Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 20, 2015 9:00pm-11:01pm EDT

9:00 pm
but we can't lose sight of the fact that at the end of the day, the collection of this data fundamentally is for evidentiary purposes, and how can we best preserve that evidence. >> thank you, mr. weir. >> senator, thank you for the question. i agree with the remarks of my colleagues. all affected stakeholders should be invited to the table, and there should be a public debate on these issues. that includes elected officials. that includes members of law enforcement. that certainly includes legal advisors, people who may serve, former prosecutors, defense bar should be invited to come. civic organizations, as well as recognized non-governmental organizations that have roles to play in evaluating the implementation of this. human rights groups like amnesty international, or human rights first, might be included in the debate. now having said that, again, body-worn cameras are only one
9:01 pm
tool. so they cannot accomplish systemic reform. and so if, for example, we do not have a policy addressing a ban on racial profiling, for example, and that continues to be a factor in law enforcement in a particular community, it will defeat the purpose of the body-worn camera if that purpose is to help reiterate law enforcement and the community together and their approach to law enforcement. >> i really appreciate all your answers. again, i'm grateful to the chairman for calling this. as the co-chair of the senate law enforcement caucus and someone that worked closely with law enforcement in my previous role, it is my hope that some of the different organizations you represent will work together to help develop some model guidelines and some model policies. it should be locally driven but not every community is going to have the resources, time and effort.
9:02 pm
i think body-worn cameras are misperceived as an easy solution to very complex and deep-seeded problems. they can be a constructive tool but we need to do the hard work first to make sure the parameters and challenges are understood and i'm grateful for your testimony today. >> mr. chairman, before we turn to senator klobuchar, can i ask unanimous consent that the statement of our ranking member, senator leahy, be added to the record of this proceeding. >> without objection. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman and senator whitehouse. thank you all for being here. this is an issue very near and dear to my heart. i used to be a prosecutor and minnesota was one of the first states in the country that videotaped interrogations, both in squad cars, and custody, anything that was in custody. and when i was -- it came about because of defense efforts actually to prevent -- to prevent any kinds of questions about bad activities, but also to protect civil rights. but i made the argument, and our police pretty much agreed, that
9:03 pm
it also protected them, it made for a better process. it allowed people to see videotape of someone when they were being questioned so the jurors could judge for themselves what they thought. we had a few cases where we had people that would say things that were somewhat incriminating on the videotape. the jurors were able to see. and mostly, it made sure miranda rights were read and that the process was fair. and so i guess i'd start with that. i think it's come now in more jurisdictions obviously and our police have grown to accept it. and they did accept it, actually, pretty quickly when it started there. of course, there is other issues with regard to body cameras and privacy that we've pointed out that are different than just interrogating one person. but i want to start with the -- with this concept of the interrogations. i guess i'll start with you, mr. weir and mr. bruder.
9:04 pm
i realize not every jurisdiction has mandatory recording of interrogations and how would you compare body cameras to other types of interrogations? what are some of the issues that you don't have with the interrogations that you have with the body cameras? >> thank you, senator, for the question. as you know, there are other recording devices that are more widespread right now such as dashboard cameras used by law enforcement in stops. those have been proven to be very effective law enforcement tools for many of the reasons that you articulated. oftentimes it shows the officer acting in absolute conformity with the best practices that you would expect from police and sheriff's officers and state troopers. it is also great evidence of what actually happens on scene. >> it's also a good training thing, actually, i think for officers and they're able to watch each other and see what's good and what's bad and make sure it's really -- it is a very good way i think for people to learn when they are able to watch each other. but continue on.
9:05 pm
>> i would certainly agree with that, senator. i would also agree that we are all about trying to improve our process. and from a law enforcement and prosecutor perspective, our goal is to pursue the truth. our goal is to achieve justice and we don't hide from the facts. and if in fact the video recording helps establish those facts, then it is a tool that should be used. with respect to the taping and videotaping of interactions and conversations with witnesses and defendants, that is a good practice. in my jurisdiction we do that as often as we possibly can. however, it is not mandated, and i would be very reluctant to advocate mandating that given
9:06 pm
once again the pursuit of truth, the pursuit of justice, there may be legitimate evidence that results from the conversations between law enforcement and an individual that could be lost. that subverts our pursuit of truth and justice. so i think under the right circumstances it should be encouraged and it is used extensively. but i would certainly not be in favor of any kind of a mandate. >> i think in our state it was a supreme court decision called the scales decision. but i will tell you, our police have grown, for the most part, to like it. and we have not had issues about being able to get convictions or anything like that because of this practice. sometimes they have to explain why they pursued a certain number of questions or why they did it a certain way, that is true. but i think overall, we've found it to be beneficial. >> thank you for the question. i would echo mr. weir's comments that it's best practice and probably advisable to go ahead
9:07 pm
and try to get those interrogations on film when possible but it is not mandated in south carolina. to kind of transition to a different point that you were making, something that was a great fear of ours when we were trying to support this legislation, we, too, have dash cameras in our car and we've seen a tremendous problem where somebody's foot can go off the scene of the video, then the case is being dismissed because you don't see everything that's happened on video. what we don't want to happen is for that to be taking place with body cameras. we don't want to get to the point where body camera footage is the end all/be all of evidence. >> i understand this 37 we used to call it the csi effect with juries because we would have a case, mr. henderson knows what i'm talking about, where there would be no possibility of dna but a defense lawyer would say, well, there's no dna. and people are used to seeing this on tv so your point's well-taken. although i think you'd have to explain to juries why something went bad that is not necessary to have that for a case.
9:08 pm
but i think that's a good point. i thought that when i came in, senator whitehouse was asking some questions about just the pilots. we have one going on in duluth, minnesota. maybe you want to look at what they're doing in minneapolis with how they're doing. i think those pilot programs are one good way to figure out what's working best and to allow states to develop some of these privacy policies that are going to have to be in place to make this work. i don't know if you wanted to add to that, mr. henderson. >> senator, thank you. no. i think pilot studies can be very useful in providing information to be considered by a wider audience before a major investment is made in the purchase of these cameras. having said that, i hope that states and localities will not use that delay as a basis of not going forward, particularly now that the department of justice
9:09 pm
is making available grant funds to support some states in moving in this area. i think that should be encouraged. we support the administration's approach. >> and that's why i led with this interrogation issue, because at first it was something that our officers were concerned about and i think they grew to think it was actually a pretty good policy over time. this one, i will admit, has much more complications in terms of some of the issues that were raised with privacy and what you do with these tapes and that you protect people's privacy, as opposed to just interrogating someone in a squad car or in a room. and so that's why it is more complicated and we have to consider that as we move forward. but i want to thank all of you for being so thoughtful today. thank you. >> senator scott. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, once again, for holding this hearing. i have met with more than a dozen groups over the last couple of weeks and would love to turn the information over to
9:10 pm
the committee and submit it for the record. thank you, sir. miss miller, do you know how many jurisdictions around the country are currently running some type of a pilot program or have adopted the policy of body-worn cameras. >> that's a great question. it's one i get asked a lot and it is one i don't know the answer to. i don't think anyone knows the exact number. the most recent estimate i've heard is 3,400 and 4,000 agencies across the country, but again, that's just an estimate and i don't think it is necessarily current. that's something that i think people are working on trying to figure that out. >> the reason -- i mean the number is not nearly as important as the level of activity around the country. think four or five years from now looking back this will be a foregone conclusion that we find ourselves with the vast majority of officers wearing body-worn cameras. i do think it is important for us to point out the fact that the american laboratory is currently at work looking for best practices and the best policies. we can look around the country and we'll find the weaving
9:11 pm
together of the best practices and policies around the country. i do think it is important to perhaps re-emphasize the necessity of local development of the policies. policing as a local effort and not a federal effort. nor should we find ourselves trying to figure out how to federalize local policing. i think it is also important for us -- mr. weir, i'd love to hear your thoughts on the mandates. i think we should encourage it but not mandate it. i think miss miller's discussed previously, create a framework for folks to work within. thoughts. >> thank you, senator. i agree and i would fully expect that most of my colleagues and prosecution community would also agree. there certainly is a place to delineate best practices and there certainly is a place to try to articulate the kinds of
9:12 pm
issues that need to be addressed, and perhaps even suggest proposed solutions to some of those issues. but fundamentally this really is a local issue, and it varies significantly from one locale to another, based upon resources, officers' training and the kind of requirements that are needed to effectively prosecute. the resources are a huge issue, not just with respect to the money involved with the data storage, but the personnel associated with that as far as being able to accurately document what data you have on hand, and then from a prosecutor's perspective, to be able to draw down that information and be able to identify which portion of recordings go with which case and how is it going to be used. although you are generating significant evidence, you also generate significant work. if you have nine different
9:13 pm
cameras on in a single incident, that exponentially increases the amount of review that you may have, some of which may be extraordinarily relevant to the issue, but some of it may not. but that still translates into personnel and manpower costs. so i think it is very, very important that it be done on a local basis, perhaps with guidance from federal level or state level. and also, as we've been discussing, i think input with respect to involved stakeholders from the community would also be an important component. >> thank you. we've heard a lot about privacy issues, where you use cameras be with where not. i think one of the questions i have has to do with privacy issues in the public spaces, with the number of cameras that are now available called iphone or whatever your samsung -- i don't want to get in trouble with anybody. but whatever your phone voice is and/or your cameras at the grocery stores or you're walking down the street.
9:14 pm
if you're in my neighborhood you're on camera because i have them all around my house as well. so the truth is, if there is a new conversation and perhaps new considerations that need to be absorbed as it relates to privacy issues in public spaces. not sure if you've thought this through yet, mr. henderson. and for sheriff, since you are a man that can arrest me in south carolina, i want to give you as much time as necessary. that was my best joke. >> i'm sorry. i'll be very brief. i think you've identified a new, but very complex, challenge that faces 21st century society. i mean after all, our congress has just gone through a debate over the collection of data by the national security agency. what kind of information can be gathered in various forms. there obviously are new sensitivities, heightened sensitives about privacy in our society. and that should be the case. so i think we have to move with
9:15 pm
care and thoughtfulness. i think that new policies have to be developed to meet new challenges and how we both access this information, how we retain and store it, who has access to it, these are all very relevant questions that should be discussed before an investment is made of substantial cost, rather than after. so i'm glad you've identified the issue. and i don't feel that we have given adequate attention to the complexity of the privacy challenges that face the country. >> i know my time is up. mr. chairman, thank you very much. >> senator blumenthal. >> thanks, mr. chairman. >> mr. bruder, would you like to make a comment? >> i will be quick. one of the things, that exact conversation happened on the judiciary committee and they have the exact same conversations there. ultimately it came down to a matter of what was subject to the freedom of information act and what was not.
