tv Washington Journal Terrance Gainer Discusses Security for Members of... CSPAN June 16, 2017 8:02am-8:40am EDT
the conversation surprisingly is brief. the president must john anthony to meet cap at cap david at 1:30 today. when the white house phone rings again, i might to stay composed. , bob says, he was sent to camp david, too and the president feels strongly that john and i should volunteer to resign. >> for our complete schedule, go to c-span.org. >> washington journal continues. host: we are joined now by terrance gainer, he is the former senate sergeant at arms and the former chief of the u.s. capital police. he is going to talk to us about security for members of congress. chief dana, thank you for joining us today. guest: good morning.
it is good to be with you. host: how will this attack change security for members of congress? walking into the capital, things did not seem different, but what changes might we see? guest: i don't think you will personally see a lot of changes, and that is the way the department has been operating for years and years, especially since 9/11. after an attack like that, there will be an examination of what was done, maybe we could have done something better, but you will see security the same way. hopefully people don't notice. all the things that the men and women do. host: so, what is the responsibility of u.s. capitol police? in this case, capitol police was there and that alexandra ballfield because a member of leadership was there, but what is their jurisdiction? are they usually inside the capitol complex? around d.c.? guest: number one, their major
responsibility is the capitol complex. it covers blocks around the capital because just the nature of the way that the place of late out. they are both inside and outside. a very full-service police department that has bike officers, canine, hazardous material response, swat teams -- that is what they do around the capital, but they have the responsibility of the members and their offices the matter where they are in the united states. they do that in conjunction with little agencies and local police departments. as far as a special agent on the scene of the shooting, they are part of the dignitary protection division of the capitol police, so certain members have dignitary protection. other members have protection as needed based on threats. in the department will also supply people where there is large gatherings of members of congress. one example might be the convention. we probably send 300 to 400 officers and agents to the
various conventions every four years to protect those types of things. or if congress goes off-site, we will police that, too. host: we are talking to terrance gainer, a former chief of the u.s. capitol police. republicans can call 202-748-8001. .emocrats can call 202-748-8000 and independents can call 202-748-8002. nature explain how the of security and congress has changed over the years? we did see an uptick in the messages given to members of congress both by telephone, and writing, and social media come and especially absurd -- especially after the gabrielle
giffords' shooting. the educated them to the fact that what their responsibility is by letting the capitol police or local police know if they get a threat or something they think is a threat. a lot of, someone would call in very angry and they would do that repeatedly. and maybe staff would say, that is a crazy jail and there always calling. them to we have asked do and the pass will reemphasize now is to let us know about those folks, so we can check into it and connect those dots. chief, you heard some of the conversation from our first segment discussing ideas floated by some members of congress that they should be allowed to carry firearms into d.c. on their way to the capital. what are your thoughts on that? guest: i don't think that is a good idea. we really worked hard on that
again after the shooting of congresswoman giffords. there was a similar call to members on themselves both on the floor and in the office. i believe don't think that is a good idea. i heard a couple of your call is talking about the downside of that. areappens even if we working with another law enforcement agencies like the secret service or others, you want to know that a gun. what the responsibilities are and where they are at? i do not think members of congress or staff should have or carry guns in the capitol complex. the united states capitol police are well-trained, federal law enforcement are well-equipped to take your of those members. host: we are joined by terrance gainer. he is the former u.s. capitol police chief until 2006, and then he went on --he is also a former senate sergeant of arms and served until 2014. we have james on the line from texas on our republican line.
