tv Senate Sergeant at Arms No Intent to Impede Media Access to Lawmakers CSPAN June 30, 2017 5:09am-5:58am EDT
different places. right? so from the birth certificate to college or professional levels. sports. right? and everything in between or most things in between. this portion of the senate ppropriations subcommittee hearing was an open session. the subcommittee then moved into a closed session. hearing was an open session. the subcommittee
>> thank you both for being here today. this is your first subcommittee hearing i believe before this subcommittee. this hearing was originally planned for the morning of june 14, the same morning a man decided he was going to open fire on members of congress while they held a practice in alexandria, virginia. because of the quick action, through olice officers armed protected detail, the
event was not even more tragic. cause of their heroism there were no fatalities. we are incredibly grateful for their courage. we wish them full recovery. we are grateful to all involved in their training and support. n upgraded to fair condition. this weekend, another was discharged and sent home. our thoughts are with those who were on the field that morning. the entire congressional community was deeply affected by the shooting. any of us could have been there that day, and any of us targeted. arms ande sergeant at police chief holds special significance. word --your agency's work diligently to protect the
staff, and over 4 million visitors to the camp at it -- to the e cheer. this is an office space, a museum, a tourist spot all at once. being able to manage those realities requires a delicate task. we do thank you for that. i mentioned in our first hearings, we are faced with a budget environment that will -- value gained from your requested i mentioned inincreases must bd against our duty to be fiscally responsibility. we will need to make wise choices for our priorities, and we are looking forward to any input to make those choices.
the screening equipment, as well as training and uniforms for officers. much of your increased -- i wouldd increase -- member turn to ranking murphy for opening remarks. >> thank you very much. i would like to welcome our witnesses today. i want to join senator lankford and expressing my gratitude to the capitol police force for their heroism on the ballfield in alexandria. as a member of the democratic is one ofeam, this these events that represents what is right with washington, despite a lot of things that are wrong with this place. attacked -- the attack even more tragic. let me again send my best to special agents krystal griner ad and david bailey.
we are thankful for their skilled response and the training you provided them. great news to hear that special agent greiner is out of the hospital. we provide our thoughts to alise.ssman sc position tounique make sure you have the resources you need to help keep us safe. and to deal with ever-changing threats. wouldudget request continue to ensure that we have top-notch security on our campus and grounds, and i am ready to work with you to support the efforts. i look forward to discussing how provide targeted increases to make adjustments to the array of growing threats. mr. larkin, from cyber attacks to russian hacking, cyberspace right now is the modern battlefield, and that makes it even more critical that the inate's it security systems,
all of the ways members interact with technology, that our protections are robust and resilient, given these threats. note that thet to legislative branch is not exempt from the larger budget debate. our bill funds not only your organizations,d but other critical agencies, including our watchdog, gao. balance the legislative branch appropriations bill, we need parity and common sense in the budget deal for fiscal year 2018. that includes fully supporting your agencies, but also making sure that other priorities are protected in our bill. this is a really important hearing to have. we look forward to talking to andin open session,a n
then being able to have a private conversation as well. >> i do want to remind any members who come in, and we will continue to do that, that we will moved to a closed session immediately following the opening portion of this hearing, and all of our relevant security issues that we will deal with in that closed session. i also want to request that those who are giving testimony reserve sensitive information for that session, and we can have a frank discussion in that spot. would be honored to receive your testimony at this time. mr. larkin: thank you. it is a pleasure to offer thoughts. i would request that the committee accepts my testimony that discusses the breadth of the challenges in the past year, with measures of performance and
operational impact that we have been able to achieve. >> without objection. mr. chairman, as you called out the budget request is for modest increase of 3.7%. again, a lot of that is due to the cost of living, allied primarily to cyber defense. the saa, or the senate sergeant at arms is multifaceted, it backs all parts of the senate institution. with a larger regard to the legislative branch of the whole. is to ensure a safe and secure environment free of distractions for the staff to do the nation's business. i am able to accomplish that by the talented leadership i have behind me right now. staff, mymy chief of executive assistant, and
fortified by my assistant sergeant at arms for particular -- protective operations. cio, capitol office -- and my money guy. the sergeant at arms is responsible for the safety and security of the senate, as you have pointed out. emergency preparedness and continuity, information technology, communication support, transportation, parking, mel security -- operations,amber furniture construction report -- repair and furnishing of offices, training and education, tv recording studios, media galleries, senate pages and intern programs, and finally,
hair care. a diverseis organization. a lot of responsibility, a lot of moving parts. -- team is highly confident competent, and work behind the scenes every day for this institution. i have folks on the job from one week to over 40 years. quite a legacy of service within the senate.tion for they are innovative, they are constantly learning, forward leaning, they are responsive and very much customer focused. we are the problem solvers for the senate. we work in close partnership with julie adams and her deputy. our two organizations have submitted themselves to a nonpartisan support of the senate, and our organizations are seamless in the way we backstop the organization and to
minimize the distractions on members of the staff, so we can do the legislative business in the nation. we also work closely with our legislative branch partners, sergeant of our paul irving -- ving,ms paul ir specifically as we join forces with our i.t. initiatives and cyber defense. chief verderosa, supported by his assistant. exemplaryleads an force of men and women dedicated to protecting the legislative branch, as evident not only on a daily basis as we move about this campus, but certainly highlighted two weeks ago, as you mentioned, mr. chairman, with the relic acts of bravery by two officers on the ballfield.
