On Friday, 25-year-old Noah Green rammed his car into two Capitol Police officers at an entry point outside the Capitol building, subsequently killing one police officer and injuring another. Eventually, the perpetrator was shot and killed.
The head of the Capitol Police union has pushed Congress to step up security in the wake of the second deadly Capitol attack this year, warning that many officers are looking to retire soon, CNN reported.
According to Gus Papathanasiou, chairman of the US Capitol Police Labor Committee, the department is 233 officers short of its approved level of more than 2,000 officers.
“We are struggling to meet existing mission requirements even with the officers working massive amounts of forced overtime,” he said. “In the next 3-5 years we have another 500 officers who will be eligible to retire. Many of these officers could put in their retirement papers tomorrow. I’ve had many younger officers confide in me that they’re actively looking at other agencies and departments right now.”
According to the report, Papathanasiou said that after losing several officers this year, the department is in disarray. Officer William “Billy” Evans, an 18-year veteran of the police and a member of the “First Responders Unit,” died after Friday’s assault, while the officer who was wounded on Friday, Kenny Shaver, has reportedly been released from the hospital.
The union chair added that Evans was “well respected within the department and his loss will not be forgotten.”
Another officer who passed away this year was Brian Sicknick, who died as a result of injuries sustained during the riot on January 6. And a second Capitol Police officer committed suicide a few weeks later.
“We have now lost two officers in the line of duty this year,” Papathanasiou said. “Another officer has taken his own life and we have 80 officers who were seriously injured in the insurrection. Some of those injured officers may never return to duty.”