Acting US Capitol Police (USCP) Chief Yogananda Pittman said in a statement that a permanent fence is needed around the US Capitol building due to security concerns following the January 6 siege.
In her release on Thursday, Pittman stated that the USCP has tightened the physical security across the Capitol complex to provide better protection for the Congress following the Capitol riot. The USCP cooperated with federal and local law enforcement in its fortification efforts.
“Upon becoming the Acting Chief on January 8, 2021, I immediately directed my staff to conduct a physical security assessment of the entire Capitol Complex,” Pittman said. “This assessment is in addition to the USCP’s Inspector General’s review of the events of January 6, 2021, and the third-party review of the Complex’s physical infrastructure, processes, and command and control being conducted at the behest of Speaker Pelosi by retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré.”
Pittman noted that security experts urged stepping up security around the US Capitol even before September 11, 2001, and it was recommended to set up a permanent perimeter fence around the complex in a 2006 assessment.
In addition to permanent fencing, ready back-up forces must be kept available in close proximity to the Capitol, according to Pittman.
“In the end, we all have the same goal — to prevent what occurred on January 6 from ever happening again,” the acting chief added.
The USCP appointed Pittman as Acting Chief after the department’s head Steven Sund announced he was stepping down in response to the deadly US Capitol riot. She has become the first woman and first African American to be leading the USCP.
Pittman graduated Morgan State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and has been on the force since 2001. She first served in the Department’s Senate Division, providing security and protective details for US Senators and visiting dignitaries.