Critics Blast 'Dangerous' and 'Unconstitutional' Expansion of US Capitol Police

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Posted: Jul 07, 2021 7:00 AM
Critics Blast 'Dangerous' and 'Unconstitutional' Expansion of US Capitol Police

Source: AP Photo/Julio Cortez

The U.S. Capitol Police are planning to expand outside of the District of Columbia, opening regional field offices “to better protect lawmakers” against threats in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, reports The New York Times. 

Florida and California will be the first regional offices to open to address the rising threats against members of Congress, which have doubled since 2017, according to acting chief of force Yogananda D. Pittman.

The majority of those threats are from people outside of D.C., Pittman said.

Tim Barber, a spokesman, said the plan was to open several additional regional offices as the department charged with protecting Congress transforms itself in the aftermath of the attack, which exposed serious deficiencies in the Capitol Police’s gathering and dissemination of intelligence, preparedness and training.

Much like the Secret Service, which has field offices in multiple states and countries, the Capitol Police need to be able to monitor and quickly investigate threats against lawmakers wherever they occur, Mr. Barber said. (The New York Times)

But the expansion of the Capitol Police's power is raising eyebrows for a number of reasons, including its secrecy, given that USCP are not subject to Freedom of Information Act requests. 

The move comes as the Biden administration has placed combating domestic extremism as a top priority.