On Monday, lawmakers will be briefed on a new security review that recommends sweeping changes to the US Capitol after. The final report called for the hiring of more than 1,000 Capitol police officers, a special rapid reaction force and the installation of a retractable fence around the complex, according to a project received from CBS News.
The study was led by former Hurricane Katrina commander and retired Lieutenant General Russell Honore and a working group composed of other former senior military officials.
The 15-page document seeks to streamline the chain of command afterin the deployment of the National Guard during the riot.
He proposes that the US Capitol Police be empowered to seek support from the National Guard and outside law enforcement without prior approval by the Capitol Police Council in “extraordinary circumstances.”
The council that heads the department consists of the Chamber and Senate arms sergeants, the Capitol architect, and the Capitol police chief. Former Capitol Police Chief Stephen Sund told lawmakers at a Senate hearing last month that he had asked the National Guardbut his request was denied by the home sergeant in arms. Capitol architect Brett Blanton testified at a separate hearing that he was never associated with him at the request.
Another recommendation calls for the directives of the Ministry of Defense to be amended to allow the head of the DC National Guard to retain extraordinary powers to quell large-scale civil unrest. Commander-in-Chief General William Walker told a joint Senate panel last week that there were guards sitting on buses while he waited for permission from the Pentagon to deploy them to the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“Seconds mattered at that moment, minutes mattered, and I had to be ready to bring them in as quickly as possible,” Walker said.
The report also cites internal communication problems between Capitol police that were on the ground at the time of the attack.
“Without headphones, many officers were also unable to hear or understand radio communications due to the overwhelming noise from the crowd,” the report said. “Every officer should be provided with headphones as part of his uniform and instructed to wear them. This should not be optional.”
The task force recommended that officers carry body cameras and proposed an increase in the K9 division and the re-establishment of the equestrian police unit.
The group also offers increased security for members of Congress when traveling to their home neighborhoods.
Asked by CBS News if she supported the findings, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acknowledged that additional funding would be needed.
“We will present the fuller body and at some point we will make decisions about what is possible,” she said. “It will take more money to defend the Capitol in a way that allows people to come here.”
Pelosi commissioned Honorre’s review, which focused primarily on security from the House of Commons. Chamber of Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other Republicans in parliament have criticized the retired general’s choice to lead the investigation, citing previous statements that Capitol police were complicit in the uprising.
“While there may be some worthy recommendations, General Honore’s notorious bias calls into question the rationality of his appointment as head of this important security review,” McCarthy said in a statement.
Honore and other members of the working group will inform members of the two countries in three separate sessions on Monday from January 6th.