The US Capitol Police announced Thursday that permanent fencing will be installed surrounding the Capitol building following the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection during the counting of Electoral College votes.
The permanent fencing comes one day after Homeland Security issued a warning about “domestic violent extremists” who may have become emboldened following this month’s attack of the US Capitol. Homeland Security warned that the Capitol and lawmakers will remain a target through early 2021.
“As I noted earlier this week, even before September 11, 2001, security experts argued that more needed to be done to protect the U.S. Capitol,” Yogananda D. Pittman, acting chief of the Capitol Police, said. “In fact, a 2006 security assessment specifically recommended the installation of a permanent perimeter fence around the Capitol.
“In light of recent events, I can unequivocally say that vast improvements to the physical security infrastructure must be made to include permanent fencing, and the availability of ready, back-up forces in close proximity to the Capitol.”
But Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser is objecting to the plan.
"Based on conversations with federal partners, there are some potentially volatile events upcoming that will require extra security. Fencing and the presence of troops will be a part of that. But we will not accept extra troops or permanent fencing as a long-term fixture in DC," Bowser tweeted. "When the time is right, the fencing around the White House and U.S. Capitol, just like the plywood we’ve seen on our businesses for too long, will be taken down."
Earlier this week, the National Guard confirmed to Scripps that 5,000 members of the Guard will remain stationed at the US Capitol.
Illustrating the tense law enforcement scene still unfolding at the US Capitol, Capitol Police said a male suspect attempted to unlawfully to enter the Capitol complex on Thursday. The Capitol Police claimed the man actively resisted arrest.
Earlier this week, the FBI said it has identified 400 suspects and conducted 135 arrests stemming from the Jan. 6 riot.
Five people died amid the violence after a mob of Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to disrupt the counting of Electoral College votes. Among the deaths was a Capitol police officer who died a day after being assaulted. Dozens of other officers were injured in the ensuing melee.