9:16 pm
again it came down to a resource issue and the fact that we've got very small police departments that would ultimately have to create a department to keep this data that's coming in and out and all the requests. the decision was made not to make it a public document but to be able to give a copy of that data to a small amount of people. they obviously could do with it what they wanted to after that. that was our way of narrowing it down so the public still does have input, still does have knowledge and of course the agency head, law enforcement agency head, can still release it if it benefits the public as well. >> thank you very much. thank you, senator scott. senator blumenthal. >> thanks for holding this hearing and thanks to senator scott for the bill that he's introduced and the initiative that he's taken. thanks to all of you for being
9:17 pm
here today. i'm a strong supporter of body-worn cameras by police. in fact, i supported the full appropriation for existing programs that would fund them. and i think they will make a very substantial contribution to the credibility and effectiveness of law enforcement. at the same time, i respect mr. henderson's point and i think you've all made it in different words that a lot of care and thoughtfulness needs to go into this new policy. a lot of people are pretty simplistic in their view of it. you have a camera, so of course it will record everything. no problem. and there will be no questions. well, in fact there are questions about privacy. there are questions about chain of custody. who has access to the results of these body-worn cameras. where are the results stored. if so, by a third party, the chain of custody issues are multiplied. and what are the standards. existing federal programs do not fund standards and policy guidelines.
9:18 pm
and i think there is a role for the federal government to play, as you've just said, mr. weir. in fact, not only is there a role, there is a necessity for the federal government to try to set some evidentiary standards and criteria for admissibility here. and i might just say, one of the toughest cases i ever had to try involved the use of video in a drug prosecution where the video failed for a short period of time. and the defense was that the critical, in effect, exculpatory support for the defendant occurred during that period when the video failed and tried to create reasonable doubt because of that malfunction. so we're not done with this topic simply by requiring
9:19 pm
cameras to be worn by police. there are significant issues to be overcome. i think you've all highlighted them. i might just ask all of you, not just for the number, but could you point us in the direction of programs that are working and working well so that perhaps we have models for what should be done by other cities, in fact maybe other states, if you know of any. >> thank you again for the question. we worked with several agencies that i think are doing a lot of things right. and even though their policies may differ and we may not agree with every single policy they have, i think that they are very thoughtful about what they're doing. i think oakland, california was
9:20 pm
one of the initial adopters of body cameras. they've had them since 2009-2010. i've worked with their chief quite a bit. places like daytona beach, florida. greensboro, north carolina, mesa, arizona, they have avenue all put a lot of thought. rialto, california, which is one one of the studies was done. agencies have done a good job of considering all of these issues and are still engaged in trying to reform their policies and they learn new things. >> thank you for the question. obviously it is very new technology so there's only a few in south carolina that i've done. we probably have 22 agencies out of the 316 in south carolina that have actually implemented body-worn cameras. i can think of a couple off the top of my head that are doing it very well. the spartanburg county sheriff's office has been doing this for coming up on a year and they seem to be having great success. charleston police department has
9:21 pm
taken the route that we've all discussed in bringing everybody to the table to formulate their policies. i believe they've been approved by the aclu and a number of other groups. so a lot of other agencies are kind of looking to charleston in their policies as a model that they can follow and implement similar ways in their own communities. >> senator, in colorado, 28% of the law enforcement agencies are using body cameras in one form or another. the greatest success stories i hear are coming from the very, very small departments. when i say small, these are departments with less than ten sworn officers. so i think that helps focus some of these issues and also perhaps reduces some of the complexities associated with this. of that 28% in colorado, there's only one department in excess of 50 officers that have used body cameras.
9:22 pm
and that's been on a pilot basis. so i think in colorado, it's still an open question, although the response from the agencies, smaller agencies, has been very positive. >> mr. henderson. >> that's a great question. it deserves a thoughtful response. i prefer to submit my answer in writing. >> great. >> i'd like to consult with the task force that helped to produce our civil rights principles. i think they have surveyed some of the programs currently in place and i'd like to get their advice before i respond. >> i would welcome that response and any other written responses after this hearing from any of you on any of these topics. i might just say, with all the questions that may be raised, body-worn cameras are going to be a fact of life for better, not for worse. better that the images should come from cameras worn by police
9:23 pm
than cameras held by bystanders. and we know that the images from those bystander-held cameras are going to be a fact of life, whether we like it or not. better that they should be held or worn by police officers who are sworn to tell the truth and enforce the law and seek justice. so i'm a strong advocate and simply raise these questions because i think they are inevitable and you, as professionals, would want them answered. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you for coming before us today to discuss this issue. mr. henderson, i'm kind of stuck on this one point here that mr. bruder raised. south carolina has deemed data recorded by a body-worn camera not to be a public document, thus the data is not subject to
9:24 pm
freedom of information act disclosure. he goes on to say in his testimony, doing so will ensure that a single moment of indiscretion does not provide a lifetime of embarrassment, ensures that one's guilt or innocence is determined in a court of law and not a court of public opinion. in your testimony, you noted the fact that footage from body-worn cameras can be a valuable source of evidence to help protect both officers and the public. public needs access to that information if it's going to protect them, does it not? >> well, senator durbin, thank you for the question. the answer is, yes, i do think the public needs access to that information. now i would say in every instance where there has been a use of force by the police department in a particular encounter with the public, that information should be made available and accessible and relatively quickly in the aftermath of a particular incident. heretofore we have not had adequate data about the use of force, or, for that matter, death in custody.
9:25 pm
it was not until the senate this year adopted a provision requiring the collection of data of individuals who died in the custody of law enforcement that we're beginning to get that information. so i am concerned about unilateral declarations that exclude access to this information to the general public without having first a clear discussion of what that approach has been taken and whether it conforms with existing exemptions of the freedom of information act. i think in many instances, the judgment and understandably done in the desire to protect individuals from permanent embarrassment over incidents that are relatively minor in nature. that is a legitimate concern, but that should not override the public's need or access to information that is particularly where by use of force by police officers has taken place. >> you're saying you don't want
9:26 pm
this to be a fishing expedition. that's the way i read your testimony. how do you respond to this balance, protecting police officers and protecting public while saying the police can hold that information from that body cam and it does not have to be disclosed. mr. henderson suggests that if there is use of force, that ought to create the exception. what do you think? >> i agree with mr. henderson's concerns. and that is a fine line that we've been trying to walk in south carolina to allow access that the public can see and have confidence in what the law enforcement agencies have been doing, but also to protect ourselves and protect the victims and other people on the video from excessive or abusive foia requests. the bill in south carolina still allows the public to get that information, whether that is through the individual who is on the camera can request a copy of that and he can obviously do what he would like to do with that data then. or the agency head can still release that information if he
9:27 pm
felt like it was in the best interests of the public to do that. we've seen that time and time again where questionable uses of force have been used and we've gone back and gone ahead and released the video. one of the questions that was brought up earlier was about tampering with the video or doing those types of things. this is a topic that came up when we considered our release of information, not only does foia prohibit us from releasing certain things but there are also certain things in south carolina law that prohibit us from releasing victim identifying characteristics or juveniles and those types of things. for us to do that, we'd have to go back and redact. obviously it is easy to redact a document or piece of paper. we got a black sharpie that we can go out and do those things. but how do you redact a video? furthermore, once you get into court will the question be raised, okay, it's obvious
9:28 pm
you've redacted to some degree. how do we know what we're watching here in court today is the actual true event of what took place that day? those are all questions that we're still trying to figure out as this new technology moves forward. >> we're all trying to learn. and i think the march of science challenges us constantly. wasn't that many years ago dna didn't mean anything to anybody. now it has ended up resulting in much better more complete efforts to find truth and justice, and video evidence says the march of science is going to give us access to information in real time with some degree of certainty that we never had before. thank you very much. thanks, mr. chairman. >> i'll wrap it up here. you all have been very informative. i've learned a lot. number one, miss miller, in the dash cam recording history, has
9:29 pm
that worked pretty well as far as dash cams? >> yeah. i mean i think there's been a lot of success with dash cams. i think it is a good way for us to kind of look to body cameras and see what they can do. i do think there are a lot of differences, so it is hard to -- we always advise agencies you can incorporate things from your dash cam policy but we wouldn't recommend relying on it. >> have to go much further. >> exactly. but i do think they can be instructive. >> has any jurisdiction ever outlawed a dash cam after it came into being for any reason? >> no. i have talked to places that actually there was one agency that i can remember that ended up getting rid of their dash cams because of the expectations that the courts started having. it was kind of the csi effect that was discussed earlier. they found that their officers' credibility was kind of being undermined. just one that i've ever talked to. >> mr. bruder, dash cams in south carolina, are they pretty common? >> they are common. they're mostly required by law but we're still having problem getting funding for that.
9:30 pm
>> would you say 80%, 70%? 80%? >> probably 70% to 80% of patrol vehicles. not all law enforcement vehicles, but patrol vehicles that do traffic enforcement. >> how do they store the data or keep the data? >> they have methods that they do that within the local agencies there. they can go back and either download that through a cloud means or they can go in and physically connect to a computer. >> how much more expensive would it be with the body cameras? would it be exponentially more expensive? >> based on the sheer number of hours and amount of video, it is going to be exponentially greater. most of our agencies have been looking at these and trying to get different cost examples. a lot of them have come back with the number of $100 per month per officer to store data. >> $100 per month, per officer. >> yes, sir. >> miss miller, what's a guesstimate as to how much it
9:31 pm
would cost the nation if every agency, every law enforcement -- the whole package. >> to store? >> to buy it store the data. >> i am terrible at math so i hate to even try. but i've talked to agencies that spend millions per year on -- >> can somebody try to find that answer for us? >> yep. we can definitely look into that. >> do you agree, about $100 per month per officer sounds right as far as storage? >> i heard that. i've heard $800 per officer per year. so it depends on the size of the agency, how many videos they're shooting. that sort of thing. >> mr. weir, you talked about look at this as an evidence device. is that correct? >> yes, sir. >> so chain of custody all would be very important. >> absolutely, senator. >> have you had a problem using dash camera evidence. >> we have not.
