U.S. Capitol Security Review

In the wake of the January 6, 2021 storming of the U.S. Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré to lead a six week review to evaluate Capitol security. The assessment, Task Force 1-6 Capitol Security Review, specifically “review[s] and provide[s] recommendations in the following areas: Capitol security operations, infrastructure physical security, and Member security in their Congressional districts, their residences, and during travel.”

The security review determined that the Capitol Police Board’s decision process was too slow, and contributed to “delaying requests for critical supplemental resources.” The review found that the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) were “understaffed, insufficiently equipped, and inadequately trained to secure the Capitol and Members when violently attacked by a large mob,” and recommends they hire an additional 854 officers to fill staffing needs.

Among the other key recommendations include:

  • The Congress must immediately fund infrastructure contracts managed by the Architect of the Capitol to repair or replace doors and windows, authorize mobile fencing design and procurement, and authorize U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ assessment of long-term improvements to perimeter fencing and security surveillance and sensing systems.
  • The Congress and the Capitol Police Board must immediately amend relevant statutory and internal Board policies to better enable crisis decision-making and empower the USCP Chief to initiate timely augmentation in emergencies.
  • The USCP must immediately:
    • Improve intelligence integration, develop daily intelligence summaries, and disseminate relevant and needed intelligence to front-line leaders.
    • Conduct necessary individual training and leader development, rehearsals, and After-Action Reviews.
    • Participate in the MWCOG [Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments] Police Chiefs Group and approve appropriate Mutual Aid Agreements.
    • Implement the National Incident Management System and rehearse the Incident Command System

For more information on topics related to this piece, visit the HSDL Featured Topics on Domestic (U.S.) Terrorism, or check out other resources related to Capitol security.

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