Front Line Security at Risk
Matters of security never seem to be old news. What a wild ride at the U.S. Capitol in early January. So much so that security has been called into question.
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Feb 01, 2021
Matters of security never
seem to be old news.
What a wild ride at the
U.S. Capitol in early
January. So much so that
security has been called into question.
The front line of security defense at the
Capitol would have been official notice that
there were people attending a questionable
and perhaps violent rally at the other end of
the Capitol mall. Check.
Capitol Police at the opposite end of the
mall, in position, protecting the building
and Congress from possible threats. Check.
The stage is set and security in place.
Fence barricades, though not secured to the
ground, in place and manned by Capitol Police;
however, with only scores of police in
place, they were no match for the thousands
of frenzied protestors, walking to the Capitol.
Perhaps, this would have been enough security
to dissuade protestors from carrying
out vicious attacks and storming the building.
Not this time. The perimeter fence was
quickly obliterated and some of the unruly
throng of protestors made their way inside.
While a devastating blow to the work of
Congress, and quite an eye opener for the
remainder of the country. There were, however,
several security solutions that worked
just as they were intended. Here is a look at
what worked, and how well.
Video surveillance. Angry mobs stormed
the building, and those who were “brave”
enough by showing off or smiling for the
cameras on the House and Senate floors have
had their mugshots shared over social media,
as well as the evening news. “That is going
to be a treasure trove of information,” said
Doug Kouns, a retired FBI special agent.
Facial recognition software. Does it
work? You better believe that investigators
were able to match names and faces with
little to no trouble at all. After all, the FBI
has a database of 600 million images for
Gumshoe security. Old school security,
but the Metropolitan Police Department
is posting pictures of rioters, and offering
$1,000 reward for names. Some people were
easier to identify than others. There is the
guy with his feet on the desk, the Viking helmet
guy and the guy carrying the podium,
all identified and arrested. Then, of course,
there was the guy wearing his company security
badge. He has since been
Human guarding. Capitol Police not
only confronted the mobs, but were to clear
a route and get member of Congress to a
Easily one of the darkest moments in
American history, it is a welcome conclusion
to a stressful afternoon. Capitol Police
on the frontline of providing security to
members of Congress.
This article originally appeared in the January / February 2021 issue of Security Today.
Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.