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'Stronger and better prepared' | US Capitol Police overhaul security protocols after Jan. 6 attack

USCP Chief Tom Manger said he focused on reforming three arenas that broke down on Jan. 6: intelligence, operational planning and leadership.

WASHINGTON — Thursday will mark one year since thousands of insurrectionists violently stormed the U.S. Capitol attempting to halt the peaceful transfer of presidential power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden. Though nothing can be done to counteract the lasting damage of that day, law enforcement and Capitol authorities say they are taking every measure to ensure that history is not repeated.

“The USCP as an organization is stronger and better prepared to carry out its mission today than it was before Jan. 6 of last year," USCP Chief Manger said Tuesday.

According to Manger, the U.S. Capitol Police has "addressed or completed" more than 90 of the 100 recommendations given for reforming safety procedures since the Jan. 6 breach. He further broke it down explaining that approximately 35 recommendations have been fully enacted, with 60 others are in the works. 

Manger said USCP prioritized three key arenas he believes saw the biggest failures on Jan. 6: intelligence, operational planning and leadership.

"The one thing that did not fail that day was the courage and resolve of the men and women of the USCP," Manager said. 

The chief specifically highlighted the following changes to USCP protocol: 

  • Improved the way we gather, analyze, share, use and disseminate intelligence
  • Brought on operational planning expert from Secret service to develop blueprint for handling large events with focus on intelligence, assets and coordination both internally and with outside partners
  • Held massive joint exercises ahead of big events
  • Conduct in person briefings for uniformed officers ahead of major events
  • Provided cellphones for all USCP officers to get daily intelligence reports
  • Developed formalized process to request and receive assistance from partnering law enforcement agencies
  • Ordered additional equipment for civil disturbance unit officers
  • Exercises with National Guard and other police agencies
  • Expanded officer safety and wellness initiatives, including a peer support program, support dogs, and trauma-informed care specialists
  • Instituted new external communication plan to improve public information office and speed/accuracy with which we release information

When asked directly whether today's U.S. Capitol was strong enough to withstand an event like Jan. 6, Manger didn't hesitate to answer. 

"I believe it is, yes," the chief said confidently. 

Architect of the Capitol Brett Blanton added that numerous physical repairs have been executed in the last year including: reinforcing doors, both interior and exterior; replacing damaged windows; upgrading kiosks; and installing enhanced security lighting and electrical systems around the Capitol complex. Congress also appropriated an additional $300 million to be spent Capitol windows and replacing the complex's entire camera system; Blanton said the windows are still under design right now and will be installed beginning in the spring. 

RELATED: LIST: Here's what's planned in DC for the 1st anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection

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