WASHINGTON — As Thursday marks one year since a violent mob stormed into the U.S. Capitol, the head of the police department tasked with protecting the Capitol says it’s better prepared today than a year ago.
“If January 6 taught us anything, it’s that preparation matters,” U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said to a Senate committee on Wednesday.
Manger came out of retirement to help lead USCP after the Jan. 6, 2021 attack and was sworn in over the summer.
“Today I’m confident that the U.S. Capitol Police department has made significant progress addressing the deficiencies that impacted the department’s response on January 6 and while more work remains to be done, the men and women of Capitol Police stand ready to fulfill their mission each and every day,” said Manger.
Channel 2 and ABC News will have special coverage marking one year since Jan. 6 throughout the day, starting on Channel 2 Action News This Morning from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m.
Manger faced questions from senators about the chaos a year ago.
“Do you believe that the department would be better able to defend against the type of threat that we saw a year ago today than the department was back then?” asked Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).
“Yes, absolutely,” replied Manger.
“What could have been done to better secure the Capitol to stop the riot outside and prevent them from penetrating as far as they did?” asked Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
“If the intelligence had been acted on the way it should have been and we would have had enough people here, I think it would have been a different story,” said Manger.
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Manger said the necessary changes are now in the works. He said the department has beefed up the civil disturbance unit and has improved how it handles and shares intelligence.
It’s also now easier for USCP to get help from the National Guard in an emergency.
Manger said the department is prepared for the possibility of future attacks as well.
“We will likely be tested again but what will be different is we will be paying much more attention to the information that we gather ahead of time,” said Manger. “We will be putting together a better plan.”
Manger said the department has also ordered new equipment and is focusing on hiring more officers.
Several events are planned Thursday to mark one year since the attacks. President Joe Biden will deliver remarks from the Capitol at 9 a.m. A moment of silence will be held on the House floor with a candlelight vigil scheduled for Thursday night.
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