The United States Capitol Police
) is a federal police force charged with protecting the United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....
within the District of Columbia and throughout the United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
and its territories.
Created by Congress in 1828 following the assault on a son of John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams was the sixth President of the United States . He served as an American diplomat, Senator, and Congressional representative. He was a member of the Federalist, Democratic-Republican, National Republican, and later Anti-Masonic and Whig parties. Adams was the son of former...
in the Capitol rotunda
The United States Capitol rotunda is the central rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.. Located below the Capitol dome, it is the tallest part of the Capitol and has been described as its "symbolic and physical heart."...
, the original duty of the United States Capitol Police was to provide security for the United States Capitol
The United States Capitol is the meeting place of the United States Congress, the legislature of the federal government of the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., it sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall...
. Its mission has expanded to provide the Congressional community and its visitors with a variety of security services. These services are provided through the use of a variety of specialty support units, a network of foot and vehicular patrols, fixed posts, a full-time Containment and Emergency Response Team (CERT), K-9
A police dog, often referred to as a "K-9 dog" in some areas , is a dog that is trained specifically to assist police and other law-enforcement personnel in their work...
, a Patrol/Mobile Response Division and a full time Hazardous Devices and Hazardous Materials Sections. The Library of Congress Police were merged into the force in 2003. The agency has 1,700 members as of 2007.
Today's United States Capitol Police officer has the primary responsibility for protecting life and property; preventing, detecting, and investigating criminal acts; and enforcing traffic regulations throughout a large complex of congressional buildings, parks, and thoroughfares. The Capitol Police has exclusive jurisdiction
In civil procedure, exclusive jurisdiction exists where one court has the power to adjudicate a case to the exclusion of all other courts. It is the opposite situation from concurrent jurisdiction, in which more than one court may take jurisdiction over the case.Exclusive jurisdiction is typically...
within the United States Capitol Grounds and has concurrent jurisdiction
Concurrent jurisdiction exists where two or more courts from different systems simultaneously have jurisdiction over a specific case. This situation leads to forum shopping, as parties will try to have their civil or criminal case heard in the court that they perceive will be most favorable to...
with other law enforcement agencies
In North American English, a law enforcement agency is a government agency responsible for the enforcement of the laws.Outside North America, such organizations are called police services. In North America, some of these services are called police while others have other names In North American...
, including the United States Park Police
The United States Park Police is one of the oldest uniformed federal law enforcement agencies in the United States. It functions as a full service law enforcement agency with responsibilities and jurisdiction in those National Park Service areas primarily located in the Washington, D.C., San...
and the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia
The Metropolitan Police Department, also known as the DC Police, DCPD, MPD, and MPDC is the municipal police force in Washington, D.C...
, in an area of approximately 200 blocks around the complex. Additionally, they are charged with the protection of members of Congress, officers of Congress, and their families throughout the entire United States, its territories and possessions, and the District of Columbia.
Line of Duty Deaths
Three USCP officers have been killed in the line of duty. A 1984 training accident killed Sergeant Christopher Eney, while a mentally disturbed gunman named Russell Eugene Weston Jr. killed Officer Jacob Chestnut
Jacob Joseph Chestnut , one of the two United States Capitol Police officers killed in the line of duty on July 24, 1998, was the first African American to lie in honor in the United States Capitol. Chestnut is buried in Arlington National Cemetery...
and Detective John Gibson
John Michael Gibson was a United States Capitol Police detective assigned to the dignitary protection detail of Congressman Tom DeLay. Gibson was one of two people killed inside the United States Capitol during a 1998 shooting rampage.-Personal life:Gibson was a native of Boston, Massachusetts...
in a shootout on July 24, 1998. Chestnut and Gibson were laid in honor
Lying in state is a term used to describe the tradition in which a coffin is placed on view to allow the public at large to pay their respects to the deceased. It traditionally takes place in the principal government building of a country or city...
in the Rotunda before burial in Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, is a military cemetery in the United States of America, established during the American Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, formerly the estate of the family of Confederate general Robert E. Lee's wife Mary Anna Lee, a great...
. (Chestnut was the first African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...
ever to lie in honor in the Rotunda.)
The U.S. Capitol Police is one of many agencies that sends its recruits to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center
The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center serves as an interagency law enforcement training organization for 90 United States government federal law enforcement agencies.-Location:...
(F.L.E.T.C.), located in Glynco, GA for initial training. Rarely, recruits are sent to the FLETC location in Artesia, NM. Following 12 weeks at FLETC, recruits return to FLETC's location in Cheltenham MD for an additional 13 weeks of training. Following the recruits academy training, they are sworn in as law enforcement officers and assigned to 1 of 3 divisions to begin their careers. Initial salary at the start of training is $55,653.00, with an increase to $57,604.00 after graduation. After 30 months of satisfactory performance, and promotion to (PFC) Private First Class; salary is increased to $64,590.00.
Rank structure and insignia
|Chief of Police
|Private First Class
|Private with Training
- List of United States federal law enforcement agencies
- Capitol police
Capitol police in the United States are agencies charged with the provision of security police services for various state agencies, but especially State Legislatures. Capitol police may function as part of the state police or may be an independent agency...
- United States Capitol shooting incident (1998)
The United States Capitol shooting incident of 1998 was an attack on July 24, 1998 which led to the death of two United States Capitol Police officers. Detective John Gibson and Officer Jacob Chestnut were killed when Russell Eugene Weston Jr. entered the Capitol and opened fire...
- March 29, 2006, Capitol Hill police incident