Gainer Asks Members to ‘Remain Vigilant’ During Recess

Posted March 24, 2010 at 5:28pm

Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer sent out an e-mail Wednesday afternoon asking Members and staffers to “remain vigilant” during the spring recess, citing the passionate response throughout the country to Congress’ work on health care reform.

“As we enter the week before spring recess, it is clear that recent public debate on a number of highly profiled issues has produced a broad spectrum of reaction, opinion and emotion across the country,” he wrote in the e-mail. “Although there is no information that either reflects an increase in threats against Members, their families or staff, or any specific threat or action being contemplated against a specific Member or office, it is important that we remain vigilant.”

As lawmakers and staffers travel back to their districts, Gainer added, they should be “situationally aware of any suspicious activity one may sense, see or hear and to report those concerns immediately” to the Capitol Police, other federal law enforcement agencies or their district’s local police department.

The Capitol Police’s Threat Assessment Section and the Sergeant-at-Arm’s Law Enforcement and Security Operations division are watching for unlawful activity directed at Members, according to the e-mail. Members worried about any travel or events should contact one of those divisions, Gainer wrote, and officials there will help determine security needs and contact relevant law enforcement agencies.

Gainer’s e-mail comes in the wake of reports that Members — and, in some cases, their families — are receiving threats from constituents who are against the recently enacted health care reform law.