That the Capitol Police were totally unprepared for the violent assault Jan. 6 is being well documented.
Yet there remains a lack if bipartisan effort to ensure the Capitol is better safeguarded against future threats.
A recent report by the agency’s inspector general documented the many flaws in Capitol security. Inspector General Michael Bolton found Capitol Police had old equipment that was poorly stored. Shields made to protect officers instead shattered upon impact. Other weapons were too old to be used.
The force also didn’t receive or disregarded intelligence, including an assessment several days before the attack that Congress itself was the target of the armed assault.
Bolton also told lawmakers that the police force was ordered not to use “heavier” but still non-lethal weapons that would likely have succeeded in dispersing the rioters.
And he said officers hadn’t completed required training and that there was a lack of direction in the agency, including in its Civil Disturbance Unit, which is specifically charged with preventing large protests or civil unrest from interfering with the function of Congress.
Despite all of the evidence there remains too much partisan bickering about the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Some Republican lawmakers, and former President Donald Trump, have dismissed the armed attack, claiming it wasn’t a violent assault, despite all of the video showing rioters beating and spraying officers.
Bolton and others have been making recommendations to improve the Capitol Police, including making it a protective agency like the Secret Service, which would make it more capable of responding to violent threats.
A bipartisan commission is needed to recommend legislation and policies that would improve the deeply flawed agency, with an eye toward thwarting violent threats while at the same time ensuring robust public access and peaceful protests at the Capitol.
Protecting the People’s House is something both parties should embrace.