(ConservativeUnit)- Yogananda Pittman, who is the acting Capitol Police chief, said on Thursday that major upgrades are needed to the security at the U.S. Capitol complex.
One thing she suggested is installing “permanent fencing” around the Capitol building after the breach of the building on January 6.
Pittman became acting chief of the Capitol Police on January 8 — following the resignation of the former chief, Steven Sund. He resigned in the wake of the insurrection, after he was criticized for how his department wasn’t prepared to respond to the attack.
On Thursday, Pittman said her department has “hardened the physical security” in recent days in an effort to protect lawmakers. She still said that more measures need to be taken, though, including an increase in the availability of security personnel as well as permanent fencing. She said that would help safeguard the Capitol building if future incidents were to occur.
“In light of recent events, I can unequivocally say that vast improvements to the physical security infrastructure must be made to include permanent fencing, and the availability of ready, back-up forces in close proximity to the Capitol. I look forward to working with Congress on identifying the security improvements necessary to ensure the safety and security of the Congress and the U.S. Capitol.”
Pittman previously served as the assistant chief of the department. She is now the first Black person and the first woman to serve as the head of the Capitol Police. She graduated from Morgan State University, a historically black school, in 1999.
On his way out the door, Sund said of her:
“Chief Pittman is a very progressive Chief. She’s very concerned as well about the welfare of the officers.”
On Tuesday of this week, Pittman apologized to both Congress “and the American people” for the failures of the department on January 6. She made the following comments during a closed-door hearing with the House Appropriations Committee, according to a transcript the New York Times obtained:
“I am here to offer my sincerest apologies on behalf of the department. Let me be clear: The department should have been more prepared for this attack. We fully expect to answer to you and the American people for our failings on January 6.”
During the hearing, Pittman outlined the Capitol Police’s response on January 6, including what went wrong and what plans she has to improve the force for the future.
One thing Pittman admitted was that Capitol Police knew of a potential threat at least two days before the January 6 attack. But, the department “did not do enough” to adequately prepare for the incident, which resulted in the death of five people, including one officer.
“By January 4, the department knew that the January 6 event would not be like any of the previous protests held in 2020. We knew that militia groups and white supremacist organizations would be attending. We also knew that some of these participants were intending to bring firearms and other weapons to the event. We knew that there was a strong potential for violence and that Congress was the target.”