good morning, james. caller: good morning, ma'am. host: go ahead. gainer, ok, all right. i do agree with you. i am a texan, so i believe in gun rights, but y'all get paid to do a job and y'all do it very well. as long as they are on the white are in- as long as they the white house, they have enough protection. but it does hurt me that all of these callers are calling and saying, you know, nobody should have guns and stuff like that. but they will be the first ones if their white beat up on the sidewalk, that will start carrying a gun. so, it is easier said than done when you're in that situation. our media, i became disabled five years ago. i have watched tv when i did not
used to, but the message that is getting sent out there because the reason i am saying this is most people who do that does not begin to be deranged. in highad friends school that i never would've thought have done some of the things they did, but they lost their wife, they lost their job, they sit at home and can i get another job. despair is what is causing this. right, james, let's give chief gain a chance to respond. guest: james, thank you. you raise very good points. back when easy to sit you have a lot of police protection around you to say let's a police handle it. but i think you are getting to the core issue of what causes the anger of a hate, and what moves people to go from people who just disagree to being very, very disagreeable and violent. all of us have a responsibility to concentrate on that. host: can you talk a little bit about the training that capitol
police go through? for situation like this, what do those special agents -- how do they train in order to do with the situation like this? guest: let me tell you how you get hired. it is a large organization, nearly 200,000 civilians sworn. they go through detailed testing, polygraph examinations, physical testing, and they are sent to the federal law enforcement training center in georgia for three months. then they will come back to the capital area and spend nearly two months more in mock facilities that resembled the way the capital and offices look. enable go to patrol divisions in uniform in various patrol positions. and then ultimately come after a couple of years, if they measure up under secretary, they will be selected to be considered for special agents of the capitol police. those agents will go through another long for the five week school where not only do they enhance their shooting skills,
but also concentrate on tactical driving, surveillance, counter surveillance, and some of the things necessary to be a sharp, dignitary protection person. ,hey are very well-trained highly organized, and you will see, even under response to that shooting, these are officers along with all caps on police officers, go through active shooting training, so they use protective cover. then they begin the neutralization of the offender, and ultimately tackle that offender. they performed just as they are trained to do. host: michael is calling from oakland, california on our democratic line. good morning, michael. caller: good morning. host: you are on with the chief. guest: good morning, michael. caller: congresspeople and representatives, they have secret service details. and the average age of our representatives is like 59.
do we really want a bunch of aroundics carrying guns d.c.? guest: well, michael, those are good questions. let me address the last one first. some of our capitol police officers and special agents are in their 50's, as i was when i was achieved, so if you are properly trained to use a weapon, the ages less important than your skill set, number one. again, i agree that i don't think congress members should be carrying those weapons. the police,hat either the capitol police or the local police ought to be the one to provide the protection. after the secret service, that is an interesting question. you all may know that the speaker of the house is number 31 for the presidency. that individual is guarded by
medassets capitol police dignitary protection divisions. all of the people assigned to members of congress are from our agency. ,ow we do work very closely they work very closely with the united states secret service given the interaction between the people they protect and the members of congress, who also worked very closely with the federal protective service in the fbi and the marshals service, but our main link to all these nearly 500 plus officers throughout the country are local law enforcement. the capitol police keeps a very strong relationship with the jurisdiction in which that member lives or works or is going to hold a meeting. describeef, can you the policy in place for members --congress who are already who already have concealed carry licenses? other members of congress who can carry in d.c. and how is
that going? --as iwell, as i said sit here three years out of the job, i do not know who has a concealed carry in the district of columbia. are note, members allowed to carry firearms in the capitol complex. members are permitted to have those weapons in their office. clumsyalways been a bit as to how they get them into the office because there is transport rules both in berland, virginia, and the district of columbia and was a have to comply with, but as a rule, no one but law enforcement can turn a gun and the capital. willven outside agencies check in with us and they will be given a special designation -- designation on their jacket, and we would have a capitol police officer with them anything that might happen if something goes bad out there could host: do
members of congress go through metal detectors and other features that we see the entrances and the capitol complex? guest: no come as a rule, members of congress are not required to go through security. many of them do. quite a few do not. that is one of the challenges athena capital police officer up there because some members quite like to goes to -- around the metal detectors. officers do not get into for arguments with the members of something like that happens. they would call the sergeant of arms on the house or senate side, and we try to be conflict that. but the members of congress are very sensitive of what their responsibility is to make the play secure. sometimes, there are some rubs. host: we are talking with terrance gainer, former chief of the u.s. capitol police. christie is calling in from plano, texas on a independent line.
good morning. caller: good morning. good morning, christie. caller: i have a question during that have a question. it it seems that we live in a more politically divisive economy now -- environment now. and especially because of president trump and his divisive nature, it seems to be translating to the republican party. to republicans dramatically gone up since the president has been in office? guest: christie, thank you for your question. but since i have not been either in those two chairs, i cannot say that with any certainty, but myan tell you with experience that we saw the threat goes up at different times your respective of who the president was.
