WASHINGTON — A police official who has run large departments in Maryland and Virginia has been selected as chief of the U.S. Capitol Police after the Jan. 6 riot, in which pro-Trump rioters stormed the building in a violent rage, disrupting the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential win.
J. Thomas Manger, who most recently served for 15 years as chief in Montgomery County, Maryland, was being named to the position following an extensive search, according to two people briefed on the matter. The people were not authorized to discuss the selection process publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Before that, Manger led the Fairfax, Virginia, police department. Those jobs, as well as a leadership position in the Major Cities Chiefs Association, have made him a familiar face in Washington law enforcement circles and on Capitol Hill.
The decision comes as the Capitol police and other law enforcement agencies are struggling to determine the best way to secure the Capitol and what direction to take the 2,300-person force that guards the building and the lawmakers inside it and functions as mashup of a national security agency and local police department.
The department has asked for more funding for more officers and better riot gear. In the meantime, the massive fence that encircled the grounds was taken down in the past few weeks.