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Capitol Security Review Task Force calls for movable fencing among a host of other changes

Retired Lieutenant General Russel Honoré was tasked by House of Commons Speaker Nancy Pelosi in January to lead a security review of the Capitol, which would end with recommendations to immediately improve the security of infrastructure, operations Capitol security and member security.

“The violation of the United States Capitol on January 6 highlighted the need to immediately improve the security of the Capitol complex and the safety of members and staff of Congress,” read the report, which was reported for the first time by The New York Times.
CNN first reported last week that two sources said a draft copy of the review recommended adding more than 1,000 U.S. Capitol police officers, establishing a dedicated rapid reaction force and construct an integrated system of walls and fences around the Capitol complex. CNN reported Thursday that Honoré briefed members of Congress on the review and Rep. Tim Ryan, a Democrat from Ohio, said he believed Honoré “hit the nail on the head” with his recommendations.

“It’s very comprehensive. It’s a matter of intelligence. It’s a matter of information flow. It’s about training, training of intelligence officers. The hardening of the Capitol. The districts are covered,” he said.

“It’s going to take a while for all of this to be implemented, but it was perfect as far as I know,” Ryan added.

The copy of the report CNN saw on Friday showed the task force suggests creating two different new fencing systems – a mobile system, which they say should be “easily put together and deconstructed,” and a fencing system. retractable – which will keep the Capitol border secure in a more manageable way. In its summary, the task force writes that the current temporary fences require too many staff to monitor and make the Capitol complex less accessible.

A movable fencing system, however, “could enable an open campus while giving security forces better options to protect the complex,” the report said.

In addition to installing a permanent retractable fencing system, the task force also recommends “a fully integrated system of obstacles, cameras, sensors and alarms” to better integrate the security infrastructure, which it says them, should work in tandem with the proposed mobile system. .

The task force also lists a host of proposals to improve the response and preparedness of the Capitol Police for future attacks. The report calls for the establishment of a rapid reaction force to be on standby, full-time, near the Capitol to serve as back-up to officers on duty at the Capitol complex. To create that reaction force, fill current vacancies and meet future staffing needs, the task force suggests adding a total of 884 new recruits to the Capitol Police.

Addressing the many communication challenges faced by Capitol Police during the insurgency, the task force recommends that the Capitol Police Chief no longer require departmental council approval to seek help from outside agencies or the National Guard in an emergency.

The move aims to eliminate a key communication breakdown that occurred on January 6: then Capitol Police Chief Steve Sund has testified since the attack he requested from the National Guard through a declaration of emergency, but members of the Capitol Police council are not saying this request either. never happened or was never formal. The report also calls on the ministry to consider using horses to create a mounted unit, adding more explosive detection dogs, purchasing headphones to facilitate communication, and wearing body cameras for accountability.

The task force is also examining how the Capitol Police need standard procedures for working with outside law enforcement agencies, particularly those in Maryland and Virginia, to facilitate integration and cooperation between law enforcement agencies. outside forces and the Capitol police force. On the training front in particular, the task force advises that intelligence analysts be better equipped and integrated into the department, noting that “less than a handful of people in the USCP have significant intelligence training. “.

Member safety

A whole series of changes are expected to be made to member safety, based on the findings of the task force.

Honoré’s team suggests that the House Sergeant-at-Arms make a plan to contract security systems for all district offices, as well as provide sufficient funds to members to ensure residential security. This demand requires a significant increase in funds, as members currently have to use personal resources and campaign funds to secure security upgrades for their homes.

For travel, the task force suggests the creation of a “modestly staffed and tech-savvy travel operations center” to improve on the current system, which the task force says is no longer available. not efficient and not very labor intensive.

Honoré’s team, also known as Task Force 1-6, included individuals with backgrounds in law enforcement, law, personal protection, intelligence, operations, and Congress. The task force plans to brief members of the report and draft recommendations on Monday.

“In the coming days, in the context of an inquiry and inquiry, Congress will engage in a heated debate on the Capitol’s current security arrangements and the changes needed to better secure the Capitol and protect its members, its staff and employees, ”the summary concludes.

In order to produce its report, the task force met with representatives of the Capitol Police, House and Senate Sergeants-at-Arms, Capitol Architect, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, Department of Metropolitan Police, Washington Council of Metropolitan Governments, federal law enforcement partners, Defense and Army Departments, Pentagon Force Protection Agency, Office of the Guard national and members of Congress and staff of the House and Senate.

Ryan Nobles of CNN contributed to this report.


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