United States Capitol Police

United States Capitol Police
Patch of the United States Capitol Police
Patch of the United States Capitol Police
Badge of the United States Capitol Police
Badge of the United States Capitol Police
Flag of the United States Capitol Police
Flag of the United States Capitol Police
Common name U.S. Capitol Police
Abbreviation USCP
Motto "A Tradition of Service and Protection"
Agency overview
Formed May 2, 1828; 192 years ago (1828-05-02)[1]
Annual budget $460 million[2]
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agency
(Operations jurisdiction)
United States
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
Constituting instrument
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters 119 D Street, NE
Washington, D.C., U.S. 20510
Officers 2,200+
Agency executive
www.uscp.gov Edit this at Wikidata

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.[3]

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.[4]

Four congressional committees have statutory oversight.[5]

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.[4]


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.[6]


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.[7]

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.[8][9]

In 1979, the Capital Police got a separate chief of police; the role had previously been filled by officers of the Metropolitan Police Department.[10][11]

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.[12]

The Library of Congress Police were merged into the force in 2009.[13][14]

Prior to 2021, four Capitol police officers had died in the line of duty.[15]

1998 shooting at the Capitol

On July 24, 1998, a shooting occurred at a security checkpoint inside the Capitol,[16] 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.

Racial discrimination

Since 2001, over 250 Black officers have sued the Capitol Police over allegations of racism.[17] After the 2021 storming of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob, several Capitol police were suspended for possible complicity with the insurrectionists.[17]

Even though Washington D.C. is 46% Black, only 29% of the Capitol Police is.[17] This is in contrast to the Metropolitan Police Department (for D.C.), which is 52% Black.[17]

2021 storming of the Capitol

On January 6, 2021, Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani called for "trial by combat".[18] Trump encouraged his supporters to "fight like hell" and "take back our country", and asked his supporters to march to the US Capitol.[19][20] Subsequently a pro-Trump mob marched on Congress and eventually stormed the building.[21] 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.[22][23] 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.[24][25][26] More than 50 USCP and MPD officers were injured during the attack, and several USCP officers were hospitalized with serious injuries.[23] 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.[27][28][29][30] 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.[31][22][32][33][34]

Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund announced his resignation the following day, effective January 16, 2021.[35] Two other officers were also suspended.[36]

Yogananda Pittman has been named Acting Chief of Capitol Police. She is the first woman and African American to lead the agency.[37]

Rank structure and insignia

Title Insignia
Chief of Police
4 Gold Stars.svg
Assistant Chief of Police/ Chief of Operations
3 Gold Stars.svg
Deputy Chief
2 Gold Stars.svg
US-O4 insignia.svg
Captain insignia gold.svg
US-O1 insignia.svg
Private First Class
Private with Training