onot of times, it depended the issues being discussed where we would see different threats, or the threats to members would on theirnding policy issues. rises and falls based on what is going on in the united states, legislation is pending as a rule. host: keith, can you talk a little bit more about the security of members of congress when they are away from the capital? when they are in their home districts? policeoth u.s. capitol as well as local law enforcement. how is that did beat up? just how is that dvvied up? u.s. capitol police would not be going to individual's homes. if the threat comes into their member offices in their home thesdiction, we would begin
process by notifying local law enforcement, and we be in fact sent an agent there, or connect that threat to the fbi, which would be followed up and local jurisdictions. if it is just a routine thing, we want to the staff to let the sergeant at arms know this, or the capitol police. and then we ask the staff to consider, not only look at how many people are going to be there and how many chairs are needed and are you going to serve coffee, what time of the day, we think about security. would notifyy local law enforcement, and we never felt local law-enforcement to be reticent about stopping in to some of these events in making their presence known. i think you saw that when some of the town hall meetings that people were having where they got a little cheated over some of the issues, but there was a lot of local law enforcement involved in that. in between the members' office,
capitol police, local jurisdiction, we worked those things out. host: and talk a little bit about the attention, the desire -- yesterday, talked to many members of congress who said, they do not want to be restricted in their ability to talk to their constituents to go into local places in their districts to make it harder for their constituents to access them. talk a little bit about the challenge that law enforcement faces when you have lawmakers who want to engage with the public, but at the same time, want to keep them safe? guest: it is an ongoing challenge and i talked with a lot of dignitary protection people when i was in that position, and i know them tidy well. -- quite well. nature must interact with the public. that is the way democracy works. they're really has to be careful balance about the rules are applying good protection and what the member is trying to do. and again, most of the time, that goes very well.
some of the time, the members would call me and say they would like people to back off or not be there and we had to negotiate through that. we cannot force people to take a protection, but as a will, you can kind of work through that and that is why the sophistication of the dignitary protection agent is very important. they need to have the skill set is a skilled law enforcement officer, but they need to be very diplomatic in how they handled the member, and how they handle the public. host: ok. former u.s.ng to capitol police chief terrance security in and around u.s. capitol and throughout the country. republicans can call 202-748-8001. democrats 202-748-8000. and independents 202-748-8002. tom is calling from virginia. caller: good morning. thank you, c-span are doing what you do.
this is an incredibly important service you provide to the american people. chief, i cannot thank you enough of protectingy are putting out there for our senators, for our government officials. this is an absolutely stellar demonstration of what the capitol police do on a daily basis. engagement of this attacker is something that should give everyone united states pause about these kinds of activities. thatld like to say though it is everyone's individual responsibility for their personal security, and at the capital police engaged with these senators and members of the house of representatives regarding protecting themselves and are families who are all at
attacks this particular you wouldes, i think provide an even greater service by taking some of those senators and house of representatives and can beamily members vetted properly to be able to carry a concealed firearm, not as in the capital, but everywhere they go -- at home, and their offices, at the town hall meetings, because i am afraid we are point is the more these instances, and if they could train these members, it would be very welcomed. guest: tom, good points and thank you. i can take the capitol police operate in a couple of ranges. some in the capitol complex and others elsewhere. and we do invite members there. , woulds still a chief work with any of the members to do that. i hear what you are saying. as you know, that is a personal
decision. also based on what the local laws are. i think the court together on that, but i want to emphasize one thing we should not miss or forget about, and that was the rapid response of the alexandria police department, and what they did. it is really a combined effort in both law enforcement and security and first responders. individual responsibility in a community where, fortunate, in some cities , and i am back chicago where there are too for many shootings. we have to figure out how to calm things down to making safer. we are all responsible for us in many ways. sorry about that. , in the wake of this week's shooting, some lawmakers have proposed making some changes to increase security like having capitol police present at any event where there are a number of
