bars connected
Lieutenant One bar
Sergeant Three chevrons
Corporal Two chevrons
Private First Class One chevron over rocker
Private with training One chevron
Private No Insignia

See also


  1. ^ "Our History – United States Capitol Police". Retrieved 2020-04-01.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Ida A. Brudnick (July 29, 2021). The U.S. Capitol Police: Brief Background (Report). Congressional Research Service. p. 2. Retrieved August 1, 2021.
  3. ^ "2 U.S. Code § 1966 – Protection of Members of Congress, officers of Congress, and members of their families". Archived from the original on 2019-12-27. Retrieved 2017-06-27 – via
  4. ^ a b Graff, Garrett M. (2021-01-08). "Behind the Strategic Failure of the Capitol Police". Politico. Archived from the original on 2021-01-11. Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  5. ^ "The Long Arm of the U.S. Capitol Police". First Branch Forecast. August 7, 2019.[better source needed]
  6. ^ "Congressional Committees". United States Capitol Police. June 17, 2016.
  7. ^ Whitney Wild. "Insurrection fallout: The hunt for a new US Capitol Police Chief". CNN. Retrieved 2021-05-06.
  8. ^ a b "Insurrection fallout: The hunt for a new US Capitol Police Chief". Retrieved 2021-05-06.
  9. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". United States Capitol Police. 25 July 2016. Archived from the original on 28 July 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  10. ^ "United States Capitol Police". USA JOBS. Archived from the original on 2007-08-07. Retrieved 2007-08-19.
  11. ^ "United States Capitol Police Containment & Emergency Response Team". Archived from the original on 2012-02-04. Retrieved 2007-08-19.
  12. ^ "Wear the Badge, Feel the Honor". United States Capitol Police. Archived from the original on 2009-09-03. Retrieved 2007-08-19.
  13. ^ "Our History". United States Capitol Police. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  14. ^ Dozier, Kimberly; Chan, Melissa (January 8, 2021). "Accusations of Bias, Racism Swirl Around Capitol Police After Mob Attack". TIME. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  15. ^ "Office of Inspector General". United States Capitol Police. June 16, 2016.
  16. ^ Public Law 108-7 Sec. 1015 (117 Stat. 363) enacted by U.S. Congress on February 20, 2003; all sections under Title 2 (§ 167 and § 167h) of the U.S. Code that pertains to the Library of Congress Police was transferred to the U.S. Capitol Police.
  17. ^ "Our History". United States Capitol Police. Retrieved August 9, 2018. [T]he historic merger with the Library of Congress Police in 2009
  18. ^ "USCP FAST FACTS". United States Capitol Police. 2016-06-16. Retrieved 2021-01-09.
  19. ^ Linton, Caroline. "Capitol Police officer who responded to attack has died". CBS News. Retrieved 2021-01-11.
  20. ^ a b Sapien, Joshua Kaplan, Joaquin. ""No One Took Us Seriously": Black Cops Warned About Racist Capitol Police Officers for Years". ProPublica. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  21. ^ "Rudy Giuliani called for 'trial by combat' before Trump supporters stormed the Capitol". Business Insider.
  22. ^ McCarthy, Tom; Ho, Vivian; Greve, Joan E. (January 7, 2021). "Schumer calls pro-Trump mob 'domestic terrorists' as Senate resumes election certification – live". The Guardian. Archived from the original on January 6, 2021. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  23. ^ "Before mob stormed US Capitol, Trump told them to 'fight like hell'". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on January 7, 2021. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  24. ^ Ted Barrett, Manu Raju and Peter Nickeas. "Pro-Trump mob storms US Capitol as armed standoff takes place outside House chamber". CNN. Archived from the original on January 6, 2021. Retrieved January 6, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  25. ^ a b Gurman, Aruna Viswanatha and Sadie (2021-01-07). "Capitol Police Weren't Prepared for Rioters, Authorities Say". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 2021-01-08. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  26. ^ a b "U.S. Capitol Police issue statement on pro-Trump riots". Fox 5 DC. 2021-01-07. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  27. ^ United States Capitol Police (7 January 2021). "Loss of USCP Officer Brian D. Sicknick". United States Capitol Police. Archived from the original on 8 January 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  28. ^ "Police Confirm Death Of Officer Injured During Attack On Capitol". NPR. Archived from the original on 2021-01-08. Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  29. ^ "Capitol Police Officer Who Responded To Mob Attack Dies Off Duty". NPR.
