United States Capitol Police push to hire more than 200 new officers
WASHINGTON - The United States Capitol Police department is seeking to hire more than 200 additional sworn officers.
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The agency says it is authorized for roughly 2,000 officers and currently has about 1,800.
"We are looking for really good women and men who want to serve their country," said USCP Chief Tom Manger in a statement. Applicants can apply online.
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The U.S. Capitol Police department has lost more than 100 sworn officers in the last year. According to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 78 percent of law enforcement agencies across the country have reported having difficulty recruiting qualified candidates.
Last week, 21 USCP recruits graduated from the academy -- the first of five post January 6 classes with more on the way.
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Last month, Manger told the Associated Press that his force is seeing a historically high number of threats against lawmakers since the deadly January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. He predicts authorities will respond to close to 9,000 threats against members of Congress in 2021 -- more than 4,100 had been reported from January to March.
At least nine people who were at the January 6 riot died during and after the rioting, including a woman who was shot and killed by police as she tried to break into the House chamber and three other Trump supporters who suffered medical emergencies. Two police officers died by suicide in the days that immediately followed, and a third officer, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, collapsed and died after engaging with the protesters. A medical examiner later determined he died of natural causes.
The Metropolitan Police announced this summer that two more of their officers who had responded to the insurrection, Officers Kyle DeFreytag and Gunther Hashida, had also died by suicide.
A committee is continuing their investigation into why U.S. Capitol Police — as well as federal, state and local law enforcement agencies — were so ill-prepared for the rally-turned-insurrection and whether their response, after it began, was inadequate.
The Associated Press contributed to this report