for me are areas physical security and safety of the senate and legislative branch, followed by cyber. again, as you pointed out, the digital domain is one that is , requires our constant attention. i will get more in depth with that later. the shooting two weeks ago, perpetrated by a lone assailant, highlights the potential for threats off campus and in member home districts. active shooter threats on the campus are a main concern for both chief verderosa and i, cyber attacks in our attempt to protect data and privacy is very high on our radar. that, we haveeats seen, have converted items to weapons of destruction using vehicles and other things to create mass harm and confusion, complex attacks on vulnerable
public gatherings and areas of commerce. we are constantly being challenged by technical evolution, as we have seen with unmanned or remote-controlled type apparatus. have the overarching chemical and biological threats of which this institution has, in the been subjected to, and caused significant disruption. ideally, we cannot take our eye off insider threat. it is a reality of today's environment, and we need to pay attention to it. we have a pro leaning posture to detect threats before it attacks. putting aere we are lot of our wait. rapid response and assessment to key.cal incidents is the achieve that through our active engagement with the law enforcement partners and a lot of help -- in the intelligence partners.-- community
it is key that we have strong relationships, that we engage in joint training, that we operate munication's for crisis management, we do affective event-- effective planning and coordination, and we get the biggest bang for the buck. we need to question our facts and assumptions when we are looking at this complex nature of this campus and our ability to protect and secure it. we are always looking for efficiencies, innovative ways to become more effective with our resources. i think the chief would agree with me, goal line defense does not work with this dynamically challenging and changing environments. we have to lean forward, we have to be proactive. ultimately, it is about guaranteeing branch operations on -- are un-interrupted.
that concludes my opening remarks, subject to your questions. >> chief vederosa. to verderosa: i am honored be here today. i appreciate the opportunity to present the united states for 2018.dget request i am joined today by members of my executive team and management team, including the chief of operations am a chief administrative officer, chief financial officer, general general.inspector also in attendance today is the chairman, who heads our sworn a union. i and for providing the necessary funding and support our personnel -- for our personnel and operations. as we have seen, our officers are well-prepared and highly
trained to deal with any circumstances they may encounter. appear to bemay routine may be a threat to the safety and well-being on the capitol complex or members of congress. exemplified with the event that happened in alexandria, virginia. they saved lives. i would like to commend them publicly for the iraq and roefessional -- the he =--- -- - we have often disgusted apartments needs to remain agile. -- believe in the environment in which we operate it will be necessary to provide increased coverage for member events going forward. in doing so we appreciate recognition of the need to provide additional resources as he attended by new threats.
