The Dallas Morning News
‘Cultural change’ urged for Capitol Police
Watchdog casts doubt on readiness to deal with future threats
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Capitol Police force needs “cultural change” after the broad failures of the Jan. 6 insurrection, the top watchdog for the department testified Thursday, pointing to inadequate training and outdated weaponry as among several urgent problems facing the force.
Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton has issued confidential monthly reports on the force’s missteps since the siege, when hundreds of President Donald Trump’s supporters broke into the building and sent lawmakers fleeing. In a 104-page report obtained by The Associated Press, he casts serious doubt on the force’s ability to respond to future threats and another large-scale attack.
Bolton told the House Administration Committee the force needs to improve its intelligence gathering, training and operational planning. The way the force views its mission also needs to change, he said.
“A police department is geared to be a reactive force, for the most part,” Bolton said. “Whereas a protective agency is postured, in their training and planning, to be proactive to prevent events such as January 6th.”
The force so far has refused to publicly release Bolton’s report — prepared in March and marked as “law enforcement sensitive.” But lawmakers discussed many of its findings at the hearing and agreed that major improvements are needed. House Administration Committee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren said the department needs to be stronger and more effective “not just to keep the Capitol and those who work here safer, but to keep the men and women who wear its uniform safe.”
Bolton told the panel more money for training should be the highest priority.
“If you want to invest dollars, that’s the place to invest in — training,” he said. “Training deficiencies put officers, our brave men and women, in a position not to succeed.”