9:32 pm
in colorado the dash cameras are used routinely by the colorado state patrol. then it is left up to the individual officers when they want to use individual cameras. >> from a prosecutor's point of view this hasn't been a difficult tool to employ? >> no the with respect to dash with respect to dash o with respect to dash t with respect to dash cameras, senator. the complexity is logarithms when -- >> i understand. mr. henderson, the only reason we're probably having this hearing is because of these private videos that have shocked everybody. you agree with that? >> i do. >> in those cases, we're glad we have video evidence. i mean you've got the north charleston case that's in litigation so i'll be careful of what i say. but in that case only god knows what the story would have been. >> you're absolutely right. it's these private videos that have really motivated the public debate. as i said earlier, you deserve great credit for convening this
9:33 pm
conversation. >> on balance, if you could get the right protocols to protect privacy and make sure the officer is using the camera in a appropriate manner, do you think it's best for the nation to go down this road? >> without question. i think it's absolutely essential. >> does everybody agree with that? if you don't, speak up. >> senator, i think going down -- >> not saying a federal mandate, but just for law enforcement in general. >> i think it can be an effective tool. but once again, we've got to be very careful, primarily on the back end. >> no, i gotcha. all the problems are real that you've identified. but is this something worth pursuing? is the benefit greater than the cost? >> i think potentially, yes. >> so that's common ground for everybody? the benefit is worth the cost if we can do it right? does anybody know if the capitol hill police wear body cameras? >> i think they are looking into
9:34 pm
it. but i don't believe they do. >> seems to me if we were that concerned about it as members of congress, we would look into that. i intend to do that. very much appreciate your testimony. one last question. say there is a grant program. would you agree that having certain criteria that you've got to do certain things before you get the grant would make sense? mr. henderson? >> i think that is also absolutely essential. >> mr. bruder, would that be okay with you? >> yes, sir, absolutely. i'll take the opportunity just to point out that in the current grant funding, i'm not sure data retention is covered. as we pointed out today, obviously that's the most important part. >> you wouldn't want to spend money on a program that wasn't sound. so having conditions on the grant makes sense? >> yes, sir. >> does that make sense to you, mr. weir? >> it certainly does, senator. >> miss miller? >> yes, sir, it does.
9:35 pm
>> so a block grant is probably not the way to go here. have some conditions attached to it. >> yes. >> thank you all very much. i've learned a lot. and the hearing will be adjourned -- we'll leave the record open for one week for further questions and any information you want to provide for the committee. you've really done the country a great service. thank you all. on the next washington journal, adam smith from washington state and ranking member of the armed services committee will discuss the fight against isis and the select committee investigating the benghazi attack. then more about the fight against isis with republican senator mike rounds from south dakota and he will talk about his legislative agenda as a freshman senator. join the conversation with your calls and comments on facebook
9:36 pm
and twitter. here are featured programs for the holiday network. on cspan saturday and sunday at noon commencement speeches by politicians white house officials, and business leaders as they offer advice and encouragement to the class of 2015. speakers include south carolina senator tim scott. u.s. ambassador to saudi arabia joseph westfall at the oklahoma state university. and hulu founding ceo at the university of north carolina, chapel hill. monday live coverage of the memorial day ceremony from arlington national cemetery. at 9:00 p.m. eastern, interviews with four freshmen members of congress.
9:37 pm
on cspan2, book tv saturday at 10 eastern on america's transportation infrastructure and ideas for potential improvements in rail, air, and road transport. sunday evening at 7, cokie roberts recounts washington, d.c. through the civil war through the lives of some women that lived and worked there. monday evening at 8:00 in prime time, books on first ladies including michelle obama and eleanor roosevelt. on american history tv on cspan3, saturday at 8:00 eastern, on lectures in history university of minnesota professor erica lee, on asian immigration to angel island california from 1830 to 1930, and how their arrival compared to that of the europeans to ellis island in new york. on real america the production of the true glory which chronicles events from d-day to surrender of nazi germany. monday at 6:30 on american
9:38 pm
artifacts, recreation of grand review parade from 1865, including reenactors for u.s. color troops that weren't allowed to participate in the procession 150 years ago. find the complete schedule at now the u.s. capitol police chief kim dine testifies. shortly before the house administration committee on conduct and mission of his agency. >> the house had a vote and expecting a couple other members here i would call to order the committee on house administration for today's hearing on the capitol police. the hearing record will remain open for five legislative days so members may submit any materials they wish to be
9:39 pm
included. quorum is present so we might proceed. i mentioned to the ranking member, he may have had one of his finest moments a moment ago. he spoke for the entire congress and the entire country and perhaps the entire world perhaps so eloquently about what happened with the train crash in your area there and the first responders, how quickly, it is interesting, we are going to talk about the capitol police. here was a national tragedy i mentioned to him one of our state senators in michigan her daughter 39 years old was one that perished. it went around the country. you spoke so very, very well. i want to tell you how much i appreciated everything you said. i'd also like to take a moment to welcome the newest member to
9:40 pm
the house administration committee, and of course that's mark walker who represents the sixth district in north carolina in his first term here in congress. came very highly recommended to us that he had an interest in this committee and we are delighted that he's here. his background is i think going to be very much an asset to our committee who previously served his community as a pastor in greensborough, north carolina, worked in a small business in the private sector. both of those attributes will be very much needed here. we look forward to putting him to work and his input on our committee. we are meeting here today to discuss the united states capitol police. this law enforcement agency is unique really, unique maybe in the world. certainly probably not what most would consider a typical community police force. that's because the mission of the capitol police is to protect and to serve the united states capitol which of course is the citadel of democracy in the world.
9:41 pm
there is no denying this building and this institution are very dramatic symbols of our free society which is based on self-government. this also makes the capitol campus and this institution a target of those who hate our freedoms. hate our values here in america. and in fact, some say that because of this, perhaps we need even greater restrictions on access to the capitol campus here but obviously that would be totally counter to what this nation stands for. one of the many important rights secured on behalf of the american people and the first amendment in our constitution is the right to redress their grievances before their government. american people must have access to those they send to the capitol to represent their interests and they must also have access to the grounds of our capitol building to also exercise their constitutional guaranteed right to peaceably assemble. since congress created the u.s. capitol police in 1828, they have worked very hard to fulfill this dual mission really of safety and accessibility.
9:42 pm
every member of congress, the staff of the capitol -- in the capitol here and the office buildings and the american people as a whole, understand that this is no small task that we have missioned them with. and we commend and we have the utmost respect for the many men and women who uphold their sworn duty to act as protectors and defenders of the law day in and day out, 24/7. each officer has come here willingly answering the call to serve and protect. capitol police law enforcement agency is just not a few individuals. they are many who serve as one to meet their mission of protecting our complex. so we hold this hearing today as part of our committee's jurisdiction to review, to have oversight for the safety and the security of the capitol and its facilities, each member of congress, all of the staff, and most importantly, most importantly, of course, the security and the safety of the millions of americans who visit each and every year. our committee works very closely with the capitol police on a daily basis to ensure that they have the tools, the authority
9:43 pm
and the support that they need to keep our capitol safe and security for everyone. -- secure for everyone. and the security needs of the capitol complex are always at the forefront of our minds because we all understand the threats. there is a constant need to review security protocols, make certain those protocols are thoughtfully developed and ensure that the protocols are reviewed, tested and deployed against the threats. the importance of this process has not diminished over the years. in fact, new and verifiable threats have only increased and we must work together to adapt. as with any law enforcement organization, the responsibility for meeting the mission begins and ends at the top. in this case with the chief of police, kim dine. while our committee meets on a regular basis to discuss the security status of our capitol and all of its inhabitants with the capitol police leadership, we thought it timely to have a general oversight hearing to hear from the chief of the capitol police about his force. obviously we all recognize, chief, that there are very sensitive aspects about the operations and the capabilities
9:44 pm
of the capitol police that we can probably not discuss in an open forum. but it's important to note, i think as well, that most often threats are discovered and they are investigated and they are resolved without them ever becoming public. and often they do that -- almost always really in cooperation with other agencies. due to the inherent professionalism of the force, that's the type of flawless response that we have come to expect from the u.s. capitol police. but certainly some of the recent events, the gyrocopter incident brings these threats to the forefront. many have questions how the gyrocopter was actually able to fly all the way to the front lawn of the capitol. however, i will note this. actually protecting the restricted airspace over washington, d.c. is not the mission of the capitol police. that falls to other agencies. in fact, i can remember i think it was during president reagan's funeral whether a former
9:45 pm
governor of kentucky, his general aviation aircraft, a state aircraft, came in to the restricted airspace, a mistake. pilot error. but the air force actually scrambled their jets, i think, on that day. but i do remember the capitol police doing their duty to evacuate the capitol campus flawlessly. and again, in that instance the job of the capitol police was not to so much eliminate the air threat in the restricted airspace but to protect those who work here or are visiting the capitol campus. i would say this. i had a briefing after that. many of us did. i told the chief then that i thought the capitol police performed very well once the gyrocopter landed. almost flawlessly really. however, i would also say that there were some aspects of the event -- which i'm going to be looking forward to hearing from the chief on -- which we would like to talk a bit about, about when did the capitol police know that the individual was heading
9:46 pm
for the capitol, and if we had some heads up, how would that affect the response then and how does it affect the response going forward as lessons learned. i would also like to note that in that incident, and others, i have taken issue with the lack of communication. during that incident, actually the best source of information that i had -- and i think many members had -- i was watching cable tv, actually, looking at some of the different news channels. so i think the police work was very impressive but the communications could be improved. that is an area that we want to have a bit of oversight on, though again, i've raised these concerns with the chief and it does appear to me that the communications protocols have already been improved. also, there have been three separate incidents that perhaps normally you wouldn't talk about publicly but they've been in all the media outlets so it is quite known where officers have left their assigned firearms unattended.
