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Policing on a Capitol Level

Blake Berry '23

Politics Editor


Have you ever been interested in a career in policing, but thought the day-to-day life of a police officer was too mundane? Well, Randolph-Macon’s Criminology program brought in an individual to speak on this very topic, with the prospect of Capitol Police.


Have you ever heard of the Capitol Police? To be entirely honest, I hadn’t up until this event, for a very specific reason. If you haven’t heard of the Capitol Police before now, it’s probably because they tend to work in the shadows of Washington.


The Capitol Police are similar to the Secret Service in regards to their occupation, but in reality they oversee very different operations. The Secret Service command the defense of the White House and other Executive individuals, whereas the Capitol Police have jurisdiction over the entirety of the Capitol.


In this event, we were introduced to Officer Torres, a first responder in the Capitol Police system for the past five years. He’s currently in charge of the radar system for D.C. and has the authority to control who flies and who doesn’t.


After sharing more about his life, he also told us about one of his most exciting experiences as a Capitol Police officer. During an Inauguration, which Torres described as the Capitol Police’s Superbowl, he was approached by former President Barack Obama.


Capitol Police, like other defense bodies, aren’t allowed to get in contact with Presidents, but Torres couldn’t resist shaking the President’s extended hand.


Torres provided us with a variety of information about the program and how vital it is to our political system. The Capitol Police’s main mission statement is to protect the members of Congress, no matter the cost.


The Capitol Police have a variety of defense opportunities that other divisions of the police force in America don’t have access to, such as bomb squads and K9 Units. Some of the daily events Capitol Police can look forward to include patrolling the Capital from the rooftop or the grounds, and assisting Congress-members.


Torres described the recruitment process in great detail, and it sure had quite a bit of depth to it. According to Torres, the one thing that mattered most in the recruitment process is honesty. If you aren’t honest with the Capitol Police, you have no place to work with or under them.

This, of course, isn’t the only requirement to get into such a highly prestigious police force. To start, visit www.usajobs.com, where you’ll be able to fill out an application and begin the long process to enter into the Capitol Police force.


To apply, you’ll need to meet a few requirements. You must be a United States Citizen, at least twenty-one years old, and must have a good driving record. Male applicants must be registered for the selective service, and you must have a high school diploma. You also need either sixty college credit hours, two years of active duty in any form of the United States military, or five years of prior law enforcement service.


After being accepted, you still have a long way to go. You’ll either be sent off to Georgia or New Mexico to begin your training, and after completing that, you’ll be moved to Maryland for thirteen more weeks of training. During this time, you’ll be working in a replica Capitol built specifically to prepare Capitol Police units for their future jobs.


Torres described the physical training as very demanding, even though he was at the top of his group when he went through the program. He gave us an example work out, which consisted of five sets of ten pushups, ten squats, and ten three-count crunches, just a glimpse into the type of physical fitness these officers have to maintain.


After training, you’ll also have to participate in Orientation, which consists of a few tests. For example, a physical readiness test which includes a 1.5 mile run and weightlifting, along with a written exam of math, grammar, and reading at a high school level. You’ll also have to complete lengthy polygraph and psychological exams.


Through all this demanding work, you’ll be rewarded very heavily. The starting salary for Privates is $61,991, which jumps up to around $64,000 immediately after training and then to $71,000 at Private First Class. They also have a 25 year retirement program, and will pay upwards of $40,000 of your student debt.


For more information, contact the recruitment office at recruiting@uscp.gov, or 1-866-561-USCP. To reach Officer Torres, email him at Guillermo.torres@uscp.gov.

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