The U.S. Capitol Police kicked off a recruiting campaign on Tuesday amid staffing shortages within the sectors of the agency that protect leadership and investigate threats against Congress members.
The sectors, called the Dignitary Protection Division and the Investigations Division, have only previously hired internal candidates. The new recruitment campaign will open the applicant pool to those outside the agency.
U.S. Capitol Police are inviting “anyone who is interested in an exciting career as a Special Agent or an Investigator” to apply as entry-level hires at a starting salary of more than $81,000 that rises to more than $85,000 after one year of required training.
The Capitol Police also plan to hire retired federal law enforcement officers or military as drivers for members of Congress, to protect lawmakers’ homes and to process reports of threats. Salaries for those positions start at more than $132,000.
Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger has told Congress that sectors of the agency are “stretched to capacity” with an annual average caseload of nearly 500 per each threat assessment officer.
Threats against members of Congress hit a high of 9,625 in 2021, the year of the deadly January 6 insurrection upon the Capitol. In 2022, there were 7,501 threats against lawmakers.
According to the Department of Justice, some 140 law enforcement officers were assaulted during the insurrection, including about 80 from the U.S. Capitol Police.
Manger has told lawmakers he wants to open new Capitol Police field offices in Boston, Milwaukee and Texas to help combat threats to members and their families outside Washington DC. There are field offices already in Tampa and San Francisco.