9:47 pm
and these are very serious breaches. i think that alarm all of us, quite frankly. when you're in an open and public environment with literally millions of visitors each and every year, securing your weapon is of primary importance. so i understand again that these incidents are being investigated and again, normally wouldn't talk about it openly but certainly at this point i hope to hear a bit about how they're being handled, whether the capitol police has the training and resources it needs, what steps are being taken to ensure these kinds of serious incidents are not repeated. purpose of the hearing is to examine the current operations and responses taken by the capitol police, particularly those leadership decisions which have an affect on training, on readiness and on the overall morale of the force of the united states capitol police. i would say this. we certainly all understand that now is a particularly challenging time for law enforcement across the entire country. certainly not just here. across the entire country. and we are also very aware that
9:48 pm
the capitol police operate in sort of an asymmetrical environment. the purpose of this hearing is certainly not to second-guess every single action that's been taken in pursuit of security. however, our committee does have the oversight responsibility for conducting a hearing such as this and we intend to carry out our responsibilities. of course, nearly all of the events that have occurred in the public view are met with textbook responses that display again the standard of conduct, the professionalism that congress expects of its law enforcement agency and is demanded by the american people as well. we would ask the chief to provide us as much information as possible in an open setting about these incidents such as what was learned, training improvements, where the training proved successful in the cases of the unattended firearms, what kinds of corrective actions have been taken. again, that you could discuss openly. lastly, but likely most importantly, what your plan is for the department to move forward. i think we always want to --
9:49 pm
spending our time looking in the rear-view mirror. we want to look forward as much as possible. always. one of the questions -- i mentioned this to the chief before we started that i'm going to want to bring up in perhaps more members here -- is exploring how the chain of command is structured. because right now the chief of police reports to the capitol police board which is made up of the sergeant at arms of the house, the sergeant of arms in the senate, and the architect of the capitol. this was a police board that was comprised back in the 1800s. it just seems like it would be a timely thing for us perhaps to discuss whether or not this reporting structure complicates performing the duties that we have an expectation of from the cop capitol police and its chief and the management and structure. finally, i'd ask the chief to explain leadership steps he's taken and is taking to guide the
9:50 pm
law enforcement agency forward. so i'm very hopeful that the result of this hearing will be that we all gain a better understanding of the challenges faced by the capitol police, areas where some of the changes or improvements can be made, and finally how this committee can assist which is what we really want to do, how we can assist the united states capitol police in performing their mission because we all share the common goal of protecting the united states capitol, the entire campus here. as i say, not just the members or the staff, but most importantly the american people, the millions of american people that visit each and every day. i certainly thank the chief for his appearance before our committee today and i would now like to recognize my colleague, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. brady. >> thank you, madam chair. i join my friend chairman miller in welcoming the chief to this hearing. we wish we saw you more often, although under different circumstances. the congressional community and the american public need to make sure they are safe in the united states capitol and surrounding areas.
9:51 pm
i believe the strong oversight and policy direction of vital elements of building and unfortunately in some instances rebuilding that trust. the other legislative oversight committees of the house and senate need to be sure we are not an afterthought in process of managing this department. if something potentially embarrassing happens which reflects on the capitol police risk to public safety or is likely to become publicly known, run, don't walk to this committee. we don't want to find out from local hill newspapers or through the rumor mill. recent incidents with officers lose their weapons, the gyro copter landing on the front lawn, the dragic murders in the navy yard. it is my understanding several of these issues are still under investigation and subject to the legal process. but none of that reduces the committee's obligation to know the facts and the department's obligation to be forthcoming. i have been and continue to be
9:52 pm
unwavering in my support of the capitol police. change miller and i have many conversations on the uscp and on virtually every issue we are in complete agreement. i think i can safely say we both want to do everything we can possibly do to ensure you and the force is successful. daily rank and file officers may be called upon to protect visitors, members and staff. as the son of a police officer i am intimately aware of that tremendous burden and commitment it requires. quite frankly i've been deeply troubled by several recent occurrences that have forced me to question the leadership of the force. i look forward to your testimony and i look forward to learning how you plan to continue to strive to be the leader that they deserve. thank you, madam chair. >> thank the gentleman. are there any other members that wish to be recognized for an opening statement? chair recognizes mr. harper. >> thank you, chairman miller. thank you, chief dine, for being here today and offering
9:53 pm
testimony to the committee. there have been media reports on the rarity of a capitol police chief appearing before the committee. that is in fact charged with oversight of the force. i don't think that it should be unusual and hope that this may be the start of a new tradition of frequent appearances by you and your successors. i appreciate your service as well as that of each and everyone of the officers under your command. i don't consider it my job to criticize you or others in your command structure just when things go wrong. i think this committee can and should be as much a part of your support network as the capitol police or supporting agency of the u.s. congress. however, that requires open and honest communication between us. while i recognize the often sensitive nature of your work in terms of security, i also recognize that we are both public servants and have responsibility to submit ourselves to public scrutiny
9:54 pm
from time to time. again i appreciate your appearance today and look forward to hearing your testimony. i yield back. >> other members? >> i, too, want to thank you, madam chair, for having this hearing. i also want to thank the chief. i sat on the san diego city council, we had responsibility for the city police there. i was also in the state assembly and state senate. i have to say the professionalism here has been fantastic. in particular i want to call out sergeant steven merle. we've had a couple issues with people who have mobility issues in my district that have come to the capitol and he has been fantastic. one lady in particular asked me if i would pass along her thanks to him. again, his name is sergeant steven merle. again, i thank you for this hearing. again, my experiences have been very, very positive and i appreciate it again. thank you. >> thank the gentleman. mr. nugent from florida. >> thank you, madam chair. i appreciate, ranking member, your support of the capitol police and to chief dine.
9:55 pm
listen, after 38 years of being in law enforcement that i have experience and being a chief administrator, i know it can be a thankless job from time to time. but, the pressures do exist. one of the things i think that this committee would like to see -- at least i would like to see -- is more transparency with the agency and us. it doesn't always have to be in a formal setting such as this. it can be on a one-on-one setting with any one of us as this goes forward. obviously we have great concerns. reference to what's been in the media as it relates to officers leaving their weapons in areas that they shouldn't, in the gyrocopter landing. i don't think we need to go through every issue at this point in my comments, but i will tell you that we need to have a better understanding of the capitol police. it is probably the most unique law enforcement agency in the nation that i'm aware of.
9:56 pm
because your mission is really about protecting this campus and all of us, but as the chairman had mentioned, all the citizens that come here on a daily basis to view democracy an action. yours is a job that not many people could do. and i will tell you, you're only as good as the folks that surround you and your upper administration. but also the men and women that daily put on those uniforms and the vest to protect us. without them, this doesn't happen. and we don't have an open setting like this. so i want to make sure we're doing everything to support you, but also support the men and women of this agency. i think sometimes that gets lost that there's actually people that kiss their husbands or wives good-bye in the morning and not knowing if they're going to come back tonight. and i want to make sure that
9:57 pm
we're doing everything in our power that they have a great working environment. i'm sure you agree with that. so we want to hear what steps you're going to do to remedy some of the issues that have been brought up by members here today. you're going to hear about later as we move forward, it's very important that we feel assured that you're the chief executive officer, the chief of police, that you have a good handle on it and what you're going to do to remedy it. obviously we talked to your folks on a regular basis. and we want to make sure that their morale is high and that they want to stay here. because we have a big investment in them. so i want to hear from you what exactly -- what specific ideas you have to put in place to make sure that this elite force stays elite, has the training and the backing of its administration as we move forward. madam chair, i yield back. thank you very much. >> thank the gentleman. other members? if not, let me formally
9:58 pm
introduce our witness. our one witness here today. kim dine is the eighth chief of the united states capitol police and has served in this position since december of 2012. the chief has had a distinguished career in law enforcement for the last 39 years. he began his career at the metropolitan police department in washington, d.c. where he was eventually appointed assistant chief of police for the department. in 2002 he became the chief of police of the frederick, maryland police department. served there for ten years. and as chief of the u.s. capitol police, chief dine is responsible for commanding a force of nearly 2,000 sworn and civilian personnel who are very dedicated to provide comprehensive law enforcement, security and protective operation services to the u.s. congress, members, staff and millions of annual visitors in the surrounding complex. with that, chief, we certainly appreciate you joining us today.
