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Campus Notebook: Learning Under Pressure

House Sergeant-at-Arms Bill Livingood reflected Wednesday on the uptick of threats to Members in the aftermath of the health care reform debate, telling Members that the Capitol Police learned a few lessons from the experience.

“There were lessons learned — three or four lessons learned — during that period,” he said in testimony to the House Administration Committee. Among them, he added, were that police needed “to be more flexible and mobile” and that his office should improve outreach to the House community.

The number of reported threats to Members has increased in the past few months, thanks to an outpouring of public opinion on Congress’ passage of the health care reform act. Protests and demonstrations also increased, forcing the Capitol Police department to place extra officers on the Capitol campus and to bring in additional magnetometers to deal with long lines into Congressional office buildings.

On Wednesday, Livingood said his office was continuing to monitor threats “on a daily basis” while also consulting with the Capitol Police on any action.

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