capitol-police

Verderosa to Lead Capitol Police

Capitol Police officers screen visitors in the Capitol Visitor Center. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Capitol Police are getting a new chief next month, a veteran officer who has spent almost his entire career there.  

The three-member Capitol Police Board said in a statement Wednesday it picked Assistant Chief Matthew R. Verderosa to lead the agency starting March 20.  

Police Take Aim at Security Loopholes

   

Securing the grounds on Capitol Hill is a fine line between keeping "the People’s House" accessible and keeping it safe. That fine line will move again next week when the Capitol Police increase screening protocols for congressional staff.  

Lawmakers Honor Capitol Police Officer

Alston, who died last month, was a veteran Capitol Police officer.(Courtesy Capitol Police)

Capitol Police buried one of their own on Friday, one day after Delaware lawmakers honored him on the House and Senate floors.  

Standing beside a portrait of Capitol Police Officer Vernon J. Alston Jr ., a resident of Magnolia, Del., Sens. Thomas R. Carper and Chris Coons commended the 20-year veteran of the force.  

Trashy Problem Comes Out of Blizzard Sledding

Sledders use a discarded March for Live protest sign to skid their way down the West Front of the Capitol on Jan. 22. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With hundreds of people sledding at the Capitol this weekend, hundreds of pieces of trash were left behind.  

From March for Life signs, pizza boxes, collapsed cardboard boxes and plastic bags, people sledding were either bringing their own trash and leaving it or taking items out of the trash to use as a sled. While the bulk of trash was cleaned up by the end of the weekend, Tuesday's sledders at the Capitol were still taking items out of the trash to use as surfaces.  

Capitol Digs Out After Winter Storm Jonas

Capitol crews load snow into a dump truck. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It took 345 workers using 100 pieces of gear and "countless shovels" working through the weekend, but the Capitol campus' roadways and sidewalks are now clear of the snow dumped by the weekend blizzard that walloped the region.  

While most federal offices remained closed amid snow removal efforts in the District of Columbia, Capitol crews cleared nearly two feet of snow from parking lots, plazas and road for members of Congress who begin returning Tuesday.  

Congress Stays Away, but Not Sledders

Capitol Hill was crowded on Sunday as the snow stopped and the sledders came to hang out. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

When Congress is away, the people will play. Amid the weekend's historic snowfall and its digging-out aftermath, Washingtonians went to Capitol Hill in droves to enjoy their newfound freedom to sled. It is hard to imagine, when looking out at festive atmosphere on the House side of the grounds on Monday that it took an act of Congress to allow sledding. Congress was not in session, of course. The House was in recess last week, and the Senate left town on Jan. 21, beating the first flakes of the so-called Snowzilla that paralyzed the East Coast and shut down transportation networks across the region.  

The House won't cast a vote again until Feb. 1, given the weather and a Democratic retreat in Baltimore. While the Senate won’t be voting until Wednesday, the chamber is still scheduled to gavel in on Tuesday. But given the ongoing snow cleanup efforts, Senate staffers were monitoring the situation before releasing definite plans for the week.  

D.C. Braces for Blizzard

Architect of the Capitol crews clear snow from the East Plaza of the Capitol at sunrise on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a snow emergency effective Friday morning, as the region prepares for a blizzard that could dump up to 2 feet of snow in the District over the weekend.  

Heavy snow is forecast to start Friday afternoon and last through Saturday evening with wind gusts at up to 50 mph that could lead to whiteout conditions, the National Weather Service said.  

Police Arrest 13 at Capitol Ahead of SOTU

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Capitol Police arrested 13 protesters on the East Steps of the Capitol Tuesday, ahead of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address.  

All 13 were charged under the District's law prohibiting obstruction of public or private buildings, Capitol Police's Kimberly Schneider said. The misdemeanor violation carries a fine of $500, a penalty of 90 days in jail or both, according to the city's code. Protesters remained quiet as they were arrested then loaded into two Capitol Police vans and taken to headquarters just after 3:30 p.m. About a dozen Capitol Police officers created a barricade around the vans.  

The Mystery Driver Who Nearly Crashed 2015 SOTU

A Capitol Police officer surveys the East Front of the Capitol on Jan. 5. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

It was the high-speed chase that nearly crashed last year’s State of the Union address: Several Maryland police cruisers pursued a driver who came close to slamming right into officers at a barricade near the Capitol.  

The incident provoked a power struggle among local law enforcement agencies, heightened security concerns and eroded support for the already embattled chief of the Capitol Police, Kim C. Dine.  

Security Concerns Boost Capitol Police Budget

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After terrorist attacks rocked Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., the police force charged with protecting the U.S. Capitol has been granted more money to beef up security and add officers to its ranks.The call for security enhancements  prompted negotiators to increase funding for the Capitol Police in the $1.1 trillion year-end spending package. A GOP leadership aide confirmed congressional leaders requested additional funds for the department. The fiscal 2016 Legislative Branch Appropriations bill released Wednesday included $375 million for the Capitol Police, a $27 million increase from 2015. The figure is from $6 million to $9 million above the initial increases granted in the original House and Senate bills, respectively, that were approved by the Appropriations Committees.  

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