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United States Capitol Police
|United States Capitol Police|
Patch of the United States Capitol Police
Badge of the United States Capitol Police
Flag of the United States Capitol Police
|Common name||U.S. Capitol Police|
|Motto||"A Tradition of Service and Protection"|
|Formed||May 2, 1828 (1828-05-02)|
|Annual budget||$460 million|
|Operations jurisdiction||United States|
|Legal jurisdiction||Congressional buildings, parks, and thoroughfares. Members of Congress, Officers of Congress, and their families throughout the United States, its territories and possessions.|
|Governing body||Capitol Police Board|
|Headquarters||119 D Street, NE
Washington, D.C., U.S. 20510
The United States Capitol Police (USCP) is a federal law enforcement agency in the United States charged with protecting the United States Congress within the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its territories. It answers to the Capitol Police Board whose three members are appointed by two of the three branches of government (House, Senate and President), and is the only full-service federal law enforcement agency appointed by the legislative branch of the federal government of the United States.
The United States Capitol Police has the primary responsibility for protecting life and property, preventing, detecting, and investigating criminal acts, and enforcing traffic regulations throughout a complex of congressional buildings, parks, and thoroughfares. The Capitol Police has primary jurisdiction within buildings and grounds of the United States Capitol Complex. It also has concurrent jurisdiction with other law enforcement agencies, including the United States Park Police and the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, in an area of approximately 200 blocks around the complex. Officers also have jurisdiction throughout the District of Columbia to take enforcement action when they observe or are made aware of crimes of violence while on official duties. Additionally, they are charged with the protection of members of Congress, officers of Congress, and their families throughout the entire United States, its territories and possessions, and the District of Columbia. While performing protective functions, the Capitol Police have jurisdiction throughout the entire United States.
Jurisdiction and budget
The jurisdiction of the United States Capitol Police centers on the United States Capitol building in Washington, D.C., the adjacent congressional (House and Senate) offices, and the Library of Congress buildings. This primary jurisdiction is about 270 acres (0.42 sq mi; 1.1 km2), with about 58 acres (0.091 sq mi; 0.23 km2) the Capitol-grounds itself.
As of 2020, the USCP has an annual budget of more than $460 million and employs more than 2000 police officers, making it one of the most well-funded and well-staffed police departments relative to the two square miles that it guards.
The U.S. Capitol Police is one of many agencies that sends its recruits to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), located in Glynco, Georgia, for initial training. Rarely, recruits are sent to the FLETC location in Artesia, NM. Following 12 weeks at FLETC, recruits return to FLETC's location in Cheltenham, Maryland, for an additional 13 weeks of training. After the recruits' academy training, graduates are sworn in as law enforcement officers and assigned to one of four divisions to begin their careers. Once assigned, officers are assigned a Field Training Officer (FTO) for a definite period to provide additional on-the-job training. FTO's provide weekly updates on the subjects that have been learned and issue tests to the new officers. Officers are also subject to a one-year probationary period. Initial salary at the start of training is $55,653.00, with an increase to $57,604.00 after graduation. After 30 months of satisfactory performance and promotion to private first class (PFC), salary is increased to $64,590.00.
The history of the United States Capitol Police dates back to 1801 when Congress moved from the city of Philadelphia to the newly constructed Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. At the time, Congress appointed one watchman to protect the building and Congressional property.
The police were formally created by Congress in 1828 following the assault on John Adams II, the son of John Quincy Adams, in the Capitol rotunda. The United States Capitol Police had as its original duty the provision of security for the United States Capitol.
Its mission has expanded to provide the congressional community and its visitors with a variety of security services. These services are provided through the use of a variety of specialty support units, a network of foot and vehicular patrols, fixed posts, a full-time Containment and Emergency Response Team (CERT), K-9, a Patrol/Mobile Response Division and a full-time Hazardous Devices and Hazardous Materials Sections.
In 2005 Congress established the United States Capitol Police (USCP) Office of Inspector General (OIG) as a legislative agency. The Inspector General heads OIG, supervises and conducts audits, inspections, and investigations involving USCP programs, functions, systems, and operations, and reports directly to the Capitol Police Board.
Prior to 2021, four Capitol police officers had died in the line of duty.
1998 shooting at the Capitol
On July 24, 1998, a shooting occurred at a security checkpoint inside the Capitol, killing one U.S. Capitol police officer. Another Capitol police officer was killed when the assailant entered Majority Whip Tom DeLay's (R-TX-22) office.
Since 2001, over 250 Black officers have sued the Capitol Police over allegations of racism. After the 2021 storming of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob, several Capitol police were suspended for possible complicity with the insurrectionists.
2021 storming of the Capitol
On January 6, 2021, Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani called for "trial by combat". Trump encouraged his supporters to "fight like hell" and "take back our country", and asked his supporters to march to the US Capitol. Subsequently a pro-Trump mob marched on Congress and eventually stormed the building. Congress was in session at the time, conducting the Electoral College vote count and debating the results of the vote.
The protesters breached barricades erected by Capitol Police around the Capitol. Ultimately, one woman was fatally shot by a USCP officer, and three other protesters died in medical emergencies. One USCP police officer was also killed as a result of injuries sustained during the attack, with another officer who responded to the storming dying off-duty days later. More than 50 USCP and MPD officers were injured during the attack, and several USCP officers were hospitalized with serious injuries. Federal authorities said that they were not prepared for the unrest; however, far-right pro-Trump supporters had organized the unrest on pro-Trump far-right social media websites, including Gab and Parler, in advance. Capitol Police's response to the rioting was harshly criticized, as was the contrast between the aggressive response of federal law enforcement to the George Floyd protests in the summer of 2020.
Rank structure and insignia
|Chief of Police|
|Assistant Chief of Police/ Chief of Operations|
|Private First Class|
|Private with Training|
- 2021 storming of the United States Capitol
- 2017 Congressional baseball shooting
- United States Capitol shooting incident (2013)
- March 29, 2006, Capitol Hill police incident
- United States Capitol shooting incident (1998)
- List of incidents of political violence in Washington, D.C.
- List of United States federal law enforcement agencies
- Capitol police
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[T]he historic merger with the Library of Congress Police in 2009
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