USCP Threat Assessment Cases for 2022
Last year the number of threat investigations by the United States Capitol Police (USCP) decreased, but the caseload remains historically high.
In 2022, the USCP Threat Assessment Section (TAS) investigated a total of 7,501 cases. That number includes investigations into concerning statements and direct threats.
“The threats against Members of Congress are still too high,” said U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger. “This has resulted in a necessary expansion of, not only our investigative capabilities, but our protection responsibilities as well. While that work is ongoing, everyone continuing to decrease violent political rhetoric across the country is the best way to keep everyone safe.”
Here are the TAS case numbers for the last five years:
- 9,625 in 2021
- 8,613 in 2020
- 6,955 in 2019
- 5,206 in 2018
- 3,939 in 2017
“Overall, during the last couple of decades the Threat Assessment Section’s caseload has increased because people on social media have a false sense of anonymity and feel more emboldened,” said Dr. Mario Scalora, the U.S. Capitol Police’s consulting psychologist. “This is not a problem we can only arrest our way out of.”
All Members of Congress receive threats and concerning statements. The number of threats against both parties are similar.
“Despite the fact that we have so many cases, our agents do a fantastic job prioritizing the most serious threats,” said Acting Assistant Chief of Intelligence and Protective Operations Jason Bell.
For safety reasons, the USCP does not discuss the specific security measures that are in place to protect the Members of Congress. However, the Department can provide an overview of recent improvements.
In 2021, the USCP opened field offices to swiftly deal with threats where the Department has the most threats against Members of both parties – Florida and California. These new field agents are not investigating cases related to the January 6, 2021, attack.
To better protect everyone in the Legislative Branch, the United States Capitol Police has hired its own attorneys and detailed them to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to work as prosecutors who specialize in the unique types of threat cases faced by Congress. 28 U.S. Code 543 allows the DOJ to appoint these Special Assistant U.S. Attorney’s (SAUSAs). The SAUSAs work is controlled and assigned by the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO). Other law enforcement agencies have also had SAUSAs. The SAUSAs will not prosecute cases related to the January 6, 2021, attack.