The Capitol Police will open regional offices in California and Florida as part of the agency’s response to the Capitol incursion.
Yogananda Pittman, the department’s acting chief, announced the opening of the offices in a statement Tuesday on the Capitol Police website.
“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 said.
“The Department is also in the process of opening Regional Field Offices in California and Florida with additional regions in the near future to investigate threats to Members of Congress.”
After the Jan. 6 incursion, protection for members of Congress in their home states emerged as a top issue. The Capitol Police is the agency charged with protecting members of Congress.
Capitol Police said that, as of Tuesday, total threats in 2021 were twice what they were at this point in 2020, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Pittman has not been specific about the threats, but she said this past spring that most come from individuals who are not near Washington, D.C.
“The new USCP field offices will be in the Tampa and San Francisco areas. At this time, Florida and California are where the majority of our potential threats are,” the Capitol Police said in a statement to Fox News.
“The field offices will be the first for the Department. A regional approach to investigating and prosecuting threats against Members is important, so we will be working closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in those locations. More field offices will be opening in the future.”
It was not revealed Tuesday how much the offices are expected to cost or what their staffing levels would be.
Republican Rep. Kat Cammack of Florida supports the expansion.
“Over the last six months, I’ve had the honor of getting to know the dedicated men and women of the United States Capitol Police,” Cammack, said, according to Fox News.
“The hard-working law enforcement officers of the Capitol Hill community work tirelessly to protect members and staff, and I know their work in this capacity will only continue, especially as they expand into field offices in California and Florida.
“As we continue serving our districts, it’s reassuring to know they’ll continue working with local police departments and sheriffs to keep lawmakers and our communities as safe as possible,” she said.
“Buying long-overdue helmets and shields, and accepting report recommendations for training doesn’t show leadership, it shows a desire to escape the consequences of the very real leadership collapse that day,” union chair Gus Papathanasiou said in a statement.
“Individual officers fought hard on January 6th and succeeded in protecting every single member of Congress and their staff. We did our jobs. Our leaders failed us.”
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