9:59 pm
and we look forward to your comments and there's normally a five-minute period but you take what you need and go through it. thank you. >> thank you, chairman miller. good afternoon, everyone. and thank you for the opportunity to appear before the committee on house administration to discuss the leadership of the united states capitol police. i'm joined by assistant chief and the administrative officer as well as some members of my executive team. this afternoon i'd like to provide the committee with a brief summary of my first two and a half years leading the uscp and lay out for you my short and long-term vision and leadership priorities for the department. first, however, i'd like to thank the committee for its sustained and unwavering support for the united states capitol police. i am truly grateful for the support of congress and now the capitol police board. i would also be remiss if i did not recognize the brave women and men of the united states capitol police. each and every day they place themselves in harm's way to ensure that this great institution can carry out its critical role in legislating and
10:00 pm
providing one-third of the infrastructure for our great democracy. i firmly believe that the women and men of the uscp continually demonstrate professionalism, pride and effectiveness in meeting the mission requirements for both routine operations and critical incident response and do so proficiently. in december 2012 i was appointed by the capitol police board to serve as chief of police to the united states capitol police. within the first two months on the job i had the pleasure of leading the department during the 57th inauguration of the president of the united states. since then, i have also overseen numerous state of the union activities, concerts, national peace officers memorial services, joint meetings of the u.s. congress, visits from heads of state, dignitaries and v.i.p.s, codells and demonstrations. i've also overseen unique demonstrations such arms the african summit which saw 50 heads of state visit the capitol. ricin incidents in our mail activities. operational activities on the
10:01 pm
capitol complex as a result of the navy yard shooting. the october 3rd 2013, vehicular shooting incident on capitol hill. the concert for valor. impacts of demonstrations resulting from the ferguson, missouri, police activity. two suicides on capitol grounds within the last two years. and most recently, the national capitol region event with the gyro copter. however, response operations have not been the only focus of my leadership. in february of 2014 the department fully implemented its new digitally encrypted radio system without issues or communication service interruptions. in 2014 the department also successfully achieved reaccredit reaccreditation from law enforcement agencies earning the gold standard in public safety accreditation. further we have continued our efforts to resolve recommendations provided by the united states capitol inspector general designed to improve our internal controls and management practices, including our
10:02 pm
controls over inventory of weapons and ammunition. i unequivocally understand the concerns regarding the recent issues related to the mishandling of weapons by some of our officers. there are no excuses for these mistakes. the department takes these incidents very seriously and we will rely on our disciplinary process to provide the framework for accountability. uscp employees are held to a very high standard in terms of conduct and discipline. the uscp has a team of highly experienced, well-trained professional investigators whose sole job function is to investigate internal conduct issues. this is done by conducting thorough, defendable, legally sufficient investigations into misconduct as well as employee-related matters. the first offense for mishandled weapon typically receives a five or more day suspension without pay. i am considering increasing the minimum penalty to up to 30-day suspension all the way to termination for a first offense and potential termination for
10:03 pm
any subsequent offense. this is not offered in response to these incidents but rather my ba heave that any liability type of violation warrants strict disciplinary action.elief that any liability type of violation warrants strict disciplinary action. in reference to the mishandled weapons that have been publicized, it should be pointed out that employees are trained on safe handling of firearms. currently basic training includes several weeks of weapons training, discussions on safe handling of weapons, and instruction on what to do in situations in which an employee uses the restroom. that said, i have directed implementation of new elements to our weapons safety training to reinforce the proper handling of weapons. this training will also be delivered biannually in person during weapons requalification as well as annually online. all of the department's operational activities and management initiatives involve our most precious resource which is our people. no one cares more about our people than i do. my goal has been, and continues to be, to create a work environment to provide the tools and training that our workforce needs to be successful in a well
10:04 pm
managed and efficient manner. our relationships with our labor unions are a key part of that goal. during my tenure we successfully negotiated and ratified a new contract with the teamsters which is the labor union representing our covered civilian workforce. additionally i meet regularly with members of the fraternal order of police. the executive board on issues of importance to our sworn workforce. we've also initiated negotiations with the fop in a new contract which will provide a labor/management framework for our covered sworn workforce. these negotiations are ongoing. i would now like to briefly lay out my focus as we go forward. before i do, i realize i have not fully developed relationships with you and others in leadership that i have needed to in order to be a completely effective leader. i came into the department facing many imminent operational activities and did not appropriately return my focus to establishing myself as the chief of police with the congressional community. i would like you to know that
10:05 pm
i'm committed to making necessary effort to meet your expectations and to provide better communication with all of our oversight committees and congressional leadership. as you know, on may 1st 2015 i appointed matthew verdarosa as chief of operations and assistant police of chief after a 30-year career in federal law enforcement. he's served in many operational and administrative roles within the department which i believe make him uniquely qualified to help me and my chief administrative officer mr. richard braddock lead the department. in an effort to provide greater focus to our efforts i have laid out a plan for achieving many necessary management activities over the next several months. i will be focused on developing the necessary relationships with the department stakeholders to be the most effective chief that i can be. i plan to enhance communications with our workforce and ensure the most efficient utilization of overtime. i plan to continue training for onboard sworn personnel for the remainder of fy 2015. i plan to complete promotions for ranks of deputy chief, inspector and captain and continue to enhance the
10:06 pm
promotional process for ranks of lieutenant and sergeant which will be administered in late 2015 or early 2016. i will oversee the deployment of the department's new strategic plan in the coming weeks which will provide greater focus for the uscp's efforts and allow our workforce to more clearly understand their role in achieving our mission responsibilities. finally, i plan to continue to work with the fop to address the remaining issues related to contract negotiations. my long-term focus over the next several years includes the plan to focus the department's energy in several areas which tie to our new strategic plan which includes smart policing, deploying more effective law enforcement services through collaboration, adaptability and innovation, and focusing on workforce efficiency and effectiveness through improved communications. to successfully achieve these goals, i am committed to taking leadership actions necessary to build a managing team who shares my vision and will actively engage in all levels of
10:07 pm
the workforce. given the huge responsibilities of this department and our entire workforce, i realize the department's failure is not an option. i will continue to involve -- evolve my leadership style to ensure our success with meeting the mission, the needs of the workforce and the community. once again, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. i would be very happy to answer any questions the committee may have at this time. >> thank you very much, chief. i appreciate that. i think i'll just start off about the unattended firearms which was probably, if anything, one of the bigger concerns, since i've been here on the hill. you were just outlining what you would normally do in a case like that. i think you said five days' suspension. something like that. i'm sure that depends on the personnel record of that particular individual, if there had been incidents in the past or not, et cetera. but it's also my understanding that some of these incidents happened with members of the force that were on sort of
10:08 pm
special detail with leadership. and is there any -- do you give that consideration? or what do you do in a case like that? >> yes, ma'am. first of all, obviously each and every one of those is or will be -- or is in the process of being fully investigated. that is step one. then we have a very good disciplinary process which actually prior to promoting assistant chief vertirosa, i asked him to look at re-engineering the discipline process to make sure it was effective and efficient and fast moving as possible. one of the changes while we had an excellent system i found that it was somewhat fragmented and for an agency our size of the importance in terms of the disciplinary process, i believe that a centralized disciplinary process was necessary. so the assistant chief has put together a process which essentially centralizes the review process which i think is better for all of the members of the agency.
10:09 pm
makes for a better system. that being said, the process includes, as you mentioned, looking at the douglas factors which come out of douglas versus veterans administration case. as you may be aware. our collective bargaining agreement ensures that at least four of those are considered. which include the member's record, whether the act as willful or on purpose or not. those kinds of things. so the member's record is taken into consideration. how long they've been on the department, their disciplinary record, what kind of act took place, its impact on the agency's ability to perform its mission, and those kinds of things. and then punishment is given out. we've been very diligent in both investigating not only these matters but other matters and meting out appropriate punishment. >> you know, just reading these media reports. obviously we're all biological human beings so everyone has to
10:10 pm
go to the bad room. some of these incidents happened in a bathroom. so i don't know. maybe this isn't right question, do you have a lockbox? are you going through a process -- is that already in place? >> yes, ma'am. >> or happens whether it's in a bathroom or wherever they are that they have to take off their firearm for some short period of time and how it's accounted for safely. >> that is a great question. we do provide lockboxes to our officers. those are generally kept in their homes. there are lockboxes around in various office locations so if someone has time they may have the ability to go secure their weapon before they go to the bathroom. but as i mentioned in my opening testimony, we are now providing additional training on what to do when you have to go to the bathroom. obviously while these acts were not done on purpose they are unacceptable. one cannot leave your weapon anywhere. it has to be secured at all times. so those acts will be dealt with firmly and effectively.
10:11 pm
but we've enhanced the training but we've made that now additional training as part of our biannual certification process and we're creating online training that everyone will go through once a year as well. we've enhanced and reinforced the whole discussion of weapons safety because that's extremely critical, obviously. >> okay. my second question then would be about the gyrocopter incident. again, you and i have talked about this. we've had a brief about it. we've talked about it at length. but as i continue to sort of contemplate what could have happened, what it meant, et cetera, what it could mean in the future, et cetera, i guess i do have a couple of questions. in regards to the officers that actually did respond -- as i said, in my opinion, from a layman -- i don't understand your business but it certainly looked as though the capitol police that responded did everything they were supposed to do flawlessly once the gyrocopter landed. so did you have -- i'm wondering how much advance notice that the
10:12 pm
capitol police had, again, understanding that the restricted airspace is not your responsibility. i'm not trying to throw some other agency under the bus. but i would like to know to the extent that you can enlighten us how much advance notice capitol police had that this gyrocopter was coming. if boots on the ground understood that it was coming or what exactly happened there and the critical moments before this gyrocopter did land. thank god, it was nobody that really meant us harm. but who knows. >> yes, ma'am. >> as you know chief, i also serve as vice chair of the homeland security security. so from a homeland security standpoint, put my other hat on here for a moment, what in the world. and the after-action reports perhaps that you did with your -- with the men and women that did respond. >> yes, ma'am. lot of great questions right there. let me first say from the outset let me touch on notification process so i can tell you once again.
10:13 pm
we fixed that the next day. working with the deputy chief, we directed that notifications be given out immediately. so we apologize for that. that's not acceptable for you to find out -- >> actually that was not my question. i appreciate that. i'm talking about how much notification the capitol police had about the gyrocopter coming. >> yes, ma'am. the notification to the gyrocopter, that day at i believe 12:59 hours we received an e-mail from someone claiming to be a reporter asking questions did we have any knowledge about a gyrocopter landing. the information did not provide a time or date or indicate that landing was imminent or anything like that. it was more about, are you aware that this might be happening, and does the person have permission to do that? that e-mail went to our public information officer, lieutenant kimberly snyder, who sent it to our investigations division. about a minute later we got a call in our command center apparently from the same individual asking generic type
10:14 pm
questions, does somebody have a permit to land? again, did not give a date or time or indicate that a landing was imminent. that information was also forwarded then to our investigations division. as those things were -- began to be looked into, minutes later, frankly, the gyrocopter landed. now while on the west front about a minute before it landed one of our officers was approached by someone who was apparently a reporter who knew that the gyrocopter was going to be landing and asked the officer are you aware of anybody -- any airspace issues, anybody landing? forgot the exact language. the officer didn't know anything about it. he asked another officer. they went over the air. they made some notifications. essentially at that time they observed the gyrocopter over the grant statue and it landed on the west front. so that was about a 20, 25-minute time lapse from the
10:15 pm
time we got these generic pieces of information. as you know, we get hundreds and hundreds of calls every day and e-mails about different permits, different activities. >> i understand. the last thing i will say, because i know that everybody else wants to ask a question. it's my understanding you did get that e-mail about a half an hour before the gyrocopter landed, along with a website for a live stream, that this guy was live streaming his flight. so maybe somebody else wants to follow up on that, but it would seem as though somebody would tune in. >> well, we attempted to tune in. we had no luck immediately. we ultimately did -- that investigation continued which allowed us -- i'd like to echo your praise of the officers' actions on the scene immediately. i think the officers acted promptly, heroically, swiftly, efficiently. the continued investigation actually allowed us to determine what we were dealing with. because as the canine officers swept the gyrocopter and then eod folks approached it to
10:16 pm
continue to clear it, we were pulling up information about the person, who he was, and what kind of potential threat he was or was not. so that investigative effort kind of aided our whole overall effort and fit in to our overall response. as you mentioned, it is not our role to patrol the airspace. that's a dod/norad responsibility. but we work very closely with them. we are working with the department of homeland security on an after-action report from a larger sense. we're also doing an internal one as well. i actually -- during police week last week i had the opportunity to speak with secretary johnson about the matter actually twice, which i was pleased about being able to do that. >> very good. thank you, chief. the chair recognizes my ranking member. >> thank you, madam chair. chief, far be it from me to sit here and make you feel uncomfortable, or even to question you.
