WASHINGTON - Today, the Committee on House Administration held a Hearing titled, "Safety on Capitol Hill: DC Crime's Impact on Congressional Operations and Visitors."

Witnesses included: 

  • USCP Chief J. Thomas Manger
  • MPD Union Chairman Greggory Pemberton
  • Rafael Mangual, Manhattan Institute Scholar

In case you missed it, here are the top takeaways:

1. DC Crime Laws have had a Negative Impact on Policing

Chairman Bryan Steil (WI-01): "Countless congressional staffers have been robbed within a mile of the Capitol. Last year, a staffer for Senator Rand Paul, he was stabbed repeatedly puncturing his lungs and skull. A Member of Congress was assulted in an elevator and a Representative was carjacked just down the road. All these crimes happened within a mile of here.

"Largely in Ward 6, represented by Councilmember Charles Allen. We invited Allen to speak today, but he rejected that invitation. Mr. Pemberton, you mentioned some of the bills the DC Council passed in the last two years that have had a negative impact on policing. 

"I want to focus on the Youth Rehabilitation Act that passed in 2018 that reduced sentences for first time offenders. Is it true that the bill raised the age of what is considered a youth to 24 years of age?"

Mr. Gregg Pemberton: "That's correct."

Chairman Bryan Steil: "So if a 24 year old was to commit a carjacking with a gun in our nation's capital, they would be eligible for a reduced sentence under that law?"

Mr. Gregg Pemberton: "That's correct."

Chairman Bryan Steil: "Have you encountered people who have used this program more than once, contrary to how the program was sold?"

Mr. Gregg Pemberton: "Absolutely."

Chairman Bryan Steil: "So you know individuals who are well over the age of 18 up to the age of 24, who could commit a carjacking with a gun, they are eligible for a reduced sentence and that can happen multiple times?"

Mr. Gregg Pemberton: "Absolutely."

Chairman Bryan Steil: "And what would be the impact of an individual who does this? What's your analysis of that law?"

Mr. Gregg Pemberton: "There is no consequence for the actions of their behavior, and they understand that, so when they get back out on the street, they're free to re-commit these crimes as often as they like."

Chairman Bryan Steil: "What does that do to the morale of police officers serving in the Metropolitan Police Department?" 

Mr. Gregg Pemberton: "It's horrible because you're arresting people for violent crimes. And then they're back out on the street the next day, and they're never held accountable for their actions. And it really has taken impact on morale." 

2. The Rise of Violent Crime is Due to Democrats

Rep. Anthony D'Esposito (NY-04): "Mr. Mangual, I know that you mentioned in your opening statement about the dwindling number of police officers. Why do you think we dwindling number of police officers?"

Mr. Rafael Mangual: "I think a lot of it has to do with the rhetoric and the environment that's been created by policy, and I have some personal experience with this."

Rep. Anthony D'Esposito: "Exactly right, it's the rhetoric and it's the policy that's been created. t's the rhetoric that is being spewed by Democrats here on Capitol Hill by anti-cop people throughout this country, and it's the policies, not only policy, because now we're talking about laws, actually things that are on the books. People took pens, put them to paper and passed legislation to make this country less safe to make the jobs of law enforcement harder and to give criminals free rein to do whatever it is they want without any repercussions.

"It's why, right here on Capitol Hill, you can't go to CVS and get batteries because they're locked up. Why? Because people go into stores, take whatever they want, and walk right out. That is the country, this is the city, that Democrats have created and I blame it."

3. Americans Shouldn't have to Fear DC Crime when Visting our Nation's Capital

Rep. Stephanie Bice (OK-05): "How is the USCP trying to suppress or deter crime in the Capitol Hill area?"

USCP Chief J. Thomas Manger: "So we have the advantage of having a much smaller jurisdiction than other police departments. But, as I've said, we certainly understand that we can be of service and we can be of help to the neighborhoods in and around Capitol Hill. We respond to calls that we hear come out in this area, and I think it's important that we work in partnership with MPD to help them. I talk all the time about us being a protection agency, which we are, but we cannot ever walk away from our police responsibilities were still cops and we still fight crime.

"And on this campus, If you took the crime rate of things that happen on this campus it's very low. There's not a lot of crime on this campus, not non-existent, but there's not a lot. So to the extent that we can branch, push that out to surrounding neighborhoods, certainly push it out where we have congressional events. We're going to continue to do that. So it's just been understanding that we need to continue to take our police responsibilities very seriously." 

4. DC Council is Allowing Criminals to Run the City

Rep. Greg Murphy (NC-03): "This is infuriating. It's absolutely infuriating. We're allowing a city council to let havoc be reaped in this town because they don't like law enforcement. It's time for the adults to come back in the room and make this country and this city safe."