WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Lawmakers are continuing to investigate security breakdowns at the Capitol following the Jan. 6 insurrection.
For the first time publicly, the U.S. Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton spoke out about his recommendations.
For months now, he has investigated Capitol Police security breakdowns that allowed hundreds of rioters to breach the Capitol Jan. 6. He’s urging Congress to invest big to improve safety, with more funding and much more training to ensure it never happens again.
“We need to think outside the box,” Bolton said.
As the top government watchdog overseeing the Capitol Police, he’s recommending dozens of security changes at the Capitol to prevent future attacks.
“It needs to be elevated to a bureau level,” Bolton said. “Training has got to be taken seriously,”
After months of review, Bolton says an inability to analyze intelligence and lack of training contributed to the security breakdown on Jan. 6.
He’s urging lawmakers to invest more money to better prepare officers for future attacks. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., says he agrees.
“The USCP should operate as a proactive protection force,” Davis said.
He fears politics could get in the way of reforms, and blames the Capitol Police board for blocking past security changes.
“I firmly believe that any indictment of the U.S. Capitol Police’s performance on and leading up Jan. 6, must also be a reflection of the USCP’s board,” Davis said.
But Bolton pushed back against that accusation, saying Congress decides if Capitol Police have the funds to make needed security changes.
Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-Ga., says in the end, Democrats and Republicans stand ready to provide Capitol Police with more funding to help.
“We have a lot of work to do,” Butterfield said. “We must do it quickly.”
Bolton says his office plans to release even more findings in the weeks to come. They will present three reports evaluating security breakdowns on Jan. 6.
In a statement Wednesday, Capitol Police said it welcomed Bolton’s review and that while it has made some changes, the department “acknowledges much additional work needs to be done.”