lawmakers. do you think that those capitol police should do more? guest: well, i think the capitol police in the years i was there, do a lot. .hey are stretched thin there is a lot of overtime involved. looking at the current budget that was supposed to be passed this wednesday, there were recommendation to add more officers. i think you have to balance the cost effectiveness of this. what the desire is to have more capitol police offices, but i have to tell you, it is very, very expensive if you are going to go to a fence around the world or even in the capital region to provide the type of protection you need to prevent these things. is one thing them and utilizing that person in saving the rest of the members, general,nforcement in
is in the prevention business. and in the prevention business, it takes a lot of people and big event to keep your eyes and ears aware and functioning to make sure that those people cannot even draw the gun and get the first shot off. it has to be balanced. , many members of congress when they are first appointed, the sergeant of arms and achieve full sitdown with each one of talk about security. they are surprised at the size of the agency. and the capitol police is bigger than some state police agencies and bigger than most city police agencies. there is an initial reaction of why do we have so much security? we explained that we had 20,000 plus employees between the and theand the court library of congress, and over one month visitors. so there is a lot going on. there is great -- there is some great cops working in their angry civilians supporting
security in a capitol complex. calling froms fargo, north dakota democratic line. hi, keith. isler: the question i have getting rid of your guns and smashing them up. his crime down anymore in canada than here -- is crime down anymore in canada than here? that is my question. is a greath, that question if you would have to have a two hour session on what we need to do about reducing crime and the effect that guns have on it. in other jurisdictions and other parts of the world, there is a lot less crime with fewer weapons, but i don't mean to turn this into a second amendment issue. i know there are people that have a lot of strong feelings on that. and even in canada where they had a shoot out in the capital, it was a sergeant at arms neutralized the offender of
their. so, everybody is capable if they're properly trained to help reduce crime. host: ok, michael is calling from britain on a democratic line. you are on with chief gainer. caller: two comments. one is a common one is a question that i don't think eating rid of guns is the solution. people who want to commit crimes will obtain guns, whether it is legal or illegal. on probations period should not be allowed to buy guns. later heo -- figure shut up a church. and two, why are we not labeling this a terrorist attack? michael, thank you for both points. the second one, the investigation to my understanding is not done. i heard the special agent talking about it. as they continue to unwind this,
they will -- the label of it might change. you react on based -- you react based on what you know in the seminary investigation they do. it does not look like domestic terrorism. will leave the final determination of to the fbi to decide. host: gloria is calling from maryland on a democratic line. hi, gloria. caller: hi and god bless these people. i cannot tell you how encouraged i am by the way you handled the unfair criticism you received. media we always have a that is free and able to tell the truth and shame the devil. and i want to say with regard to our first responders -- god bless you for what you do.
preacher 80, i'm a lady, and i am often in those buildings. and what the capitol police do for me, they tell me how to get there because those buildings don't have addresses on the for obvious reasons. but we have a system. i call in and spake -- i: it's the to the police and they tell me how to show me where to go. there is no one sued that fits all cases, but the cowardly, ridiculous, insane proposition that even putting our first responders at risk by arming everybody with a weapon is beyond ridiculous. deserveblicans did not violence. but they do deserve a seat in the hall of shame harming someone that is unqualified as
the president to lead our country. host: pocock -- ok, gloria, i want to give the chief a chance to respond. guest: thank you, glory, and i commend the active life you lead. god bless you. and i want to emphasize one of the point you are making --those united states capitol police officers, men and women, are as quick to give you directions or smile at you and point you in the right direction, or tape with a white houses as they are ready to jump on a grenade on your behalf. those ben and women are great -- those men and women are great. host: and we have cheney calling from pensacola, florida on a republican line. you are on. caller: good morning. the if these people -- if congresspeople want to carry on capitol hill, i think they should be allowed to.
