The U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) announced Wednesday the outer perimeter fencing which was installed following the violence in January has been taken down.
The fencing closer to the Capitol Building, the inner perimeter, will remain in place as will the National Guard Troops. USCP said they are working with “congressional stakeholders and law enforcement partners to strengthen our security posture.” The public can now regain access to the previously restricted territory, while typical Capitol grounds public events may continue as usual. The USCP has also stated that they are “ready to quickly ramp up security at a moment’s notice, if needed,” sending a message to those who threatened to return [Daily Caller].
The removal of the wall is not definitive, as they’re easily erected and deconstructed, as suggested by Lieutenant General Honoré who was one of the people entrusted with improving Capitol security. There is currently no timeline for when the inner Capitol fence will come down. Despite the decision to make the adjacent territory open to visitors, security remains the priority. The National Guard is stationed at the Capitol per the USCP’s request to the Pentagon from early March. The agreement had been extended to two additional months at a time. Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman proposed that the outer perimeter fence become a permanent security measure due to “potentially volatile events” [The Hill].
Acting House Sergeant-at-Arms Timothy Blodgett said in a memo to lawmakers and staff last week that security officials decided to begin removing the fence based on the Capitol Police’s assessment that “there does not exist a known, credible threat against Congress or the Capitol Complex that warrants the temporary security fencing.” Blodgett wrote in an email to staff that the inner layer of fencing will remain as the Architect of the Capitol makes security repairs, Roll Call reported [Federal Inquirer].
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