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In order to more appropriately compensate these individual officers in line with their responsibilities, I submitted a letter of recommendation to the Chairman of the Capitol Police Board, dated January 29, 1979. With your approval, Mr. Chairman, I would like to submit a copy of this letter for the consideration of the Committee in the Supplemental Appropriation for fiscal 1979.
Mr. Chairman, I thank you and will attempt to answer any questions.
Chief POWELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
First, I wholeheartedly say that I appreciate the opportunity to appear before your committee. I appreciate, as Mr. Harding has indicated, the wonderful support that the Capitol Police have gotten from this committee and the Congress and hope we can continue to serve in a satisfactory manner.
Without reading this in depth, if you would care for me to do so, I would be glad to summarize.
In summary, as this indicates, our total budget operation is an increase of 7.33 percent over 1979. Some items have increased a little more than that. Others have decreased slightly. With some, there has been no change. We have made every effort to present a conservative budget, and I think we have, considering the times and the items referred to.
POLICE RESPONSIBILITIES Mr. Chairman, if I might just summarize very briefly, the responsibilities of the Capitol Police, I think, are much greater. They certainly have gotten much more involved than when I first came to the Capitol 20 years ago. As you are well aware, worldwide conditions have seemed to promote tensions and potentially violent groups. Several years ago we would have not been required to take such precautions as are required today. On that basis a great deal of our overtime is caused by dealing with these certain situations that we didn't deal with many years ago.
With that, I will attempt to answer any questions that the members have.
POLICE OVERTIME Mr. BENJAMIN. Let me ask a couple questions and then we will open it up to other questions.
The overtime pay for the Capitol Police has been increased from $695,000 in fiscal year 1979 to $1 million in fiscal year 1980. When you testified last year, you indicated that it required about $1 million for the House and Senate in calendar year 1977.
Now you have got that $1 million just for the House.
Chief POWELL. Yes, sir, I will attempt to. One of the reasons for the difference between the House and the Senate, you have more personnel on the House rolls, due to the larger complexity of the buildings and the various possibilities. It outnumbers the Senate
side slightly, and so on these various occasions when it is necessary to work the men overtime, you would have more House members of the force working overtime than you do in the Senate, so that accounts for the difference.
We do have what I call a planned overtime projection, which I think is not actually economically feasible. In order for us to man the posts that appear to be proper, and I might add that I don't believe any posts are covered on the Hill that aren't at the specific designation of the Capitol Police Board which has had an opportunity to review these and in some cases we respond to various committees or members' offices as seems necessary to do various things, that is going to cause us to have some planned overtime.
However, I think that should be replaced, as much as I hate to say it, with some additional personnel. However, as we are doing at this time, all days off are canceled and members of the force are working 12 hours a day. Mr. BENJAMIN. At this present time? Chief POWELL. At this present time. Mr. BENJAMIN. May I ask why?
Chief POWELL. Yes, sir. I was born and raised on a farm and I don't mean this as any reflection on the farm movement, but that is what it is all about.
COSTS DUE TO AGRICULTURAL PROTEST Mr. BENJAMIN. How much additional cost are we going to be having because of the farmers here? How many farmers are left?
Chief POWELL. There are about 476 tractors as of yesterday. However, we had a meeting yesterday with the chiefs of police involved and the city government involved and the Interior Department. Their permit for occupying that area will expire tomorrow. It will not be renewed, and some steps will have to be taken.
Mr. BENJAMIN. At the height of this gathering, how many people did they have, how many farmers?
Chief POWELL. They had a little over 2,000 initially. Mr. BENJAMIN. And how long have you had your police officers on 12-hour duty?
Chief POWELL. We have been on 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. We started February 5. Mr. BENJAMIN. That is nearly a month.
Chief POWELL. Yes, sir. We are running close to $75,000 a day average. Some days it is less, some, more.
Mr. BENJAMIN. In other words, since February 5 it has cost an additional $75,000 a day.
Chief POWELL. Yes, sir.
Chief POWELL. No, sir, that is salaries. We did expend other funds for about 5 or 6 days, due to the fact that we were unable to allow the men to leave their posts to eat. We bought box lunches and delivered them on posts. Since then we have arranged to take orders and use vehicles to pick up whatever lunches. But the men have been going through as difficult period, as you are well aware I am sure with all this snow and cold, we have had a tremendous
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responsibility. We have been actually acting in a semi-military or perhaps a military manner in the handling of this whole situation.
Mr. BENJAMIN. As I figure out, for at least 22 days you have spent an extra $75,000 a day, which comes out to about $1,650,000, because there are a certain number of farmers in the area.
