Citing a need for “enhanced security for Members of Congress outside” of the nation’s capitol, the U.S. Capitol Police are opening two new field offices, one in San Francisco.
Many of us who haven't lived in Washington, D.C. had never heard of the U.S. Capitol Police until Trump supporters stormed the capitol on January 6. After all, that force's jurisdiction is tiny — it’s not just the U.S. Capitol building, but a small patch known as the National Capitol Region, which is all of Washington, D.C., and six surrounding counties in Maryland and Virginia.
Their jurisdiction is getting larger, though. The Chronicle reports that the Capitol Police are opening two new offices, one in Tampa, Florida, and the other in San Francisco.
The Chron caught this tidbit in a month-and-a-half-old press release commemorating the six-month anniversary of the insurrection, and spelling out changes that U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) will make hoping to avoid a repeat. “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,” the release says. “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.”
According to the Chronicle, that California office will be in the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center, which is one of the upstairs offices in the Phillip Burton Federal Building at 450 Golden Gate Avenue, between Larkin and Polk Streets.
The temptation is to say that San Francisco is getting the office just to keep Nancy Pelosi safe. And to be fair, capitol rioters were screaming, “Bring Nancy Pelosi out here now. We want to hang that fucking bitch.” But as the Chron points out, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy also lives in California, and the state has the largest congressional delegation in the county. And the alert sirens here are flashing Trump-baseball-cap red.
“At this time, Florida and California are where the majority of our potential threats are,” a Capitol Police spokesperson told the Chron. “A regional approach to investigating and prosecuting threats against members (of Congress) is important, so we will be working closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in those locations.”
Apparently this had been in the works before the events of January 6, but that day’s proceedings prompted the USCP to speed up the effort. And it’s probably the correct decision. According to one intelligence director who spoke to the Chronicle, since January 6, the “center has sometimes processed 60 threats of harm to individuals or the public a day.”
Image: WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 14: A U.S. Capitol Police officer stands guard in front of the U.S. Capitol Building, on June 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. This morning House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and others were shot by a gunman during Congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)