The department began organizing new checkpoints on the outer perimeter of the Capitol, so Dunphy waited to see where he would have to go next.
"The hierarchy was just figuring out what to do. They knew it was going to be a long-term thing, so they didn't want to rush to any one direction or another," he said.
This marked what Dunphy saw as a shift from preparations for their ratings and certification evaluations to "protection mode."
"The department has grown incredibly, and it's focused its attention more so to terrorist activity. So it's focused more on protection than anything else, and that is what they pay us for," he said.
Both Thompson and Dunphy stayed late that day, guarding the Capitol against a threat that hadn't yet completely taken shape. And both continued to come to work in the following weeks, serving long hours, working extra shifts, adjusting to the new normal.
"It never really occurred to me to say, 'Hey, I protected and served this day, but I think I'm done now.' That's not really the commitment I signed up for," Thompson said.
Rep. Bill Cassidy has his blood drawn by Alesha Barbour during a free hepatitis screening in the Rayburn House Office Building hosted by the Congressional Viral Hepatitis Caucus to recognize "National Viral Hepatitis Testing Day."
Roll Call has launched a new feature, Hill Navigator, to advise congressional staffers and would-be staffers on how to manage workplace issues on Capitol Hill. Please send us your questions anything from office etiquette, to handling awkward moments, to what happens when the work life gets too personal. Submissions will be treated anonymously.