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BUILDINGS PATROLLED BY THE U.S. CAPITOL POLICE
Cannon House Office Building
13. 14. 15.
CAPITOL POLICE BOARD APPROVAL OF OVERTIME Mr. BENJAMIN. Did the Capitol Police Board have a meeting at which time you presented certain information to them about this?
Chief POWELL. Yes, sir. Mr. BENJAMIN. Are there minutes from that meeting? Chief POWELL. Yes, sir. Mr. BENJAMIN. Would you provide a copy for the record of the minutes of that meeting in which you decided to go to a 12-hour shift and at which you decided to feed the men on the job?
Chief POWELL. Yes, sir. Mr. HARDING. Mr. Chairman, I don't want to mislead you a little bit as to whether or not the board gave a definite number of hours we were to work. The board did instruct the Chief, and remember the Chief by law reports to the Capitol Police Board. The Capitol Police Board is made up of the two Sergeants at Arms and the Architect of the Capitol. By law they are required to give overall directions for the security of the Capitol through the Chief. We instructed the Chief, and this is in the minutes, to take any steps necessary under these emergency conditions, especially pertaining to the farmers, steps that were necessary in his opinion, and we weren't going to get down there and say whether it was to be 11 hours, 12 hours, or anything like that, but we are having another meeting of the Police Board tomorrow morning at 9:30, and this is all going to be reviewed again as to what the situation is, in light of these instructions.
direstucted theder these that were and say ut we are 9:30, and in light
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AGRICULTURAL PROTEST_SECURITY Mr. BENJAMIN. I guess the question would be if you had 2,000 farmers at their height and you really felt they were antagonistic, and I must tell you that I didn't see that, but nevertheless assuming that is correct, as the number tapered down to 400 we had no adjustment in this whatsoever. I just wonder why the board didn't meet before. If it really felt it was a critical situation, I would think the board would meet more frequently than back prior to the 5th.
Mr. HARDING. We would rather adequately protect the Capitol if necessary-
Chief POWELL. If I may add, numbers are not the important factor. We are more concerned as of this minute than we have ever been regarding the group.
Mr. BENJAMIN. You are thinking that these 400 are more hostile than the original 2,000.
Chief POWELL. Yes, sir, not necessarily as a group. Mr. RUDD. Will the chairman yield? Mr. BENJAMIN. I am going to yield to other members of the subcommittee who know more about farmers than I do. Mr. Rudd. [Discussion off the record.) Mr. BENJAMIN. Mr. Smith.
LIMITS OF JURISDICTION Mr. SMITH. You don't have anything to do with the Mall, do you? You are limited to the Capitol?
Chief POWELL. No, sir, we are limited to the Capitol. We do project to Third Street on one corner, the part between First and Third and Constitution and Pennsylvania Avenue.
Mr. SMITH. This opinion that the situation is more difficult right now than it was a couple of weeks ago, is that related to the mishandling by the Metropolitan Police of the situation a couple of days ago?
Chief POWELL. No, sir. Actually, I have to say I was born and raised on a farm. I have been closely associated with these people. They have some fine people there. Unfortunately, infiltrated amongst their group are a few who come along to raise hell, and they are going to do it.
Mr. Smith. That is my precise point. My understanding is that 2 or 3 days ago the Metropolitan Police, and I think it was down towards the White House where it happened, just simply mishandled it. Instead of getting the 98 percent to help corral the 2 percent they got everybody mad at them, and now the frustrations are so bottled up that there is just what you say, more danger right now than there was when 2,000 were here. The top is liable to blow off of this thing. They are so mad about what happened 2 or 3 days ago.
Chief POWELL. Yes, sir, and, of course, a misunderstanding, just like in the case I described. I don't think the fellow that almost ran me down intended to do it. I don't think he even saw me, but what he did do, he crashed through the police barricade, he was so mad at somebody up here, maybe at you gentlemen, but at somebody. They don't know who they are mad at, but they are mad, and they have come here, and they tell us they came here if necessary prepared to die, and of course we don't want to get involved in people getting hurt. That is the reason that we are making every effort to prevent these things from getting out of control.
Mr. SMITH. I have talked to a number of them, and 98 percent of them are just as mad at the 2 percent as anybody else.
Chief POWELL. Oh, yes, sir. Mr. SMITH. They don't like it. Chief POWELL. I agree. Mr. SMITH. But it isn't very difficult if you try to mishandle the situation, like the Metropolitan Police did 2 or 3 days ago, to get the 98 percent mad at you too.
Chief POWELL. That is the reason we have taken the position during this period that the best way to keep them from doing damage or burning tractors on the steps, et cetera, is to not let them in the square, and in order to do it, we have had to man all these barricades.
Mr. SMITH. The fact is that you have a number of groups every month around here that is the same way. Every group that comes to town has this 2 percent.
Chief POWELL. Yes, sir, the Iranians last year came here to do battle, and we have it seems progressively more potential violence and threats of violence, and of course I don't think I am overreacting, but this is the Capital of United States. We take the position that we can't merely apprehend the perpetrator of acts of violence. It is our responsibility to prevent it, and when you do prevent it, it takes a little more personnel this day and time than it did 25 or 30 years ago.
Mr. SMITH. That is all. Mr. BENJAMIN. You indicated in your response to Mr. Smith's question that this is no different than any other group that comes up here on almost a monthly basis. We don't put people on 12-hour alerts.
Chief POWELL. We have, yes, sir, from time to time. However, we haven't had one last quite this long. Well, we have at times. Unfortunately this group does have tractors, and some of the other groups that have come in large numbers without such equipment are actually easier to deal with physically. NO AGRICULTURAL PROTEST SECURITY COSTS IN FISCAL YEAR 1980
Where do we expect to see this $1,650,000 plus $14,000 in your budget request?
Chief POWELL. This is an unplanned, unexpected situation that we have run into. Mr. BENJAMIN. So it exceeds the $1 million you are asking for.
Chief POWELL. Yes, sir. In fact that was prior to this. I don't think it had any consideration of the farm group, if I am correct. Mr. BENJAMIN. Who are you asking. Mr. Lawler? Chief POWELL. Yes, sir.