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The United States Capitol Police (USCP) is a federal police force charged with protecting the United States Congress within the District of Columbiamarker and throughout the United Statesmarker and its territories.


Created by Congress in 1828 following the assault on a son of John Quincy Adams in the Capitol rotundamarker, the original duty of the United States Capitol Police was to provide security for the United States Capitolmarker. Its mission has expanded to provide the Congressional community and its visitors with a variety of police services. These services are provided through the use of a variety of specialty support units, a network of foot and vehicular patrols, fixed posts, a full-time Containment and Emergency Response Team (CERT), K-9, a Patrol/Mobile Response Division and a full time Hazardous Devices and Hazardous Materials Sections. The agency has 1,700 members as of 2007.

A United States Capitol Police police patrol car.


Today's United States Capitol Police officer has the primary responsibility for protecting life and property; preventing, detecting, and investigating criminal acts; and enforcing traffic regulations throughout a large complex of congressional buildings, parks, and thoroughfares. The Capitol Police has exclusive jurisdiction within the United States Capitol Grounds and has concurrent jurisdiction with other law enforcement agencies, including the United States Park Police and the the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, in an area of approximately 200 blocks around the complex. Additionally, they are charged with the protection of members of Congress, officers of Congress, and their families throughout the entire United States, its territories and possessions, and the District of Columbia.

Line of Duty Deaths

Three USCP officers have been killed in the line of duty. A 1984 training accident killed Sergeant Christopher Eney, while a mentally disturbed gunman named Russell Eugene Weston Jr. killed Officer Jacob Chestnut and Detective John Gibson in a shootout on July 24, 1998. Chestnut and Gibson were laid in honor in the Rotunda before burial in Arlington National Cemeterymarker. (Chestnut was the first African American ever to lie in honor in the Rotunda.)


The U.S. Capitol Police is one of many agencies that sends its recruits to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centermarker (F.L.E.T.C.), located in Glynco, GA for initial training. On occasion, recruits are sent to the FLETC location in Artesia, NM, but this is very rare. Following 12 weeks at FLETC, recruits return to FLETC's location in Cheltenham MD for an additional 13 weeks of training. Following the recruits academy training, they are sworn in as law enforcement officers and assigned to 1 of 3 divisions to begin their careers. Initial salary at the start of training is $54k, with an increase to $56k after graduation. After 30 months of service, officers reach the rank of PFC, with an annual salary of $63k.

Rank structure and insignia

  • Private
  • Private with Training (1 chevron)
  • Private First Class (1 chevron and rocker)
  • Technician
  • Detective/MPO
  • Sergeant (3 chevrons)
  • Lieutenant (1 gold Bar)
  • Captain (2 gold bars)
  • Inspector (gold oak leaf)
  • Deputy Chief (2 stars)

See also


External links

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