The United States Capitol Police union says that more than 70 Capitol Police officers have resigned or retired since the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6.
“What keeps me awake at night is not the challenge of hiring and training more police officers, but keeping the officers we have right now,” Gus Papathanasiou, USCP Labor Committee Chairman, said in a statement. “We have many officers on the fence about whether to stay with this department.”
The union believes officers are leaving because of the low morale following the deadly insurrection.
“Almost one-quarter of our officers are eligible to retire in the next few years,” Paapathanasiou said. “These more senior officers joined right after the 9/11 attack 20 years ago and have seen two of their colleagues die in the line of duty this year. They’re now facing 6-day work weeks and double shifts for the foreseeable future. Many question why they should stay.”
The House narrowly passed a $1.9 billion bill on Thursday to increase security at the Capitol. The bill will fund security across the Capitol grounds, bolster protections, and increase preparedness for lawmakers, district offices, and the Capitol Police force.
“The Emergency Security Supplemental does include much-needed funding for retention bonuses, hazard pay, trauma support, additional equipment, physical infrastructure upgrades and tuition reimbursement,” said Papathanasiou. “It is a good first step.”
However, the union criticized the legislation because it did not include changes to officers’ retirement packages.
“Our officers work incredibly hard, accumulating more than 700,000 hours of overtime per year, yet none of our overtime counts toward our retirement,” Papathanasiou.
In addition to the resignations and retirements, a few dozen of the officers either have been, or are currently under investigation for their actions doing the insurrection. Some have faced suspension.
On January 6, President Donald Trump encouraged his supporters to bolt from his “Stop The Steal” rally to the U.S. Capitol to stop Congress from certifying the 2020 election results.