Capitol Police union leaders said that more than 75 officers have left the force in the months following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, citing low morale and longer working hours.
Union officials told CNN that Capitol Police officers have been leaving at a rate of about three per week, with one officer telling the outlet, “The young guys don’t want to be here and the old guys who are eligible are just rolling out.”
“We’re losing guys left and right,” the officer said.
Rep. John Katko (N.Y.), the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, told CNN that the Capitol Police “need a radical restructure.”
“They need to decouple it from any political structure whatsoever,” he said, adding that while “they’ve definitely made strides in the right direction,” the department is “nowhere near where they should be.”
Several officers who responded to the rioting on Jan. 6 suffered injuries, including Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who suffered two strokes and died of natural causes the day after supporters of former President Trump stormed the Capitol building in protest of President Biden’s election win.
Capitol Police officer Howard Liebengood and D.C. police officer Jeffrey Smith, who both responded to the mob attack, died by suicide in the weeks after Jan. 6.
The reported morale issues among the force come as the department still does not have a permanent leader following former Chief Steven Sund’s resignation in the immediate aftermath of the mob attack.
Last month, the Capitol Police union issued a statement calling on acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman and other force leaders to resign in the wake of a Senate report that outlined security failures leading up to and during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
“If our leaders had done their jobs, we would not have suffered more than 80 serious injuries within the USCP [Capitol Police] and an additional 70 injuries suffered by MPD [Metropolitan Police Department] officers,” union chief Gus Papathanasiou said at the time.
The union head told CNN Wednesday that he hoped a new chief would “change things around,” but added that the force has still not implemented enough reforms to date.
“I think it’s just the same as it was on Jan. 5, if not worse,” he said, according to CNN.
The Hill has reached out to the Capitol Police for comment on the reported wave of Capitol Police departures.
When reached for comment by CNN, the agency pointed to a Tuesday statement in which it outlined recent changes, including increased trauma support services, plans to open field offices to investigate threats to members of Congress and increased Civil Disturbance Unit training for officers.