As the one-year anniversary of the Capitol insurrection approaches, the threats against the government building have increased. During a recent interview with CBS News, Tom Manger, chief of the United States Capitol Police, revealed that “the threat level is much higher than it was a year ago.”
In 2021, lawmakers in the U.S. Capitol were cautioned against potential physical, psychological or other harm. They were stalked, harassed and targeted with social media posts, collectively facing a total of 9,600 threats.
“Right now, we’re prioritizing the ones that are most concerning,” Manger said. “We’re going to have to get additional folks to handle these kinds of threats.”
“There could be a situation where something unexpected happens that we’re not prepared for, but I will tell you that today, it is much less likely something like [Jan. 6] could occur because of the things that we’ve put into place,” he said. “It remains to be seen if it just keeps increasing at the level that it has increased. Or do we as a country get to a point where enough people say, ‘Enough is enough, you know, this is not good for our nation to have this level of vitriol.'”
While actions have been implemented to decrease the likelihood of another copycat riot, Department Inspector General Michael Bolton believes that more changes can be made to ensure that the Capitol is truly “safe and secure.” He suggested 104 ways that security could be improved, 30 of which have since been applied. His other recommendations will be implemented at a later time, according to Manger, who noted training is in dire need of improvements.
“It’s a difficult challenge right now because we’re so short-staffed that some of the things that we could do in terms of training can’t be done because we can’t free up officers from their duties to address some of the training needs, ” Manger said. He plans to hire 400 officers following the departure of 130 cops last year.