Giffords shooting prompts calls for more security
In the wake of the shooting that critically wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and killed one of her aides, a federal judge and four others, U.S. Capitol Police spent the weekend fielding calls from lawmakers with concerns over potential threats and questions about what more should be done to protect staffers and family members at home.
The law enforcement agency is chiefly responsible for protecting members of Congress on Capitol Hill and across the country. The force of about 1,800 officers guards Capitol Hill entrances, parking lots and park grounds, as well as the 535 lawmakers.
Members of the congressional leadership - the Speaker of the House, and the House and Senate majority and minority leaders and whips - are assigned at least one plain-clothed Capitol Police officer at all times. Otherwise, officers are assigned as needed to lawmakers facing legitimate threats, such as Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), who received letters tainted with anthrax in 2001.
Now some legislators are wondering whether more should be done.
| January 9, 2011; 9:36 PM ET
Categories: Congress, From The Pages of The Post, Workplace Issues
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