U.S. Capitol Police chief readies for Jan. 6 anniversary amid staffing strain
About 120 Capitol Police officers have left since last year, but Chief Tom Manger says they’ll be ready
By Suzie Ziegler
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger says the likelihood of an attack on the Capitol is much smaller than it was a year ago, despite threat levels being “exponentially higher.”
According to CBS News, Manger says his agency has taken steps to prevent a repeat of last year’s violent siege.
"There could be a situation where something unexpected happens that we're not prepared for, but I will tell you that today, it is much less likely something like [January 6] could occur because of the things that we've put into place,” Manger told CBS.
Manger also said that his agency is struggling to keep up with the high volume of reported threats. In all of 2021, the agency has received 9,600 threats, including threats of harm to lawmakers and the Capitol building, as well as disturbing social media posts, stalking, and harassment, according to CBS.
"Right now, we're prioritizing the ones that are most concerning," Manger said. "We're going to have to get additional folks to handle these kinds of threats."
After the attack on January 6, 2021, Inspector General Michael Bolton made 120 recommendations for security improvement. Manger says only 30 of those recommendations have been implemented, in part because of staffing issues.
"It's a difficult challenge right now because we're so short-staffed that some of the things that we could do in terms of training can't be done because we can't free up officers from their duties to address some of the training needs, " Manger said.
According to CBS, about 120 Capitol Police officers have left since the attack on January 6. Manger says he wants to hire an additional 400 officers and has a plan to hire about 280 this year, according to the report.
Manger told ABC News that he’s already seen an “apparent” spike in recruitment from those who watched the shocking attack unfold.
"We've had no trouble recruiting people to join the Capitol Police Department," Manger told ABC News. "Of course, our challenge is to make sure we're hiring the right people.”