  30. ^ "Actions by Police Before Trump Supporters Attacked Capitol Backfired Spectacularly". Wall Street Journal. January 8, 2021. Archived from the original on January 13, 2021.
  31. ^ Frenkel, Sheera (January 6, 2021). "The storming of Capitol Hill was organized on social media". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 6, 2021. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  32. ^ Evan Perez, Katelyn Polantz, Phil Mattingly, Vivian Salama, Priscilla Alvarez and Betsy Klein. "'No one knew what we were supposed to be doing there.' Inside the law enforcement chaos at the Capitol". CNN. Retrieved 2021-01-07.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  33. ^ McSwane, Logan Jaffe, Lydia DePillis, Isaac Arnsdorf, J David. "Capitol Rioters Planned for Weeks in Plain Sight. The Police Weren't Ready". ProPublica. Archived from the original on 2021-01-09. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  34. ^ Hosenball, Joseph Tanfani, John Shiffman, Brad Heath, Mark (2021-01-07). "How security failures enabled Trump mob to storm U.S. Capitol". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  35. ^ "U.S. police officials shocked by apparent police failure at Capitol". NBC News. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  36. ^ Dewan, Shaila; MacFarquhar, Neil; Eligon, John; Triebert, Christiaan; Willis, Haley; Cooper, Stella; Engelbrecht, Cora; Hill, Evan; Ray, Arielle (2021-01-07). "Capitol Breach Draws Sharp Condemnation of Law Enforcement". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2021-01-08. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  37. ^ Emma, Caitlin. "Capitol Police firings imminent after 'attempted coup,' top appropriator warns". POLITICO. Archived from the original on 2021-01-07. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  38. ^ "US Capitol Police chief to resign after Wednesday's riots". CNN. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  39. ^ "Two Capitol police officers suspended over behavior during riot". The Guardian. January 12, 2021.
  40. ^ "Six Capitol police officers suspended for alleged actions during riot". NBC News.
  41. ^ Sandler, Rachel. "6 Capitol Police Officers Suspended For Actions During Riot". Forbes.
  42. ^ Booker, Brakkton. "In Historic 1st, U.S. Capitol Police Name Yogananda Pittman As Acting Chief". NPR. Retrieved 2021-01-11.
  43. ^ Macaya, Melissa; Wagner, Meg; Rocha, Veronica; Mahtani, Melissa; Alfonso, Fernando III (2021-04-02). "Officer killed in attack near US Capitol". CNN. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  44. ^ a b "Executive Team". United States Capitol Police. 2016-06-16. Retrieved 2021-04-10.
  45. ^ "Office of Inspector General". United States Capitol Police. 2016-06-16. Retrieved 2021-04-10.
  46. ^ Woodward, Alex (July 6, 2021). "Capitol police opening field offices to address increased threats to lawmakers". The Independent. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  47. ^ Press release. (22 December 2021). "Klobuchar, Blunt Legislation to Provide U.S. Capitol Police Chief with Authority to Request Emergency Assistance from National Guard Signed Into Law ". Senator Klobuchar website Retrieved 20 February 2022.
  48. ^ The Hill staff. (14 December 2021). "Congress passes bill allowing for easier National Guard defense of Capitol after Jan. 6". Yahoo News website Retrieved 20 February 2022.

External links

This page was last edited on 6 July 2022, at 01:49
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