J. Thomas Manger, newly installed chief of the U.S. Capitol Police force, warns that the risk to lawmakers is higher than ever, the threat from lone-wolf attackers is only growing, and his police force “cannot afford to be complacent,” reports the Associated Press. Manger predicts authorities will respond to close to 9,000 threats against members of Congress in 2021 — more than 4,100 had been reported from January to March.
Extreme measures put into place two weeks ago for a rally in support of those jailed in the January 6 riot aren’t a one-off and might be the new normal, although Manger said they may not be the same for every demonstration. But while a report from earlier in the year recommended a major security overhaul, including the funding of hundreds of new officer positions and establishing a permanent “quick response force” for emergencies, those changes would require a massive influx of money. In a $2.1 billion measure in July, Congress delegated nearly $71 million, with much of that funding going to cover overtime costs. The Capitol Police has an annual budget of approximately $460 million and about 2,300 officers and civilian employees to police the Capitol grounds and the people inside the building, including all the lawmakers and staff.