JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – When a mob of violent protesters made its way into the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Capitol police were woefully unprepared, News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson believes.
Jefferson said Capitol police should have prepared more for a large crowd planning to demonstrate near the Capitol during the proceedings to certify the Electoral College vote.
“They should have been more prepared than they were for this,” Jefferson said. “Even though the rally or protest was near the White House, they should have known when you’ve got a joint session of Congress convening and protests nearby, they should have been prepared.”
Tom Verri, a former D.C. Metro police officer who now lives in Jacksonville, said this issue would have been handled by Capitol police, but Metro police would also have their hands full with the crowds in the city.
“Metro PD is about 3,600 sworn police officers, but you have to realize in any agency, no matter what size, a lot of those people are not street personnel or might not even be certified to do crowd control activities, so that diminishes the numbers available,” Verri said.
According to the Associated Press, the Pentagon said about 1,100 District of Columbia National Guard members were being mobilized to help support law enforcement at the Capitol. More than a dozen people were arrested.