News & Politics

The Capitol Police’s Request to Retain the National Guard Took DC Officials by Surprise

It's still unclear when the whole Capitol fence will come down.

Photograph by Evy Mages

Capitol Police requested today that National Guard members remain stationed at the Capitol for the next 60 days. It was a request that took DC officials by surprise.

“It was our expectation that the additional forces would be leaving…now,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a press conference today. “The Capitol Police have had very little…public interaction….We don’t know why additional forces have been requested until May.”

Bowser has previously said the current security measures around the Capitol would have to remain in place until alternate safeguards could be put in place. Some fencing around the grounds is being removed to allow access to Third street, but it’s unclear when the rest of the massive barrier will be taken down.

There have been reports that Capitol Police expect the fencing to remain standing into September, but Bowser said she thought that was too long of a timeline. She and other DC officials are in conversation with a committee tasked to improve security around the Capitol, trying to figure out the best way forward.

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Jane Recker
Assistant Editor

Jane is a Chicago transplant who now calls Cleveland Park her home. Before joining Washingtonian, she wrote for Smithsonian Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied journalism and opera.