we have developed our fiscal they2018 budget request focus on continuing to equip, train and prepare our workforce to protect the u.s. capitol and congress, to ensure they remain safe and secure due to the global threat environment and attacks. targeting attacks at public venues, we have worked closely with the police board and chairman larkin to determine additional screening in various means must be employed to keep the capitol complex safe. as a result our fiscal year 2018 request includes funding for an additional 72 sworn officer and 48 civilians for the purpose of capabilitieseening as part of a multiyear plan to bolster the overall security of the capitol complex as well as enhancing and completing the security effort. lastly, our request also
addresses investments in recruiting and training new employees, replacing equipment and systems that have become obsolete and restoring annual levels to be the vital department needs. our commitment to the mission and steadfast dedication to ensure the safety and security of members, staff and millions of visitors who come to the capital is our top priority. this would not be possible without the dedicated women and men of the department. i continue to be impressed with their overall performance and professionalism everyday. i am very glad of the troops and a really understand the mission. -- we will continue to work closely with you to make sure we meet the expectations of the congress in a reasonable and responsible manner. thank you for the opportunity to appear here today before you and i would be pleased to answer any questions you may have. >> thank you both for that. brief time of question before we moved to a
closed testimony. you bid a request for 72 additional sworn officers. that would been -- bring -- can you talk about why that request is needed and if there are additional locations and such that you need to provide coverage for? the request for additional personnel is very specific to specific tasking that will close the loop on some vulnerabilities that have been existing for a number of years on the house side. i look at policing and securing of the campus as a totality it is not somewhat specifically where we are portioning people to the house side. this provides a level of security that we believe is necessary to finish something that has been started over the past fiscal years. >> you also made some requests on non-sworn officers forcibly in positions.
tell me the balancing your trying to accomplish. civiliansosa: the 48 would be for the purpose of taking specifically our command firearmsommunications, instructors and a couple other positions that are currently occupied by sworn personnel and have traditionally focused on a sworn presence. that is not to say that civilians cannot perform those tasks. , we cang for civilians more quickly place those sworn officers that are being displaced back into the field where we get a quicker turnaround as opposed to hiring new civilians. the civilians takes time to ,elect, train, then deploy which takes basically about one year to do so. by doing it through civilian themation -- i do consider operational officers in these positions -- but a have
traditionally been in positions out of the field where you can get more utility from those officers faster by civilianizing as opposed to hiring 48 new officers. >> fair enough. we have talked about cyber security and we will talk more about it in the closed session. the british parliament just had a hacking experience for them where there were quite a few different addresses being hacked. they are working through that and such. , where dok at this you think our level of preparedness is and what needs to be done generally? then we can talk more specifically in the closed session. chairman, the. fact of the matter is we are in constant blocking and tackling drill. this is a knife fight that is not going to end anytime soon. alluded, there are instances around the world and
certainly within the united states that are highlighted every day. this institution is not immune from that. we work very hard. we have a capability that i would say is very good. we are constantly looking at her capabilities -- our capabilities and our line of defense as far --feeling with this threat, dealing with this threat and also able to respond to an incident once we detect it. that is key. quickly identify an abnormality and then to contain it and effectively repair it is key to minimizing the damage potential effect of come from an attack that the sexily in a trade czarnecki -- that successfully penetrates our network. our efforts require the support of this committee because much
of our technology and capability comes with a price. -- as it's a matter senator murphy alluded to -- what is that balance point? how are we applying the commonsense rule against the real-world threat, and are we at the right place? that's a conversation that needs to be entered not only between my organization but this committee. and a little -- level of comfort is achieved that we are protecting our digital domain. >> the process management and innovation, there is a request of $1.6 million for that. tell me more about that office. mr. larkin: again, we are partnering with industry and we -- in addition to other government agencies are challenged by this threat, it is so that we can see the latest technologies and capabilities that are being designed,
developed, and put into motion to do with this threat. this particular unit is looking out ahead to the next ridgeline, over the next ridgeline, anticipating the inbound technologies that potentially could help us so that we can have a degree of planning and situational awareness of what we could print it -- what we could potentially leverage and to raise that confidence bar that we are defending our networks the best we can. >> thank you. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. -- can youk a little talk a little bit about developing capacities to protect from internal threats with respect to cyber protection? n increasingously a concern. there is history of some of these problems occurring. within the senate itself in the closed session we can talk more.
talk more about your focus on internal threats and making sure that offices are protected from individuals who may have found a way inside to take information from servers that are shared. mr. larkin: senator murphy, i welcome that question because it they --tle % of the folks here are absolutely committed to its success. i think we'll be putting our head in the sand if we did not posture ourselves to look for insider threats, especially with the history of insider threats and the damage it has done to other organizations within our government let alone the public and private arenas. we are incorporating capabilities that not only are policy-based, but also software-based.
