WASHINGTON - Capitol Police officers are urging Congress to "act urgently" to step up security on Capitol Hill following the latest deadly attack near the Halls of Congress.
They're also asking lawmakers to include the Capitol Police Union in any security decisions.
The appeal Saturday follows the deadly attack Friday resulting in the death of veteran Capitol Police Officer William "Billy" Evans. Another officer was hospitalized.
Officers shot and killed the suspect, 25-year-old Noah Green, after they say he rammed his car into the two officers at a barricade, then ran out of his car with a knife.
"This attack, combined with the violent events of the January 6th insurrection, have left our officers reeling," Capitol Police Union Chairman Gus Papathanasiou said in a statement.
Evans is the second Capitol Police Officer killed in the line of duty in less than three months. Officer Brian Sicknick died a day after the violent storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6. Another officer, Howard Liebengood, died by suicide after the events of Jan. 6.
Papathanasiou said the losses have hurt morale and the ability to recruit new officers on the force.
Capitol Police currently have 233 less officers than the 2,072 the department is authorized for. Another 500 officers will be eligible for retirement within five years.
"I’ve had many younger officers confide in me that they’re actively looking at other agencies and departments right now," Papathanasiou said in the statement.
The union is calling on Congress to act on recommendations to hire hundreds of new officers and make infrastructure upgrades.
"There are immediate steps Congress can take to address this. The question is, will Congress do so?" Papathanasiou said.