United States Capitol Police

The United States Capitol Police (USCP) is a federal law enforcement agency in the United States charged with protecting the United States Congress within the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its territories. It answers to Congress, not the President of the United States, and is the only full-service federal law enforcement agency responsible to the legislative branch of the Federal Government of the United States.

United States Capitol Police
Patch of the United States Capitol Police
Badge of the United States Capitol Police
Flag of the United States Capitol Police
Common nameU.S. Capitol Police
Motto"A Tradition of Service and Protection"
Agency overview
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agency
(Operations jurisdiction)
United States
Operations jurisdictionUnited States
Legal jurisdictionCongressional buildings, parks, and thoroughfares. Members of Congress, Officers of Congress, and their families throughout the United States, its territories and possessions.
Governing bodyCapitol Police Board
Constituting instrument
General nature
Headquarters119 D Street, NE
Washington, D.C. 20510
Agency executive
  • Steven A. Sund, Chief of Police


The United States Capitol Police 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 all buildings and grounds of the United States Capitol complex as well as the Library of Congress. It also has concurrent jurisdiction with other law enforcement agencies, including the United States Park Police and the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, in an area of approximately 200 blocks around the complex. Officers also have jurisdiction throughout the District of Columbia to take enforcement action when they observe or are made aware of crimes of violence while on official duties. 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. While performing protective functions, the Capitol Police have jurisdiction throughout the entire United States.[1]


The U.S. Capitol Police is one of many agencies that sends its recruits to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), located in Glynco, Georgia, for initial training. Rarely, recruits are sent to the FLETC location in Artesia, NM. Following 12 weeks at FLETC, recruits return to FLETC's location in Cheltenham, Maryland, for an additional 13 weeks of training. After the recruits' academy training, graduates are sworn in as law enforcement officers and assigned to one of four divisions to begin their careers. Once assigned, officers are assigned a Field Training Officer (FTO) for a definite period to provide additional on-the-job training. FTO's provide weekly updates on the subjects that have been learned and issue tests to the new officers. Officers are also subject to a one-year probationary period. Initial salary at the start of training is $55,653.00, with an increase to $57,604.00 after graduation. After 30 months of satisfactory performance and promotion to private first class (PFC), salary is increased to $64,590.00.[2]


The history of the United States Capitol Police dates back to 1801 when Congress moved from the city of Philadelphia to the newly constructed Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. At the time, Congress appointed one watchman to protect the building and Congressional property.

The police were formally created by Congress in 1828 following the assault on a son of John Quincy Adams in the Capitol rotunda. The United States Capitol Police had as its original duty the provision of security for the United States Capitol.[3]

Its mission has expanded to provide the Congressional community and its visitors with a variety of security 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.[4][5]

The Library of Congress Police were merged into the force in 2009.[6][7] The agency has at least 1,800 sworn personnel.

Deaths of officers on duty

One USCP officer, Sergeant Christopher Eney, was killed in a training accident on August 24, 1984.[8]

Two USCP officers have been killed by hostile action. A mentally disturbed gunman named Russell Eugene Weston, Jr.,[9] killed Officer Jacob Chestnut and Detective John Gibson in the United States Capitol shooting incident on July 24, 1998. Chestnut and Gibson were laid in honor in the Rotunda before burial in Arlington National Cemetery. Chestnut was the first African American ever to lie in honor in the Rotunda.

Rank structure and insignia

Title Insignia
Chief of Police
Assistant Chief of Police/ Chief of Operations
Deputy Chief
Private First Class
Private with Training

See also


  1. "2 U.S. Code § 1966 - Protection of Members of Congress, officers of Congress, and members of their families". law.cornell.edu.
  2. "Frequently Asked Questions". uscapitolpolice.gov. 25 July 2016.
  3. "United States Capitol Police". USAJOBS. Archived from the original on 2007-08-07. Retrieved 2007-08-19.
  4. "United States Capitol Police Containment & Emergency Response Team". Retrieved 2007-08-19.
  5. "Wear the Badge, Feel the Honor". United States Capitol Police. Retrieved 2007-08-19.
  6. Public Law 108-7 Sec. 1015 (117 Stat. 363) enacted by U.S. Congress on February 20, 2003; all sections under Title 2 (§ 167 and § 167h) of the U.S. Code that pertains to the Library of Congress Police was transferred to the U.S. Capitol Police.
  7. "Our History". uscp.org. United States Capitol Police. Retrieved August 9, 2018. [T]he historic merger with the Library of Congress Police in 2009
  8. Lewis Deschler; William Holmes Brown; Charles W. Johnson (III.) (20 June 2011). Deschler's Precedents of the United States House of Representatives: Including References to Provisions of the Constitution and Laws, and to Decisions of the Courts. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 281. ISBN 978-0-16-087787-2.
  9. https://murderpedia.org/male.W/w/weston-russell-eugene.htm
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