Washington, DC – The union that represents U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officers objected to their new chief’s new plan to hire security guards to fill positions left empty by the wave of officers who have left since the Capitol riot, but job advertisements posted on New Year’s Day make it look like the proposal is already a done deal.
USCP Chief Thomas Manger told FOX News on Sunday morning about his new plan to contract with security guards to fill secondary posts that have always been patrolled by police officers in the past, such as parking garages.
Chief Manger said his leadership team had “identified posts where we don’t need sworn officers” and said that not every post required an armed police officer.
“We think that if we are able to put contract security guards at some of those posts, that will free up a number of sworn police officers and we can assign them to where they are needed and where we require actually an armed Capitol Police officer,” the police chief said.
Chief Manger told FOX News that USCP has addressed other problems with resources and intelligence failures that were brought to light by the investigations the followed the Capitol riot.
“The one thing that we have not been able to fix, so to speak, are the staffing issues,” the police chief explained. “We’ve lost over 130 officers that have left through either retirements or resignations after Jan. 6.”
“The prior year – 2020 – the national Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy was shut down for 10 months because of Covid, so between not being able to put any academy classes through the prior and with the attrition the way it’s been over the past year, we’re now really about 400 officers short of where we need to be,” he told FOX News.
Chief Manger said USCP leadership planned to put more than 280 new officers through the police academy in 2022.
He claimed that the secondary posts where USCP officers would be replaced by unsworn security guards would largely be in locations where the people in that area had already been checked in, FOX News reported.
USCP Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Chairman Gus Papathanasiou called the police chief’s plan a “recipe for disaster,” according to Politico.
“We need to hire more officers — period. The last thing we need are private security contractors who are not trained to our standards,” Papathanasiou said.
“In law enforcement, we have to trust the men and women next to us. That trust enabled us, along with our partner agencies, to hold back the attackers on January 6th long enough to safely evacuate all Members of Congress and the Vice President,” the union boss said in a statement to Politico.
Despite Chief Manger’s assertions that the security guards wouldn’t be taking high-risk stations, history would tell a different tale.
On April 2, 2021, USCP Officer William Evans was murdered by a black nationalist who rammed his vehicle into a security barricade on the perimeter of the Capitol complex.
In July of 1998, USCP Officer Jacob Chestnut was shot in the back of the head at point-blank range while stationed at the entrance of a building in the Capitol complex, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP).
The gunman then went into now-former U.S. Representative Tom DeLay’s (R-Texas) office and engaged in a gunfight with USCP Detective John Gibson, who was assigned to protect the congressman.
Det. Gibson wounded the shooter but was fatally shot during the gun battle, according to ODMP.
Chief Manger told FOX News his leadership team was just now moving forward to brief the oversight committee about the proposal but a job posting that appeared on a security company’s website on Jan. 1 indicated the implementation of the security guard plan was well underway.
Inter-Con Security Systems, Inc. posted an advertisement for the “exciting role of an Unarmed Security Officer” for the Capitol Police on New Year’s Day, according to Politico.
The responsibilities listed on the advertisement included “Access Control,” “Processing visitors for entry into a facility,” “Conducting inspections and screenings,” “Patrol and responding to calls,” “Directing traffic,” “Monitoring and operating security and safety systems” and “Reporting incidents and writing reports of the incidents,” all of which are usually performed by USCP officers.
The advertisement offered potential security guards $24 an hour to start with an extra $4.23 an hour for “health and welfare.”
A fully-sworn, armed USCP private earns about $64,815 a year, or roughly $31.16 an hour, Politico reported.