10:17 pm
but we're friendlies here. we're not the enemy here. my dad was in the police force. mr. nugent has many, many years of experience in law enforcement. i talk with him every day. we are a community of oversight. this is the first time i met you. chief morris was a friend. we were on oversight committee. he was friendly toward us. walked by. any time he walked by the office, pop in, how are you, how you doing. that's good relationships. you know philadelphia is known for cheese steaks. we have one of the biggest cheese steak restaurants in philadelphia, most famous nationwide. they collect patches. and they wanted a patch from capitol police. i went to chief morris. i said, you know, i'd like to get a patch. he said, no, i'll go down, bring it to them. i want to have that great relationship and good pr and he did that. you know? and, again, we're not -- we're not -- we don't want to be -- we don't want to be reactive. we want to act.
10:18 pm
if there's a problem, if there's an issue, your contract -- i deal with your officers, with your unions all the time. you meet with them a lot. meet with us a lot. walk by our office, say hello. i know you're busy, but we're busy, too. we're not going to not say hello to you. that's my issue. that's my problem. i know you could be overwhelmed and i do appreciate that. but you know, if you -- you could get a little more closer to us. we want to be closer to you. i've been involved in more contracts than anybody you know, including two of yours previously. you know? i do a lot of that in the city of philadelphia when there's always a problem, i'm the one they go to many, many times. we're ready to help you. we've had discussions with me and the chairman all the time. you know? and little bit of wonder why haven't we got like more involved. we're not here to criticize you. i can't do your job. you can probably do mine but i can't do yours. you can learn mine quickly enough, isn't rocket science to
10:19 pm
be a congressman. a little tough to be a police officer. we want to be helpful. but i really wish that you would take that in consideration. no request nothing just you know. if you have requested, we're supposed to be here to help you. i wish you would take into consideration and get a little more friendly with all of us. >> yes, sir. >> thank you. thank you, madam chair. >> i can guarantee we will do that and i appreciate your comments. >> chair recognizes mr. harper. >> thank you madam chair. chief dine, you said there were two notifications that went into the capitol police prior to the landing of the gyro copter. one went into the command center and the other went to the public information officer is that correct? >> yes, sir. >> so the times of each of those, again, in advance of the landing? >> i believe it was -- one was 12:59, one was a minute later, where they made contact with us. i don't know that i'd classify it as notification.
10:20 pm
it was more of a question, were we aware of anything like this happening? but i think 12:59 and 1:00. >> then the landing was at 1:23, as i understand? >> yes, sir. >> so were you notified yourself personally before it landed as based upon either of those contacts? >> i was -- i don't believe i was notified before it landed. >> okay. were there any weapons in place on behalf of the capitol police to protect the capitol that could have shot down the gyro copter? >> yes, sir. weapons were in place. without getting too deeply into it we have various weapons deployed around the capitol. so the short answer is yes. as with any use of force then you get into an issue of whether the officer is threatened or the lives of anyone else is
10:21 pm
potentially threatened. and that whole decision-making process that police officers engage in every day not only here the at the capitol but across the country. yes, sir, we have officers with weapons. >> chief my concern is that most criminals don't telegraph the date and time of a criminal activity that they're going to engage in. this gentleman came as close to doing that as you can. i understand he was not charged with any criminal offense, is that correct? >> no, sir, he was charges with several criminal offenses. >> was he? >> yes, sir, yes, sir. and i've actually discussed with several members on both the house and senate side about looking at the sanctions of those offenses as well. >> as far as your -- and i understand you can't review every social media post or tweet or facebook account that might be out there. on a regular basis is that being done just to try to
10:22 pm
monitor that to see if anything shows up? i'm sure that's part what was you're doing. >> yes, sir, it is. i'd be remiss if i didn't also fill in the rest of this picture. this particular gentleman actually had been under investigation several years before by the u.s. secret service who shared information with us about potential potentially coming either to the white house and/or the capitol. that was investigated by the secret service. it was investigated by our agency. we shared information. at that time he was deemed to not be a threat. but we do engage in the activity you mentioned. and then determinations have to be made. and i think it was alluded to earlier in the beginning of this hearing, we do receive thousands of pieces of information on various types of threats. what we have to do is determine the level of threat. >> and i understand multiple agencies are obviously involved in this process. they're sharing between those agencies many of these things you don't have any advance
10:23 pm
warning of potential. while we're reviewing this looking at ways we can improve the reaction reaction time is our concern is what happens the next time? if there's a next time. we worry about someone else duplicating this, you know. a drone threat. obviously we've had some concerns of that in the area. so how we address this is a great concern. we look forward to engaging more with you on what we can do, what you're doing how we can assist you, and we are first of all very appreciative of the job that the men and women do to protect the capitol complex and we thank you. >> thank you very much. and as it relates to drones if i might add, we've been working to take a leadership position in that in the national capital region. several months ago we held a meeting with about 20 other law enforcement agencies and the u.s. attorney and the attorney general for the district of columbia to talk about drones, the challenges that they create
10:24 pm
for state, federal and hol police agencies the ways to combat drones, the types of charges that may be placed. and it was a very far and wide-ranging discussion. we're part of a task force that meets twice a month multi agencies, to talk about uavs and how to address those issues. we're working with a number of agencies in that regard. and actually we're one of the leading agencies. we just recently put out training for all of our officers that some other agencies are mirroring in terms of drone education, frankly. >> thank you. i yield back madam chair. >> thank the gentleman. the chair recognizes miss lofgren. >> well thank you madam chair and mr. brady and chief. i've been here, i'm working on my 21st year, and i think this is the first time we've ever had the police before us. and i think it's long overdue. i do thank you for your testimony and certainly the men
10:25 pm
and women of the department who work so hard to protect the capitol and the people who are here. like some of the other members of the committee, i served for a long time in local government. and a lot of what i know about policing really comes from my experience in local government, overseeing law enforcement agencies. and it seems to me that a lot fof the trick of being successful is communication, clear lines of command, clear policies that officers not only understand the policies but the reasons for the policies. and so i'm interested in hearing some of that from you. i remember in terms of communication, i understand we're not -- the capitol police are not in charge of the air space. but that's a communication issue. i remember after 9/11 obviously the capitol was a target.
10:26 pm
there was disarray. many weeks later, we had an all hands briefing in the capitol with bipartisan meeting. i can say this now because it's all been changed. but one member asked the sergeant at arms, when did the secret service call the capitol police? when did that call come in? the answer was, we're still waiting for that call. i mean, so i think the communication between other agencies needs -- there needs to be a protocol for that so that everybody knows what they're supposed to do. so i'm interested. some of that may be something you want to do in a private setting, i don't know. but i would like to know what those protocols are, whether the other parties are aware of the protocols, and whether there's any monitoring of those protocols. in terms of policies we had the naval yard a tragic situation. but one of the things that i
10:27 pm
thought was of concern was officers who left their station for the best reasons in the world i am sure, to help in a very dire situation. but it raised the question in my mind, which is whether the clear policy which is you don't leave the capitol. and why, it's not because we're so wonderful, it's that if the congress is destroyed, the united states government is destroyed. and if we had terrorists do a diversion, that might be a good way to leave the congress, a legislative branch vulnerable and a way to decapitate the american government. so i think that officers if they knew what the clear policy was, you know, that would -- everybody would get that. but i'm not sure that policy is in place or whether it's been communicated. so i guess -- i don't want to overdue my welcome. but i am just concerned that -- about the policies the command structure, the communications with other agencies.
10:28 pm
and i'm wondering madam chair, if we might have an opportunity in a confidential setting to get reports on those subjects. and i see that my time is up so i would yield back. >> i thank the gentle lady very much and i certainly look forward to continuing our discussion about information that we need to have in a confidential setting, certainly. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. nugent who as mentioned has spent many, many years as a law enforcement agent. we appreciate you being on our committee here today. >> well, i appreciate your kind words, miss chairman. it's very important to me to hear from the chief, and chief once again i think mr. brady hit it on the head. we're not here in adversarial position. but we certainly have a lot of questions, at least i do. you know, i read through everything that the capitol police provided. i've tabbed it looked at it. and i agree with mr. brady.
10:29 pm
this is the first time in two and a half years that i've seen you, which is troubling at least. to have that kind of open dialogue. but when we talk about and the chairman brought it up in reference to the guns. that's like rule number one that you i'm sure teach at the academy, you talk about handgun retention all the time. you do those things in a way that obviously has to impress upon the rank and file guys and gals about how important it is. and they understand it trust me. i mean, you know this from your times, my time as a patrol officer. we understand how important that is. but the question i have is, one, is it seems that there's not a lot of transparency in disciplinary process within the capitol police. secondly when the members that the protective details are there to protect weren't even notified
10:30 pm
by the supervisor and at one point in time it took somebody from your command staff, after they were notified by one of the -- i won't say victim of it but one of the folks that had knowledge of it you never even notified the protectee. which is troubling to me. so, you know, i understand that one has already been -- well, has been forwarded, six-day suspension, but is still at the bureau level before it's implemented, is that true? >> yes, sir. it's still in the process. but close to being fully adjudicated. >> let me ask you a simple question about the three folks or at least the two that are on protective detail. are they removed from the detail? >> they haven't been yet but we will certainly be looking at their assignment. in fact, we're looking in terms of policy ands and procedures, one of the things we are looking at is rotation of personnel throughout the agency. >> i understand.
