Deputy Chief Eric Waldow to retire from Capitol Police

Waldow was in charge of riot control unit on Jan. 6

The U.S. Capitol Police flag flies in front of the force’s headquarters on Sept. 23. Eric Waldow was one of several Capitol Police officials who received a no-confidence vote from the force’s union in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
The U.S. Capitol Police flag flies in front of the force’s headquarters on Sept. 23. Eric Waldow was one of several Capitol Police officials who received a no-confidence vote from the force’s union in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted October 29, 2021 at 2:22pm

Eric Waldow, a top Capitol Police official who was criticized by officers for failing to lead on Jan. 6, has submitted paperwork to retire from the force, a source familiar told CQ Roll Call.

The exact date of his impending departure is unclear.

Asked for clarification, a Capitol Police spokesperson said it was department practice to not discuss personnel issues.

Waldow, a deputy chief, was in charge of leading the Civil Disturbance Unit — the force’s riot control outfit — as incident commander on Jan. 6, the day of the attack on the Capitol. Rather than leading officers with direction over the radio, Waldow physically engaged rioters, a move some officers said was the wrong decision.

“Should’ve been leading, but was fighting instead,” said an officer who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Waldow was also one of several Capitol Police officials who received a no-confidence vote from the department’s union in the wake of the insurrection.

“We hope Congressional leaders and the entire Capitol Hill community understands that continuing with the current USCP leadership is not an option,” union head Gus Papathanasiou said in a statement at the time of the vote.

A 2019 sexual discrimination case revealed that Waldow did not follow department rules when he recommended that a female Capitol Police officer be fired.

Chad Thomas, a former assistant chief for uniformed operations, who also received a no-confidence vote from the union, left the force in June. Thomas had a large role in planning for Jan. 6 and directed officers on that day to not use all available equipment, including heavier less-than-lethal weapons.

Other top officials who played an integral role in planning for Jan. 6 and were subject to no-confidence votes have remained in leadership positions. This includes Yogananda D. Pittman, assistant chief for protective and intelligence operations, and Sean Gallagher, an acting assistant chief. A bipartisan Senate report was critical of the force’s Intelligence and Interagency Coordination Division, which Pittman oversaw leading up to and on Jan. 6. Pittman then led the department as acting chief after Steven A. Sund resigned in the wake of the attack. She held that position until current chief J. Thomas Manger took over in July.