More than 70 law enforcement officers have left Washington, DC’s Capitol Police force following the chaotic event of January 6th Democrats like to call an “insurrection.”
Officers have continued to resign despite a proposal from House Democrats to offer $1.9 billion in additional funding to the department. The proposal includes back pay for overtime hours, hazard pay, trauma support, retention bonuses, and expanded access to equipment and training.
The proposal allocates $22 million to boost security for lawmakers and establishes a quick-reaction team that would function as a standing force of the DC National Guard.
The bill cleared the House Thursday by a single vote, with many Democrats opposing the bill based on suspected police participation in the event.
Lawmakers who oppose the bill include Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA).
“I am frankly tired of any time where there is a failure in our system of policing, and the first response is for us to give them more money,” argues Omar, adding that she observed failures in “police preparedness and procedures and the lack of political will” to stop civilians storming into the Capitol. “It’s not clear to me how the supplemental addresses that.”
Republicans argue the bill was crafted too quickly and without input from the GOP. “By choosing to forge ahead with this bill today, I’m concerned that my colleagues are more interested in making headlines instead of headway,” says Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX).
Capitol Police Union Chairman Gus Papathanasiou described the supplemental package as a “good first step” but not enough to retain officers.
Roughly 25% of the department’s officers are close to retirement and many of the younger officers are “considering applying to other law enforcement agencies,” he added.
One police officer died and several were injured during the January 6th event at the Capitol and another died by suicide shortly afterwards. A third officer was killed in April when his car was smashed into a roadblock by a civilian’s vehicle.