10:31 pm
but in your policy, i read that you do have the ability for disciplinary reasons to remove somebody from an assignment because that's pretty gross -- that's a gross problem, if you leave a gun, particularly when a child sees it. >> absolutely. there's literally no excuse for it. >> you know, i would think from the rest of the folks that work protecting all of us that they would expect that you know, that type of violation of the rules would be held pretty high. and the discipline would be pretty quick. so everybody understands. because, you know, putting a policy, hey don't leave your gun in the bathroom, that's common sense 101. right, chief? so to press that point, though, to all the other rank and file folks that, hey, listen this isn't going to be accepted.
10:32 pm
particularly somebody on a protective detail. because that's quite a responsibility. to have that position. obviously they did a great job at whatever position they had i would think to get elevated to that. >> right. >> and so the question has been, at least raised in the press that is we only find out about this stuff if it's somehow leaked. are you going to do something different with capitol police in regards to violations of policy? so i think this committee at least should be aware of those types of problems. so we can assist you in doing the things that you need to do whether it's in funding or it's placing, like the chairman mentioned, lock boxes. when you went into court or you went somewhere there's a prisoner, i know you sure have those at the office that you have those in strategic areas
10:33 pm
within where the protector? yes, sir. i need to do a better job briefing you and spending time with you so you're fully aware of how the department operates and our practices so you feel confident in those issues and the things that do exist. then of course we have to continue to take these things seriously and do something about them. >> or the people that these officers were protecting, were they notified? were the speaker of the house and them, others notified of the violation of policy with the weapon unattended? >> at some point, the chain of command was notified in terms of that side. yes, sir. when that happened, if that happened as soon as it should have -- i don't know the answer to that. but obviously people need to know. and personnel practices are generally, obviously discussed in the media but i would like for you to hear about these kinds of things from me -- >> you're hitting it on the
10:34 pm
head. that's the last place -- i can remember as sheriff i didn't want to read about it in the newspaper. >> exactly. >> when somebody hasn't told me. one last question on the gun issue. i don't want to beat this to death. but the supervisor that was aware of the officer leaving his firearm or her firearm unattended didn't notify the chain of command in reference to that vice. what is happening to that supervisor? >> that will be addressed as well. because as you mentioned, there has to be a notification process of that supervisor. that's part of the role of being a supervisor is taking action, yes, sir. >> once again, and i know that investigations take awhile. but i would suggest that this is a pretty simple investigation as compared to some that we've had to investigate over the course of our careers that need an extension. like you said, you have a 60-day ruling you can extend to 120, i get it i had to do it too.
10:35 pm
but these types of actions need to be pretty swift i would think, just for your rank and file, so they know people are held accountable. >> absolutely. i think that's the key to good discipline is that it be swift and sure and effective. and change the behavior. that's the whole purpose for it, right. >> that's what discipline's all about. >> exactly. >> you try to coach and counsel and do all those things. ultimately they have to know there is a -- there's a penalty if you do that. and my last question if you'd indulge me, is really about the e-mail that was sent referenced the gyro cop testify, the e-mail you referenced that came in at 12:59 p.m. on april, the e-mail you referenced that came in at 12:59 p.m. on april 15th. "a man flying gyro copter toward state capitol."
10:36 pm
that's pretty succinct, i would say. a man in protest is flying a gyro copter and trying to land on the lawn of the capitol. he's tried to notify all relevant authorities. his name is doug hughes." and more, they give the address. because my staff went on there and was watching it as it occurred as he live streamed his flight from gettysburg. and it goes on to say to the capitol police have they okayed this flight? and land? and please call me phone number. here's my concern. is that's pretty specific. and that, "a," it took how long before you were notified and those at the capitol and those that possibly -- who knows what the intent of this guy is and that's the problem. when the guy climbs the fence at the white house, you don't know what his intent is. we don't want to wait to find out what their intent is because then we're in a mode -- our guys and gal dozen a great job of
10:37 pm
making the arrest. but we'd rather not be there. so my question is,s do a great job of making the arrest. but we'd rather not be there. so my question is, when were you notified there was a threat to the capitol? >> i was notified i believe essentially immediately as it happened. >> as what happened? >> as he landed. >> to me it just seems like it would be all hands on deck when you get an e-mail like this and you have the website to go to, that bells should be ringing sirens should be blaring, within your chain of command as to, this is pretty damn important. excuse my language. but it is. and so what i worry about is that whoever got this information just said ah you know, we get this stuff all time. well, this is fairly specific. would you not agree? >> fairly specific. and obviously unique in that regard.
10:38 pm
obviously didn't say -- the time that it was happening but one could reason that -- >> you read it, fairly obvious in the report it gives his phone number so you can contact me, wasn't like he was just you know leaving something. because when was -- let me ask you this. the sergeant in arms. when was he notified of this e-mail? >> we made notifications to the sergeant in arms immediately. i don't recall. i can go back and check. when he was -- when they were appraised of the e-mail and the phone call. because we gave them a timeline of what happened. within -- very quickly after the event i gave them a timeline of all the things that happened -- >> chief, did he get a copy of this e-mail? >> did the sergeant at arms get a copy? i know i gave them a timeline. i don't know that the e-mail itself was attached. but we xaf them a synopsis report very close to the event --
10:39 pm
>> we had the sergeant at arms in here and asked him questions about this. obviously we're concerned and we don't want to get into any of the classified portion of it. >> right. >> that i would hope we could do at a later date. i sat on armed services so we have a lot of classified sessions afterwards. but my question -- the sergeant at arms was very -- i don't think he was vague on purpose, but based upon what you're saying is he didn't relate any of this like it's in this e-mail to us. and so i'm concerned about that. and that's why if you didn't notice him with this e-mail, i think that's problematic, at least for the sergeant at arms. and i can't speak for him. so i yield back. i see i'm out of time. thank you. >> i thank the gentleman. we can have a second round of questions. i'd like to now recognize mr. davis. >> thank you, madam chairman. before i go into the questions i had, i just want to piggy back on something that my colleague mr. nugent was talking about
10:40 pm
with this e-mail. you know we're concerned. that e-mail was very very specific. how many, on average e-mails like that do you get a day? >> about gyro copters? >> about threats. >> not many gyro copter e-mails -- >> you don't get specific e-mails like that -- >> we get a lot of letters calls, various types of threats or matters of direction is what we call them. if they're not -- they all fall under the threat category. we get probably a couple thousand of those a year. >> a year? >> from all, you know -- of all types, shapes and sizes. >> but chief, you don't get a lot of specific ones like doug hughes is flying a gyro copter today on the capitol lawn, right? >> we don't get many about gyro copters landing on the capitol lawn, no sir. >> that's the first time i've seen that e-mail in our packets and it is specific enough to i think warrant issues. that went to the public information officer?
10:41 pm
is that a generic account? >> no, it went to our lieutenant who's in charge of that office, and then as i mentioned we got a call -- >> is that lieutenant -- did that lieutenant immediately turn that information around? >> she sent it i think within five or six or seven minutes to our investigators. >> but still you mention in your testimony, you mention here today in the questions, that you didn't learn about this until it was happening. >> yes. >> we did miss a little bit of the timeline. has that pio been notified that you may want to act a little more quickly on such specific information? >> we've discussed the matter, yes. >> is that pio going to be disciplined? >> she won't be disciplined but we have discussed the matter. >> it gets to my main point. look we understand -- i will bet you common sense will prevail and no officer will ever leave a firearm in a toilet-covered dispenser again in the capitol complex. we will likely not see any gyro
10:42 pm
copters try and land on the lawn. because we're reactive. and i know -- hopefully you didn't have to put a specific provision in your training manual about not leaving firearms in toilet cover dispensers. but that's a reaction. what is the capitol police doing to be more proactive? what can we do to simplify the contact process so that all of us capitol hill understand what's actually happening? what can we do, what can you do as capitol police, to simplify the notification process when you get a specific e-mail like my colleague mr. nugent just read to the committee? how do we make things more simple so that we don't just have you come in to react to a certain situation or in this case, multiple situations? >> the notification process was something that needed to be fixed and resolved. i guess never letting a good crisis go to waste. the next day, the deputy chief and i met and we directed that immediate notifications go out to you about incidents up here.
10:43 pm
there was a fairly antiquated bureaucratic, overly complicated notification process. we've bypassed that and directed that notifications go out and i'll apologize in advance if you get too many notifications now. but i would rather you be notified than not be notified and that your complaint is that you got too much information than not. so we immediately fixed that literally the next day in terms of that notification process. >> so you fixed those certain situations to react to the gyro copter incidents and leaving a firearm at certain facilities incidents. are there any other issues you're looking at overall within the capitol police to be more proactive to maybe look at simplifying your protocols and your training methods to ensure that we don't even have these situations again? >> well i can tell you from 40 years of doing this, i hate to say this, there's probably going
10:44 pm
to be some other incident of somebody doing something. but what we have done is i mentioned we've clarified the training. we've added more training to make sure we're discussing it every time officers qualify, which is twice a year. then we've added online training. as it relates to gyro copters and uavs and those kinds of things we have new training we just put online. i think we're one of the few agencies that did that. as i mentioned we have other agencies mirroring that training to make them aware of those kinds of things. that's an awareness piece of what to do when you see a uav or drone or those kinds of things. that's kind of a fairly unique episode. >> well, chief, it looks like my time's expired. let me end by saying this. i hope you understand that all of us around this committee, we want to work with you. i'm brand new to the committee. unlike my colleagues who mentioned earlier that they haven't had a chance to really work with you. but we're all here to be an asset to what you're trying to
10:45 pm
do. the men and women who protect this capitol complex and the tourists who come and visit on a regular basis do a great job. we want to help you help them and help you succeed in your job. so use us to be helpful. use us to help create more proactive procedures and policies. and i look forward to working with you. thank you. >> yes, sir, thank you. >> thank the gentleman. the chair now recognizes mr. walker. >> thank you, madam chairman. chief dine. i believe this is the third hearing i've been part of on the house oversight and homeland security, maybe we've even had a classified hearing or two. i do want to zero in and basically two questions today. and i want to start with going back to your notes on page 5. it says, february 2014, the department fully implemented its new digital encrypted radio system without issues or communications service interruptions. it also says, this new radio
10:46 pm
system provides coverage to the capitol complex and is now available in areas that previously did not relieve radio communications. i'm on page 5. here's the important part. it says, it also has allowed for greater interoperability. to date the department has ability to conduct interoperative communication radio bridges with over a dozen other agencies. this allows both parties to communicate directly on each other's radio systems in order to broadcast critical information if a timely manner. according to my timeline it looks to be about 23 24 months. can you tell me was that radio system in play and were these agencies interacting as far as when they first found out over those 24 minutes? >> we did interact, i believe. but we did not use the radio system for this particular incident. it is interoperable. we have interob ra bit with the d.c. police, u.s. park police, secret service. fbi, s.w.a.t. team. a number of other agencies.