See also


  1. ^ "Our History – United States Capitol Police". Uscp.gov. Retrieved 2020-04-01.
  2. ^ Graff, Garrett M. (January 8, 2021). "Behind the Strategic Failure of the Capitol Police". Politico. Archived from the original on January 11, 2021. Retrieved January 9, 2021.
  3. ^ "2 U.S. Code § 1966 – Protection of Members of Congress, officers of Congress, and members of their families". law.cornell.edu. Archived from the original on 2019-12-27. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  4. ^ a b Graff, Garrett M. (2021-01-08). "Behind the Strategic Failure of the Capitol Police". Politico. Archived from the original on 2021-01-11. Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  5. ^ USCP Congressional Committees.[1],
  6. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". uscapitolpolice.gov. 25 July 2016. Archived from the original on 28 July 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  7. ^ "United States Capitol Police". USAJOBS. Archived from the original on 2007-08-07. Retrieved 2007-08-19.
  8. ^ "United States Capitol Police Containment & Emergency Response Team". Archived from the original on 2012-02-26. Retrieved 2007-08-19.
  9. ^ "Wear the Badge, Feel the Honor". United States Capitol Police. Archived from the original on 2009-09-03. Retrieved 2007-08-19.
  10. ^ "Our History". United States Capitol Police. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  11. ^ Dozier, Kimberly; Chan, Melissa (January 8, 2021). "Accusations of Bias, Racism Swirl Around Capitol Police After Mob Attack". TIME. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  12. ^ Office of Inspector General, USCP
  13. ^ Public Law 108-7 Sec. 1015 (117 Stat. 363) enacted by U.S. Congress on February 20, 2003; all sections under Title 2 (§ 167 and § 167h) of the U.S. Code that pertains to the Library of Congress Police was transferred to the U.S. Capitol Police.
  14. ^ "Our History". uscp.org. United States Capitol Police. Retrieved August 9, 2018. [T]he historic merger with the Library of Congress Police in 2009
  15. ^ "USCP FAST FACTS". United States Capitol Police. 2016-06-16. Retrieved 2021-01-09.
  16. ^ Linton, Caroline. "Capitol Police officer who responded to attack has died". CBS News. Retrieved 2021-01-11.
  17. ^ a b c d Sapien, Joshua Kaplan,Joaquin. ""No One Took Us Seriously": Black Cops Warned About Racist Capitol Police Officers for Years". ProPublica. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  18. ^ Rudy Giuliani called for "trial by combat"
  19. ^ McCarthy, Tom; Ho, Vivian; Greve, Joan E. (January 7, 2021). "Schumer calls pro-Trump mob 'domestic terrorists' as Senate resumes election certification – live". Archived from the original on January 6, 2021. Retrieved January 6, 2021 – via www.theguardian.com.
  20. ^ "Before mob stormed US Capitol, Trump told them to 'fight like hell' –". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on January 7, 2021. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  21. ^ Ted Barrett, Manu Raju and Peter Nickeas. "Pro-Trump mob storms US Capitol as armed standoff takes place outside House chamber". CNN. Archived from the original on January 6, 2021. Retrieved January 6, 2021.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  22. ^ a b Gurman, Aruna Viswanatha and Sadie (2021-01-07). "Capitol Police Weren't Prepared for Rioters, Authorities Say". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Archived from the original on 2021-01-08. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  23. ^ a b "U.S. Capitol Police issue statement on pro-Trump riots". Fox 5 DC. 2021-01-07. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  24. ^ United States Capitol Police (7 January 2021). "Loss of USCP Officer Brian D. Sicknick". uscp.gov. Archived from the original on 8 January 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  25. ^ "Police Confirm Death Of Officer Injured During Attack On Capitol". NPR.org. Archived from the original on 2021-01-08. Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  26. ^ https://www.npr.org/sections/congress-electoral-college-tally-live-updates/2021/01/10/955461525/capitol-police-officer-who-responded-to-mob-attack-dies-off-duty
  27. ^ "Actions by Police Before Trump Supporters Attacked Capitol Backfired Spectacularly". Wall Street Journal. January 8, 2021. Archived from the original on January 13, 2021.
  28. ^ Frenkel, Sheera (January 6, 2021). "The storming of Capitol Hill was organized on social media". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on January 6, 2021. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  29. ^ Evan Perez, Katelyn Polantz, Phil Mattingly, Vivian Salama, Priscilla Alvarez and Betsy Klein. "'No one knew what we were supposed to be doing there.' Inside the law enforcement chaos at the Capitol". CNN. Retrieved 2021-01-07.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  30. ^ McSwane, Logan Jaffe,Lydia DePillis,Isaac Arnsdorf,J David. "Capitol Rioters Planned for Weeks in Plain Sight. The Police Weren't Ready". ProPublica. Archived from the original on 2021-01-09. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  31. ^ Hosenball, Joseph Tanfani, John Shiffman, Brad Heath, Mark (2021-01-07). "How security failures enabled Trump mob to storm U.S. Capitol". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  32. ^ "U.S. police officials shocked by apparent police failure at Capitol". NBC News. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  33. ^ Dewan, Shaila; MacFarquhar, Neil; Eligon, John; Triebert, Christiaan; Willis, Haley; Cooper, Stella; Engelbrecht, Cora; Hill, Evan; Ray, Arielle (2021-01-07). "Capitol Breach Draws Sharp Condemnation of Law Enforcement". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2021-01-08. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  34. ^ Emma, Caitlin. "Capitol Police firings imminent after 'attempted coup,' top appropriator warns". POLITICO. Archived from the original on 2021-01-07. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  35. ^ "US Capitol Police chief to resign after Wednesday's riots". CNN. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  36. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/11/capitol-police-officers-suspended-riot-inauguration
  37. ^ Booker, Brakkton. "In Historic 1st, U.S. Capitol Police Name Yogananda Pittman As Acting Chief". NPR. Retrieved 2021-01-11.

External links