‘Overworked’ US Capitol officers reportedly stopped monitoring 24-hr video feed capturing Pelosi attack

Despite having a live feed aimed on the outside of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home, U.S. Capitol Police officers weren’t continuously watching the feed when her husband was attacked last Friday.

“The Capitol Police first installed cameras around Pelosi’s home more than eight years ago; she has an around-the-clock security detail; and for many months after the attacks of Jan. 6, 2021, a San Francisco police cruiser sat outside her home day and night,” The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

“But hours after Pelosi left San Francisco last week and returned to D.C., much of the security left with her, and officers in Washington stopped continuously monitoring video feeds outside her house,” the Post added.

The reason why officers stopped monitoring the feed is reportedly that the agency is understaffed even as the number of threats faced by lawmakers is exploding.

“The Capitol Police have been working to implement more than 100 security improvements recommended by outside experts, including enhancements to officer training, equipment, protocols and staffing. But the department has simultaneously faced a tenfold increase in threats to members of Congress, who regularly return to their home districts and crisscross the country,” according to the Post.

Congress is reportedly preparing to respond by adding additional security measures to an upcoming government funding bill. But on the other hand, it’s not like members of Congress don’t already receive boatloads of money for their own security.

“In the months after Jan. 6, 2021, House Democrats repeatedly reminded leaders that their campaign coffers were not enough to pay for personal security or upgrades to their homes. Congress has, in turn, approved increases to office budgets for individual lawmakers — allowing them to pay for private security to assist them at events back home — and set aside nearly $5 million in a separate fund to allow for security upgrades to their personal residences,” the Post reported.

“Starting Aug. 15, lawmakers were given up to $10,000 for setting up security systems in their homes. Lawmakers have been told to work with security officials in the Capitol or with their local police to install devices such as indoor and outdoor security cameras; motion sensors; duress buttons; and window, door and broken-glass monitors,” according to the Post.

It’s not clear whether Pelosi ever took advantage of all this readily available money.

That being said, the primary issue is that the agency is understaffed.

The good news is that the Capitol Police, which currently boasts about 1,900 officers, is reportedly on track to meet its hiring goal of 280 officers by the end of this year.

The bad news is that this is still “a fraction of what it needs, according to some estimates,” the Post noted.

“An external review ordered by Pelosi shortly after the January 2021 attack found that there were more than 230 vacancies in the two months after the insurrection and recommended that the Capitol Police eventually increase the size of its force by roughly 850 officers. That would take years, given that about 100 officers leave or retire each year, and the force is now accepting only about 1 in every 16 candidates,” according to the Post.

“The result is a police force already stretched incredibly thin, needing more staff to properly secure the nearly 60-acre Capitol campus and provide around-the-clock protection to the increasing number of lawmakers facing serious threats of violence. Congress jumped the Capitol Police budget from $516 million for 2021 to a recommended $708 million for 2023, according to the House Appropriations Committee,” the Post reported.

In a statement published Tuesday, Capitol Police chief Tom Manger called for more money and resources.

“We believe today’s political climate calls for more resources to provide additional layers of physical security for Members of Congress. This plan would include an emphasis on adding redundancies to the measures that are already in place for Congressional leadership,”  he said.

News of the Capitol Police’s need for more funding and more officers came on the same day that a court filing revealed that David DePape, the man accused of attacking Pelosi’s husband, had been on a suicide mission.

“David DePape, 42, told officers and medics at the scene that he was sick of the ‘level of lies’ coming from Washington, DC, and ‘came here to have a little chat with his wife,'” CNN reported, citing the aforementioned court filing.

“I didn’t really want to hurt him, but you know this was a suicide mission. I’m not going to stand here and do nothing even if it cost me my life,” DePape reportedly told investigators.

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