10:47 pm
>> can you tell me did you use telephone? what -- this looks like it's a state-of-the-art, realtime -- >> it was. as i think we discussed in some of the other hearings, if i recall correctly an officer from park police saw the gyrocopter and i believe a secret service officer may have. they made their notifications. they also made notifications to the people that oversee the nrrcc -- >> sure. right. >> we actually were not notified till we saw -- >> with my colleague, mr. davis was just talking about it. if we have this kind of technology, i don't understand when there's not kind of an all points bulletin going on throughout all these agencies. i'm assuming these are two-way radios. >> yes, sir. >> all right. let me move to my next question here. you also talked about -- i guess you've been here about two and a half years. from what i've read and heard you're doing a fine job. there is a communication
10:48 pm
concern. and you said your goal was to provide i believe "better communication." i admire and i appreciate that goal. but can you give me some of the action steps that you might say, this is how we can implement better communication from our department to yours, and after you finish that response, i'll yield back to the chairwoman, thank you. >> first of all, as i mentioned we're going to do a better job communicating with you of notifications. i am personally going to do a better job meeting with and communicating with you. and i look forward to that. internally, though, it is really important that we communicate with our whole department. and i was talking to a young officer a month or so ago one night in the evening around kind of all hours of the day and night. and the officer said something that was pretty brilliant. because things get -- go out in the media there's discussion. and he said to me, he said, chief, sometimes then all we know is what we read because we don't hear what the whole other side is or what the department's
10:49 pm
side is. and, you know, sometimes you learn the best things from the officers on the ground. and i've never forgotten that having been a police officer for now -- in a couple of weeks it will be 40 years. so we need to get our message out to our people when there's a story to tell about what happened and what happened right and what happened wrong and what the actual story is. so we are going to be putting out more messages on that regard. and having more interactions with our people at all levels. >> thank you, chief. madam speaker, yield back. >> i thank the gentleman. chief, i have a couple other questions i think as well before we conclude here. one is, going packback to my homeland security, mr. walker and i both sit on that committee also. when you go to the southern border you're looking at rheostats there, eye in the sky very sophisticated technology. they're utilizing it. in many cases it's already surplus stuff from the department of defense. things that -- equipment that has had -- been extremely effective in theater, whether
10:50 pm
you're trying to, say secure a border between afghanistan and pakistan or the rio grande or what have you. it's the eye in the sky. and so just the ability to be looking at like that is, i think, publicly looking at this chopper, it is difficult for radar to pick up various kinds of things, right? technology is exploding every day, whether it's uavs, drones, i mean, they will be using drones to deliver your taco pretty soon. this is what's coming. how can you be able to assess using technology that's available as quickly as you can? this kind of equipment is very expensive as well. although, again, it's expensive that it's something you have to take into consideration, but ask us. we're the ones who have to get the money, make priorities of what we do and spend money on to to keep the capital and campus here secure, but, really much of this equipment is already got
10:51 pm
most of the good stuff, but it is something that you may want to take a look at that's effective. i've been in the station the ground stations and it's unbelievable how clearly you can see from the high distances. everything that's going on and the ability, then, to immediately using the communications to tell the -- again, the boots on the ground look, this is happening. you don't just have to patrol looking for something, this is happening here now, go there. it's unbelievable technology that, again, i'm a layman, but it seems to me that's something you can utilize here. >> yes, ma'am we are looking at that. we had a briefing this morning, and i look forward to briefing you in a confidential setting about some of the things we're looking at, and you already know what they do for you, but there's a lot of technology we're working on at every level with pretty much every agency in the country. we're part of that effort to
10:52 pm
make sure that we are in on what's needed. the gap frankly, where the gap needs to be closed is once you -- once the vehicle is identified, then what do you do about it? that's essentially what happened here. even if we knew it was coming, then do you determine you know, what's the action take once you've identified it? clearly, earlier we know about it the better plans we make for evaluations, how we make the systems now, and whether any use of force by us or dod plays a main role is appropriate. you're right. early identification is critical. >> and i don't think i'm speaking out of turn here obviously, the bad guys know we have the equipment. it's not like it's a secret, right? we utilize it. the other question i would ask you, because this is something
10:53 pm
that's been talked about quite a bit. i said in the opening statement that, obviously, we all recognize the challenges faced by the police departments across the country. for a number of incidents that happened recently. what's your thought about body cameras? there's been a lot of talk about whether or not it's a good thing, whether it's an expenditure of funds that is worthwhile or it's not to help the police. is it not? does it help the -- does it help all the way around to be able to demonstrate what happens there? i think the capital police that do not use them now and i don't know there's been some thought given to whether or not you're interested in pursuing that. what's your thought about the body cameras? i know there's talk about that. >> there is a lot of talk about it. i want the committee to know we are oppressed by that. i'm communicating with chiefs around the country regularly,
10:54 pm
conferences, forum, police executive research firm located here in washington, d.c., they take a leadership role in that. they put out, basically, i think one of the reports on the use of body cameras, thousand they are implemented worksing with chiefs, implemented them, and i think they are a good tool. i would opine that like any piece of technology, they are not a panacea. what's concerning a little is we think future to some next piece of technology, are we going to get to the point where a police officer without a body camera police officer's testimony is worthless? that's concerning to me, frankly. having done this for so long, but do i think it's a potentially useful tool? yes. we are monitoring that very closely to see if it's something that would be appropriately utilized here. there's questions about what happens to the information, how it's protected, and those kinds
10:55 pm
of things that while there's a best practice opinions about that, are not fully determined. that's a debate going on here in washington, d.c. what happens to the videos. do they end up on youtube? those kinds of things, but we are closely monitoring. i've read the report, so i'm up to date on, i think, you know, where things are relating to the technology. >> okay. i would just say in regards to that, if you come to the cop collusion or recommendation that that's something you do want to pursue, again you can make a proposal to us and, i mean we want to be your advocate if we can, and in agreement with what you are looking for. the last question, and i'm not sure that if you don't want to answer the question, you don't have to. but i do want to -- i mentioned in my opening statement, i personally have some question, consternation about the current wiring diagram for your management structure. i don't care whether it's you or
10:56 pm
who the next person will be. just because the way the capital police board is -- the construct of it, as i said it's been in existence for a very long time and i think it probably has worked well. on the other hand, the largest room is always room for improvement, and it is 2015 so we have to think about whether or not having the sergeant of arms in the senate the house, and architect of the capital deciding who is going -- i mean, hiring firing disciplining, whatever. you have three bosses. you know, i have 750,000 bosses. you have three. i mean, that's got to be a very difficult thing. i'm just not sure it receivers us as well as it could. i'm not sure if i'm really asking you to ask your bosses what to think of the structure, but i throw it out to the committee members as well to digest it all a bit, and i think
10:57 pm
we may want to think about if that's adequate or whether or not we could i'll prove that. if you'd like to comment, you can. if you don't want to, you don't have to. >> well, i would just say that i think that the board the board wears several hats and i work with them in both of those arenas. they wear their hats in individual role as individual house or senate or architect. we work with them, their staffs, individually, each and every day in terms of all the issues we deal with individually for their entity. and while i'm at it we also work closely with you and your staffs and while -- we appreciate the oversight that you and your staffs and all the committees provide to us, and i rely on the outstanding people i have that have done that, but that's no excuse for me
10:58 pm
personally not meeting with you, which i look forward to doing. we have interaction with the staff, and often they are buffers. as a police -- then they they wear a police board hat where extensively they come together as cohesive entity to give guidance and direction and oversight, so we work with them i guess on several level, and i'll leave it at that. >> very well. any other questions? mr. ranking member? >> yeah, just quickly, madam chairman. thank you for having the hearing because i get the opportunity to meet the chief of police of capitol hill. i do need to get to know you better for a lot of reasons. i work here. i'm worried for the people who visit here but you come to my city? 2016. coming to philadelphia for a convention there, and i want to get to know you better. there's logistics there, field officers, a unique place, everybody's in charge everybody's smarter than everybody else, so i want to
10:59 pm
fill you in on that and make sure you don't step on land mines while you're there. i do need to get to know you better, and you need to get to know me and the committee betterment thank you for the hearing, and i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you very much. i'm certain you'll have the chief bring in a patch to the cheese burger -- cheese -- >> well i feel the same. this person is also the biggest around so this will make your law enforcement supporter closes down the shop three or four times a year for two days. he keeps it open, but all the proceeds goes to the police officers, up to a couple million dollars. >> wow. >> it was worth it. i was proud to bring the chief of police down there, the patch on the wall, put it in the middle of the many, many other patches. come down, and i'll fatten you up with a cheese steak. >> i appreciate that. >> gentleman from florida. >> i have a comment about
11:00 pm
philadelphia and casting navy-army games there's a couple places with great cheese steak, but i know the one you're talking about. chief, i would just say that, you know, in reading your response and all that, i think, if you follow through with those things, that'll be a good thing but you hit on something, though, that's near and dear to my heart, you talked to one of your guys on the street. i found, you know, and i'm sure you did too, management by walking around, you do -- it's nothing against the command staff, but i used to have my command staff say, boss, how do you know that? and it's amazing things that you'll hear from those folks that actually do the job. command staff is great but you know, they have their reasons to do whatever to i understand late you -- insulate you, and it's important it you're not having town hall meetings with the folks you


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on