Gus Papathanasiou, chairman of the Congressional Police Union, said in a statement on Saturday that the staffing of the Congressional Police is below its authorized level, with 233 officers, and may face a greater shortage of personnel as personnel retire in the next few years. Papathanasiou pointed out that the shortage has increased due to the continued injuries of several police officers in the January 6 attack.
After losing several officers this year, the department is straining. An 18-year-old army soldier, Officer William “Billy” Evans, a member of the “First Responder” unit, died after the attack on Friday, and the officer injured on Friday was released from the hospital. Resources.
After the January riots, officer Brian Sicknick was injured in the incident and died. Another officer committed suicide after responding to the riot.
Papastanasio said: “Even if the officers are doing a lot of forced overtime, we are still trying to meet the existing mission requirements.”
Papathanasiou agreed with the recommendations of the task force led by retired Army Lieutenant General Russel Honoré. He called for an increase in the staffing of the Congressional Police, including several changes, and stated in the Task Force’s report that the Congressional Police “manpower Insufficient, inadequate equipment and lack of adequate safety training to ensure safety. The Parliament Building and Members of Parliament on January 6.”
Honoré told CNN’s Wolf Blazer in the “Situation Room”: “We must accept the fact that the Capitol 24/7 threatens the possibility of attacking our American Leadership Center. Domestic, foreign and criminals.” “After Friday’s attack. “The Capitol is a target. We need to adapt to this goal. “
Papathanasiou paid tribute to him in Evans’ speech, saying that he was “respected in the department and will not forget his loss.” He also praised the work of the officers who responded to the incident on Friday and continued to investigate the attack, adding: “I cannot be proud of them.”
The US Congress Police said in a statement to CNN: “We appreciate and join the coalition’s support for increasing the number of employees in order to retain our current officers and implement many recommended security enhancements as soon as possible.”
With the release of the Congressional Police Hospital injured in the attack last Friday and the Congressional Police’s response to the union’s statement on Saturday, this story has been updated.