Chief POWELL. Yes, sir. Mr. BENJAMIN. The height of which was 2,000 and they are down to some 400 now; is that correct?
Chief POWELL. Yes, sir.
Mr. BENJAMIN. Then you also have an additional cost for the food to be brought on to the post?
Chief POWELL. I think the total expenditure on that was $14,000 for food.
Mr. BENJAMIN. Generally, you have your police officers on duty during their lunch hours?
Chief POWELL. Yes, sir. Mr. BENJAMIN. Why was it so special during this particular period?
Chief POWELL. Mr. Chairman, I think perhaps the committee is not aware of the intensity of the situation with which the police officers were confronted.
Mr. BENJAMIN. Were there some incidents?
Chief POWELL. Several. We didn't keep track of how many. There were many instances scattered all over. In fact, I served as a detective sergeant on the robbery squad downtown for a few years and was in a few gun battles, but I came closer to being killed the other day by a tractor than I have ever been in my life.
Mr. BENJAMIN. Are these people armed?
Chief POWELL. When we say “armed,” they are carrying clubs, pick handles, axe handles, etc. Mr. BENJAMIN. Not guns? Chief POWELL. To my knowledge. I know of no guns, no, sir. Mr. BENJAMIN. I was going to suggest, if you knew of any fire arms, the Metropolitan Police ought to be doing their job out there. I assume it is against the law.
Chief POWELL. Yes, sir. Mr. BENJAMIN. In the event that there was any movement by the farmers that would be antagonistic to the well-being of the Congress or to the property of the government, aren't we allowed to call on the Metropolitan Police for assistance?
Chief POWELL. Mr. Chairman, we are allowed, but at this particular time they were in such need they almost needed assistance from us. They were using their manpower to the fullest extent, and we had to do our part.
Mr. BENJAMIN. Whose decision was it to go into an overtime status for these past 22 days, and when do you plan to terminate that?
Chief POWELL. It was a decision of the Capitol Police Board, having been apprised of the situation. As you are probably aware, there used to be a fence around the capitol. It is not there any
more. Of course some of these members want attention. They want publicity, and somehow they got the mistaken impression last year that the only press coverage that they were given was when they reacted in some adverse manner to attract attention, such as releasing the goats, et cetera. We had certain intelligence that indicated that they intended to burn tractors on the steps of the Capitol. They have since borne that out in that they have burned several down there where they are..
Mr. BENJAMIN. Let's say that you had some reason to believe that they would be antagonistic. Does that fully necessitate 12-hour shifts, no days off, and expenditures of $1,650,000 plus $14,000 for food?
Chief POWELL. Yes, sir.
Mr. BENJAMIN. What additional manpower does that give you when you keep them on 12 hours?
Chief POWELL. We are working an average of about 4,000 hours per day.
Mr. BENJAMIN. How many do you have on duty at any given time?
Chief POWELL. A grand total, as a ball park figure, of about 500 men. That is for the 24-hour day. We are talking about 500 additional.
Mr. BENJAMIN. At this given time as we are sitting here, how many people do you have on duty physically?
Chief POWELL. We have 60 percent working 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and the other 40 percent working-
Mr. BENJAMIN. In numbers of people what does that mean? Chief POWELL. We are talking of about 600-some odd. Mr. BENJAMIN. On duty right now? Chief POWELL. Yes. Mr. BENJAMIN. By going to 12 hours, is that included in the 12hour figure?
Chief POWELL. Yes, sir.
Mr. BENJAMIN. What if it weren't the 12-hour figure that we are going to pay $1.6 million for, how many would you have on duty?
Chief POWELL. About 400 and some odd on the day shift.
Chief POWELL. Yes, sir, in order to cover these various possibili-
AUTHORIZED STRENGTH OF CAPITOL POLICE Mr. BENJAMIN. I would not only appreciate your supplying that, but I would appreciate supplying us a table of your authorized strength, and where they are assigned to.
Chief POWELL. Yes, sir. Mr. BENJAMIN. As I understand it, we have five major buildings, do we not, that you guard?
Chief POWELL. A total of 20 buildings.
Mr. BENJAMIN. You have three office buildings, the Capitol Building, the two Senate Office Buildings.
Chief POWELL. The FBI Building, the power plant, the Botanical Gardens, a total of 20 buildings.
Mr. BENJAMIN. Would you give us that too.
Chief POWELL. No, sir, it does not. We also do have the outside security related to the Madison Building, which is not really a Capitol building.
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