The Capitol Police will begin erecting the fences around the Capitol after the January 6 riot, familiar with the plans confirmed on Sunday, around the Capitol in the coming days. In some cases, this will be a visible milestone as Congress attempts to return to normal.
The agency, in collaboration with the Capitol architect, will be taking steps starting this week to first bring an interior fencing area closer to the Capitol building and remove the barbed wire strung above it, the aide said, who spoke anonymously to discuss security plans were still private. The agency will then remove a secondary perimeter next week to allow Independence and Constitutional Streets to reopen to traffic for the first time since January.
On Sunday, it wasn’t clear how long the inner perimeter fence could stay in place as lawmakers and law enforcement agencies continue to find a way forward to ensure the deadly rampage doesn’t repeat itself. The Democratic adviser, familiar with the plans, said he would stay in place at least until security repairs were made to the Capitol.
The Capitol Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The imposing and impenetrable fence has become a charged political symbol in the two months since the attack. He has banned most Americans from the seat of government and has given the thousands of staff, journalists, and lawmakers a headache at the Capitol. In recent weeks, both parties’ lawmakers, concerned about the message they sent to the country, had advocated its removal and a fuller security review.
It has also significantly disrupted the Capitol Hill residential area adjacent to the historic building, forcing road closures and blocking access to a sprawling plaza often used by local residents for recreation, commuting or even protest.
National Guard forces that arrived after the attack will continue to patrol the Capitol and the grounds. Their ranks have already been cut in half to roughly 2,200, but the Pentagon and the Capitol Police have indicated they could further reduce that number in the coming weeks.
The extraordinary measures were taken because of one of the most astonishing security flaws in the history of Congress. A mob of thousands, instigated by President Donald J. Trump, managed to overrun officers and storm into the Capitol to prevent lawmakers from confirming Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s election victory. Many of the invaders were armed and sent the Vice Presidents and members of the House and Senate for their lives. Five people were killed and more than 100 police officers were injured in the attack.
The Capitol Police initially requested that the larger black fence erected in the days following the uprising be made permanent. Legislators refused, however, and some appear to be more interested in recommendations from Lieutenant General Russel L. Honoré, a retired Army officer who was hired by Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi to conduct a full security clearance. He has recommended that police hire more than 800 new officers and develop mobile fences around the complex.
Since they are restricting some fences, police plan to place bike racks outside the home’s office buildings to create another barrier. In total, the National Guard deployment, fencing, and other new security measures have cost taxpayers nearly $ 2 million a week.