Over the first few months of 2021, threats to members of Congress have more than doubled year-over-year and are only expected to go up from here, according to a release issued Friday by the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP). “This year alone, there has been a 107% increase in threats against Members compared to 2020,” says the document, which is a response to a set of security recommendations made by the USCP inspector general (IG). “Provided the unique threat environment we currently live in, the Department is confident the number of cases will continue to increase.” The IG suggested the Capitol Police beef up its Threat Assessment Section to more closely resemble that of the U.S. Secret Service, which handled 1,000 fewer cases than the USCP in 2020 but has more than three times the staff. So while the USCP agrees that a “stand-alone counter-surveillance unit would be valuable,” the agency pointed out that fielding one “would require additional resources for new employees, training, and vehicles as well as approval from Congressional stakeholders.” Capitol Police management said it will take the IG’s recommendation to work more closely with the FBI on future threat assessments, and has requested “additional investigative and enhanced prosecution assistance” from the Department of Justice.
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