Former Maryland county police chief likely to become Capitol Police's next leader

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The search for a new chief to lead the Capitol Police during a year of unprecedented crisis is nearing an end, with Thomas Manger as the leading finalist.

Manger, the former police chief of Montgomery County, Md., has not been officially offered the job but is a top contender, according to a senior congressional aide close to the selection process. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who chairs the subcommittee in charge of the Capitol Police's funding, said Monday that Manger would be the ultimate choice.

The current acting Capitol Police chief, Yogananda Pittman, had submitted her name for consideration but is unlikely to get the permanent job as the department prepares to shift its posture from a traditional police force to more of a protective agency for members of Congress.

The Associated Press reported earlier Monday that Manger had been chosen as the new chief.

Rank-and-file officers have registered unhappiness with leadership since the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, which injured dozens of officers and led to the deaths of two, despite the department’s attempts to boost morale. Chad Thomas, the No. 2 Capitol Police official overseeing most of its uniformed officers, resigned at the beginning of June after surviving an earlier no-confidence vote by the Capitol Police union, along with Pittman.

And the release of a report by two Senate committees, which shed light on intelligence failures leading up to the insurrection, fueled officers’ calls for Pittman and Capitol Police leaders to go because of Pittman’s role as the head of the force's intelligence division during the riot.

The department also faces a potential cash crunch heading into next month, and without congressional action it may be unable to pay officers’ salaries as soon as next month due to increased overtime costs. It remains to be seen, however, whether the department might be able to transfer money within its accounts to cover its expenses and forestall furloughs.

The National Guard might also be forced to cut training due to increased costs incurred after the insurrection by supporters of former President Donald Trump.

Congressional negotiators remain far apart on their proposed legislative fixes. Republicans have floated a roughly $633 million bill only addressing the National Guard and Capitol Police shortfalls, whereas Democrats want a far larger package addressing other security needs around the Capitol and providing visas for Afghan nationals who assisted the U.S. war effort.

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