Capitol Police chief calls for more security for members of Congress after Pelosi attack

The chief of the Capitol Police in a statement Tuesday called for more security resources to protect members of Congress in the wake of last week’s attack against the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The attack was “an alarming reminder of the dangerous threats elected officials and public figures face during today’s contentious political climate,” Chief Tom Manger said.

On Friday, a man reportedly looking to kidnap and injure Nancy Pelosi allegedly broke into her San Francisco house and attacked Paul Pelosi with a hammer, charging documents said.

Manger referred to other recent incidents, such as the shootings of former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords at an Arizona supermarket in 2011 and Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, in 2017. Manger called it a “tense time in American politics.”

The chief said the department is on track to meet its goal of hiring 280 new officers by the end of the year, a benchmark instituted after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. But the academy takes nearly a year, Manger said. “While progress has been made, there is still a lot of work to do.”

Manger said improvements were already in place for congressional leadership, though he couldn’t describe them for fear of tipping off “any potential bad actors.” He added that the police would continue to add enhancements and coordinate with state and local law enforcement regarding member security.

Manger added that roughly 12% of cases in which the Capitol Police identified people making threats were prosecuted.

“We hope to see more of these cases prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” the chief said.

Speaker Pelosi said Monday that her husband, who is 82, was making “steady progress on what will be a long recovery process.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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