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Capitol Police Patch Holes in Security After Jan. 6 Failure

Policymakers and law enforcement leaders who have spent the last year assessing the failures in their response to last year's Jan. 6 Capitol riot wonder if a similar attack could happen again. As they cope with trauma in their own ranks, they’ve tried to patch security flaws exposed by the attack — inspired by former President Trump — that wounded more than 150 police officers and left four rioters dead, Politico reports. Another officer died of a stroke after responding to the riot, and several more died by suicide in the ensuing weeks. “The last thing that I want to do is say, ‘this could never happen again’ and have it sound like a challenge to those people,” said Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger, who took over in August after his predecessor's ouster. “I’m not trying to be overconfident. We are much better prepared.”

Manger says 135 officers have retired or resigned since Jan. 6, and the force as a whole is “probably 400 officers down from where we should be.” The Capitol Police riot control unit, singled out as deficient on Jan. 6, now has more diverse “non-lethal” gear to help with crowd control. Its intelligence analysts now regularly share threat assessments with rank-and-file officers, after many of those officers lamented that their leaders never informed them of intelligence about the potential for violence at the Capitol. With little fanfare, Congress also passed — and President Biden signed — legislation giving the Capitol Police chief the unilateral authority to seek National Guard assistance, eliminating a hurdle that delayed a request for help on Jan. 6, 2021.


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