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U.S. Capitol Police Canceling Days Off, Forcing Overtime Because of Officer Shortage

Even after a big budget boost this fiscal year for the U.S. Capitol Police, the force is still in dire need of more officers to face the challenges of an upcoming presidential election, a recently reopened Capitol and growing threats against members, acco

Even after a big budget boost this fiscal year for the U.S. Capitol Police, the force is still in dire need of more officers to face the challenges of an upcoming presidential election, a recently reopened Capitol and growing threats against members, according to Chief J. Thomas Manger.

Manger testified Tuesday before the Senate Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee and made a familiar plea for more funding to allow the department to staff up. Its $840.9 million fiscal 2024 request is a more than 14 percent increase over enacted fiscal 2023 funding. Much of that money would go toward hiring and retention, Manger said.

“We still are forcing officers to work overtime that they wouldn’t necessarily volunteer for,” Manger said. “We’re holding them over at the end of their shifts. We’re canceling days off to make sure we have enough folks for a particular event.” 

“I know that this is not a sustainable strategy,” the chief continued. “And the only way we're going to be able to fix that is to get our staffing levels up to what I've asked for in FY 24.” The force received a 22 percent boost in funding from fiscal 2022 to fiscal 2023.

The budget request would also improve the police fleet, provide technical and physical security equipment upgrades and pay for non-personnel enhancements, rollcall.com reports.

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