who has access to sensitive information, is it appropriate access? that can be achieved not only through authorities that also sophisticated levels of credentialing. the ability to monitor who is operating within a particular data area, is it appropriate, are they harvesting data inappropriately, are they moving data to a place that that should not be in transit? there are a number of ways we can be alerted to inappropriate behavior. the other piece of this is also a very deep and i think focus on training and education efforts that we had been undertaking and currently continue to push. with member offices and training their staff. again, being alert to individuals who may have a temporary prisons in their
office, -- temporary presence in their office. maybe they are working for justice summer or a short period, they get access to that office's system and subsequently the senate's system. is there access appropriate? appropriateir --- without interfering with privacy and rights of a particular individual. instance,rting, for my agency and others when we sense something is not right? that is a lot of what the conversation we're having with individual offices. very often the administrative officers come at chief of staff approachede will be and say i have an issue here, i'm not sure what i have, can you help me with it. very often that starts a stomach
path of confirming or denying whether they have a problem. >> thank you for that answer. question ask you a maybe a little out of the box. in the piece of legislation we passed at the end of last year we included support for something called crisis which areon teams, community-based policing model thegns to really understand challenges that individuals with mental illness post a law-enforcement. the unique ways in which to respond to that threat, which often is not the immediate deployment of physical force. you're asking for a lot of new money on training, very appropriate. but can you talk a little bit about how you approach this new model that a lot of different police departments are deploying to handle individuals with
mental illness who may present a threat? mr. verderosa: absolutely. we do subscribe to crisis intervention team, the concept. metropolitan police intervention program. we have involved since 2014. they were very proactive in this area and we feel there is great value. the metropolitan police has partnered with the d.c. department of behavioral health to develop this and it is based on the model where you have community engagement. we go and we look at resources that are available with the goal of trying to divert whenever possible and get the appropriate services that are available for people suffering from mental health. obviously there is great risk when there is a confrontation or
an interface with law enforcement. be able to to identify the needs of the individuals and to be able to provide them with the most appropriate services. if the charges are appropriate, there are also things that we to, evenat enable us within the criminal justice system, ensure that the needs are met, safety is insured of the individuals we meet out on the street. this training does safeguard the officers, provides them with knowledge to be able to better understand any of the types of threats and understand the people we're dealing with. provides them with the essential skills. it also helps protect the community and it leverages the core social services that are available in the community. by the end of this calendar year should have about 75 officers that will be trained.
we look to in the future to be able to institute that program in-house as opposed to partnering. oftenr, we partner quite with our partner law enforcement agencies to leverage the training ability to various aspects of different kinds of training. obviously we are not counselors but we can verbally deescalate situations with the person who is in need. we can determine emergency hospitalization. we work very closely with the comprehensive emergency psychiatric program here in d.c., which is for both involuntary and voluntary commitments. it is all in the interest of protecting not only officers but protecting the individuals. we are very well-versed. >> thank you for your commitment to that. one last question. you have a unique array of challenges presented to you right now. there are a lot of people on
this campus -- just yesterday there were a dozen different protests happening in different places throughout. people are very engaged in the democratic process, so you have a lot of people who want to be in our space. as you know, many of us were alarmed when a few weeks ago there was a directive sent out to the press inside these buildings that they were no longer able to film interactions with members of the senate. so i will post this maybe to you mr. larkin, but either one of you can answer. what ledalk us through to that directive being handed down, and what the current disposition is today? my understanding is that there is no change in policy that credentialed press are allowed to film interactions with members of congress, as they traditionally have been allowed to do.
can you walk us through how we got to that policy and where we are today? mr. larkin: senator, as you know, some of the political issues that have front stage here on this campus and certainly in the eyes of the anion, have generated increased level of attention from the media. not surprising. resulted in ahas level of congestion at times in hallways and stairways that pose primarily a safety risk. in coordination with the rules committee sets those standards, they actually developed the right and left boundaries for media behavior and what is allowed and not
allowed. assist with maintaining a degree of order. as we saw the hallways being congested, as we saw members being overwhelmed by media, we to controle sought it primarily from a safety perspective, not to interfere with immediate access. i think that was mischaracterized. 've approached the various media galleries and asked for their assistance. we would really like them to take care of this problem, understanding challenges we have here. we are not trying to get in the way of what they are trying to do, and yet, help us police with some organization and some respect for not only the pathways that we have, weather at the main
capital or even the office buildings, but certainly in regard for how they approach members. at times we have had members who have been impeded from getting to their destinations because of the level of congestion, and certainly the degree of pursuit that they have experienced. again, we are just trying to find that balance point. this was something i think that kind of got out of hand temporarily, but quickly saught once wevel of composure were able to have a dialogue with the right folks. again, i think the media can help us out with this. >> just to confirm, so, the policy has not changed. no, they basically went back to the existing policies and the rules committee
chose to eliminate them. >> thank you very much. mr. chairman. >> senator kennedy. >> gentlemen, i think i have maybe one or two questions. i want to thank you both for your service. mr. larkin, according -- what did the original directive say? you indicated there was confusion about it? mr. larkin: i believe the initial incident was regarding camera locations. that there was a camera team in an inappropriate location. it, ily, as i looked at think that over the years and with the change of personnel, not only on the media side but other parts of this institution,
kind of got away from what the rule was. particular this incident involving a camera crew observed,ng place was then it set some other things in motion. >> what i am asking is did the original directive prohibit cameras? mr. larkin: cameras were prohibited in certain areas and this particular camera team was not supposed to be in the area that they were in. >> ok. what areas were camera areas prohibited from, do you recall? mr. larkin: without getting into specifics, there are pages and guidance that diagram this out. again, at this point i would just be testing. -- guessing.
