Capitol Police IG: Misguidance, Lack Of Training Led To Unprepared Police Force During Jan. 6 Protests

In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, photo, police form a line to try and prevent violent rioters from storming the Capitol, in Washington. The top watchdog for the U.S. Capitol Police will testify to Congress for the first time about the department’s broad failures before and during the Jan. 6 insurrection. Among them was missed intelligence and old weapons that officers didn’t feel comfortable using. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, photo, police form a line to try and prevent violent rioters from storming the Capitol, in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)


U.S. Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton has called for “cultural changes” to be made amid new reports detailing the short-comings of the agency on January 6.

While testifying before the House Administration Committee Thursday, Bolton said the Capitol Police needs to improve its intelligence gathering, training and operational planning. He added, conflicting information and a lack of training resulted in Capitol Police being unprepared for protesters.

Bolton highlighted the reports while listing flaws within the top ranks and said the agency needs a complete overhaul of training as well as operations.

“The department needs to move away from the thought o f process of a traditional police department and move to a posture of a protective agency,” stated thew Inspector General. “A police department is geared to being reactive for the most part, whereas, a protective agency is postured in their training and planning to be proactive to prevent events such as January 6th.”

According to the reports, police equipment was old and stored badly. Additionally, there was a lack of direction at the Civil Disturbance Unit. Regarding the day of protests, an FBI bulletin warning about the protests did not get sent to leadership until “late in the evening” on January 5.

On top of that, Capitol Police leadership opted against using stronger weapons during the raids out of fear they could be misused and cause life-altering injuries or even death.

“Training has got to be taken seriously,” Bolton stated. “It can’t be an afterthought and that’s where we are kind of stand today.”

As for solutions, the Inspector General told lawmakers the Capitol Police Intelligence Division should be upgraded to a full-scale bureau, which could offer more resources to stop future threats.

“We need an Intelligence Bureau, right now it’s considered an Intelligence Division,” he explained. “It comes down to the Protective Services Bureau, it needs to be full service, comprehensive bureau.”

Bolton said Congress needs to consider serious funding to fix issues within the Capitol Police.





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