The U.S. Capitol Police will form field offices in two states to investigate threats to congressional members amid other heightened security initiatives after the Jan. 6 riot in Washington, D.C.
The first two offices will be located in California and Florida as part of the USCP’s initiative of “enhanced security for Members of Congress outside” the nation’s capital, the department said Tuesday. Future field office locations will be added.
“Throughout the last six months, the United States Capitol Police has been working around the clock with our Congressional stakeholders to support our officers, enhance security around the Capitol Complex, and pivot towards an intelligence-based protective agency,” acting USCP Chief Yogananda Pittman wrote in a press release Tuesday.
Threats against members of Congress more than doubled in May and have increased 107% since 2020, according to Capitol Police. As a result of increased threats, more lawmakers have amplified pressure for personal protection in Washington and in their respective districts.
“The USCP has enhanced our staffing within our Dignitary Protection Division as well as coordinated for enhanced security for Members of Congress outside of the National Capitol Region,” Pittman wrote. “The Department is also in the process of opening Regional Field Offices in California and Florida with additional regions in the near future to investigate threats to Members of Congress.”
The department will buy police armor, weapons, surveillance, and rioting equipment after a watchdog noticed some gear was damaged and improperly stored, Pittman said. Personnel training is underway with the National Guard and at locations including Seattle and Virginia Beach.
More than 500 people have been arrested in connection with the attacks at the U.S. Capitol. The FBI is searching for nearly 300 others, including those responsible for placing the pipe bombs at the Republican and Democratic Party’s respective headquarters.
House Democrats voted to establish a partisan committee on Wednesday to investigate the riot, which will serve as a deeper investigation into former President Donald Trump and his alleged culpability in stirring up the attack.