they have second amendment right like any other citizen. if it is the first line of defense -- if it is their first as far defense, i mean, as a lot of people calling in bashing trump, that guy has been in there for less than six months. a lot of the problems we have stem from the last eight years. give the guy a chance. the vitriol and the hatred for trump, they cannot see past the end of their noses and it is bringing me down, you know. i do not particularly like obama too much, not because the color of his skin, but because he is a liberal. i wasn't out protesting and marking, i was going to work everyday. host: ok, i want to get chief gainer a chance to respond. talk a little bit about political rhetoric and how does that affect capitol police? guest: ken, thank you for the
question. we have a tongue-in-cheek approach to this in a very simple saying -- you elect them, we protect them. it doesn't make any difference what their philosophy or party they are pushing, but the minute women of the capitol police -- but the men and women a part of the capitol police a dedicated includinging people, protesters. theremen and women are for a major purpose, not just to protect a member, but to protect the institution, and what that democratic building and what it stands for in the country in the world, they are there to protect all of that. host: all right. ken is calling from clinton, maryland. caller: good morning.
chief gainer, i lived in d.c. when you and chief ramsey for the head of the metropolitan police department. and i thank you for your service. chief gainer, i would like to go back to several callers ago. i have a comment and i want to get your reaction to it. my interpretation of terrorism is when one person or a group of persons conduct themselves in a in otherstrikes fear people. and i understand the young man's question about shouldn't that be called terrorism? domestic terrorism, such as the 's eyes, thether black panther party, by their actions, struck fear. and would you not, or would you agree that this person's actions
has struck fear? that is why we are having this conversation about congressional members, or anybody carrying a gun, which i personally believe is that person's own choice. guest: thank you very much. i cannot disagree that the against thethe park members of congress was -- had the effect that he wanted, which was to strike terror. but i am less concerned at the moment about what the title of that is. it might be an interesting conversation had the offender lived in their trying to decide what to charge him with, which would open up different punishment issues. so that would be relevant. it is less relevant in a tactical situation, except if it is terrorism like we have seen elsewhere. we would want to know if this
was a move to attack someplace else. it is a convoluted issue. i would not spend a lot of time quarreling with someone if they said this was an act of domestic terrorism. what the fbi and the capitol police and others will be doing is trying to get into the motive of this. and the motive of this is relevant, not because of that dead offender, but relevant to see if there are lessons to be learned and how we can prevent this anticipate this as a look at the threats that come to members or elsewhere, and how to get into better position to make sure it does not happen again. i am sorry, but we probably need a lot more time to discuss this, but i appreciate your question. host: and peter is calling from butler, pennsylvania on her independent line. hi, peter. caller: how are you? host: good, you are on with chief gainer. caller: i would like to compliment the feminists and
helpfulness -- the friendliness and helpfulness of the metro system to employees. thank you very much. host: all right. guest: thank you. host: and thank you to terrance gainer, former senate sergeant at arms and former u.s. capital police chief. thanks for joining us in chicago and think you for your service. guest: thank you for all you do, c-span. great job. host: coming up, we will be joined by democratic senator robin kelly giving her reaction to wednesday's shooting in her safety concerns as a member of congress. and later on, philip wegmann will discuss why he thinks numbers of congress should be able to carry guns while on the job in washington. we will be right back. ♪ [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
>> sunday on q&a -- tobarack is deeply committed listening historic, and that is different from history. >> part one of our interview with pulitzer prize-winning biographer david garo talking that coversok barack obama life. >> i think barack's political aspirations and sense of destiny lead him to push sheila jager aside. during that time, there was a well-known political figure in chicago, hugely respected man, , who theyck newhouse
did not believe could go higher because he was married to a white woman. so it is in the political tradition of black chicago and the late 1980's, in the early 1990's, that for black men to aspire to represent black chicago, it is necessary to have a black thousand. >> syed -- sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q&a." afterwards,ght on utah republican senator mike lee talks about forgot historical figures who plot against big government in his book. senator lee is interviewed by no caps off. >> they come to gradually. i asked friends and other people i knew who they thought should get more credit than they get? indian chieff -- from a tribe and understood
federalism because he lived for centuries. i was intrigued by that from the not a namese he is that most people know about, yet he had a profound impact on our system of government because he is the guy who enabled benjamin franklin to learn about federalism. and benjamin franklin was the conduit in which this information flow to the rest of the founders and made its way to the articles of confederation. >> watch afterwards sunday night and then :00 eastern on c-span2's book tv. >> washington journal continues. >> joining us now is congresswoman robin kelly, democrat from illinois. she is here to give her reactions to this week's event. thank you for joining us. what is your reaction to wednesday's shooting?