May 7 (UPI) — Threats to members of Congress have increased by 107% this year compared to 2020, the U.S. Capitol Police revealed Friday.
“As the department has previously reported, the number of threats made against Congress has increased significantly,” Capitol Police said in a statement. “This year alone, there has been a 107% increase in threats against members compared to 2020. Provided the unique threat environment we currently live in, the department is confident the number of cases will continue to increase.”
The USCP statement was in response to a third flash report by the Office of Inspector General on countersurveillance and threat assessments. The report hasn’t been released publicly.
The USCP said it’s taken “significant steps” to implement recommendations made by the OIG, including training requirements for agents and analysts, and the sharing of intelligence within the agency. The force said it’s also asked the FBI for additional help with investigations and prosecutions.
Additional funding would be required for additional employees, training and vehicles in order to implement an OIG suggestion of a standalone countersurveillance unit within the USCP, the department said.
“As always, the department greatly appreciates its partnership with the Office of the Inspector General,” the USCP said. “Since the events of January 6th, USCP leadership team has been working closely with Congressional oversight to seek the needed resources to implement the OIG’s recommendations, as well as those from other reviews and assessments.”
OIG congressional testimony in April said Capitol Police weren’t prepared to deal with the mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, despite warnings of potential violence.
“We see that the department needs to move away from the thought process as a traditional police department and move to the posture as a protective agency,” Inspector General Michael Bolton said in a statement to the House administration committee. “A police department is a reactive force. A crime is committed; police respond and make an arrest. Whereas, a protective agency is postured to being proactive to prevent events such as January 6.”