again, i issue arises understand you have to go through the rules committee, i would certainly like to know. and i think we have to be, as you expressed, we have to be very careful here. because i think the message that the public received was that the media with cameras could no longer access the people's representatives. i don't think that's what any of us want. i think there was a lot of confusion about it. but i would certainly like to know within the rules if another directive like that is being considered. i'm not on the rules committee, but i would sure like to have some advanced warning and have some input. i didn't think it was very cool, which is what i'm trying to suggest. i know it was not your call, i am well aware that frank.
but we just need to be real careful here. mr. larkin: honestly, my opinion, it goes to communications and getting everybody in the same place saying the same thing and understanding what the rules are. again, i think that we can come to that balance point. toin, there is no intent impede them from access to members or anything else. hard to makel work sure it doesn't happen again. >> i know you will. i want to thank you and the chief for your good work, and especially your colleagues, too. mr. larkin: thank you, senator. >> thank you. thank both of you first of all for your service. tonk you for what you do protect our capital and make it as safe as it can be, consistent with the need to have a place that is open for the capital of
democracy. i also want to join my colleagues in extending our gratitude to special agents grinder and bailey for saving lives and your entire teams. i had a question on cyber security as well but i will defer that -- maybe you can take that up anymore confidential setting. i have a question for you chief. last year the gao published a report on the department of homeland security's office of national capital region coordination. they recommended they strengthen their coordination capabilities through the restructuring of the joint federal committee. and specified the roles and responsibilities of all the participating agencies, how they can best work together. the department of homeland security accepted the recommendations and my question to you and you as well mr. , is given thevant
fact that if the capitol police and sergeant are at arms -- sergeant at arms are part -- do you feel those recommendations are being implemented? d feel you are being properly included as part of a team? what is your assessment? mr. verderosa: we have a very robust communication with all of our partners in the national capital region, specifically, some members of dhs, dhs central. we work very closely, particularly with large-scale events, national security events. and frankly, and i say this to my partners all the time, in the 32 plus years i have been in law enforcement i have never seen better coordination between all entities, particularly our closest partners, secret
service, fbi, dhs. we get tremendous support. information sharing is as good as i have ever seen. intelligence sharing, both classified and unclassified. information. i applaud the efforts of our partners in reaching out to us with information. we have a very active threat assessment and investigations division. i would say that we are equal partners with all of them. i am very pleased with our ability to work closely, communicate with, and share information with our partners. mr. larkin: i agree with that. i will highlight two recent incidents. one is the shooting a couple weeks ago where the chief and i got on the scene very quickly and interacted with the other leadership from the departments involved, fbi, atf, of the
responding resources. we all knew each other. we already had that connective tissue in place. it was about focusing on what was important and we were very quickly able to prioritize how we move forward in handling that incident. withse we had no time, everything that we are challenged with, to deal with egos, to deal with people wanting to hold onto information and so forth. relationshipy good based on trust and confidence. the other is dhs in the way we partner with them on cyber. we are pretty much talking about the physical side of a but we can't without talking about the cyber side. we have situations here that develop where we have instantaneous developed -- two vacations with dhs and we have have instantaneous
communications with dhs and we have to. once we detect something, to let others know about it. it goes to the mitigation of the damage affect. because if they are hitting us they are probably hitting other people. as we saw with this recent incident this week around the world. >> thank you. this concludes the opening session of the legislation branch hearing regarding fiscal year 2018 funding for capital release. it will be open for seven days. the committee will now adjourn and immediately reconvene in closed session to review security needs for budgets. this portion of the hearing will be restricted for members and staff with t.s. level clearance