Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Frank Larkin to Retire

Chamber figure plans to remain in the office until a successor is named

Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Frank J. Larkin plans to retire. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Frank J. Larkin plans to retire. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted February 26, 2018 at 5:39pm

Senate Sergeant-at-Arms  Frank J. Larkin plans to retire from his post once a successor is named.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who nominated Larkin for the post when the Kentucky Republican became majority leader, made the announcement Monday.

“I can’t thank Frank enough for his work as Sergeant-at-Arms, his efforts to keep the Senate community safe, and the professional approach he’s taken to this critical role. I wish him well in his future endeavors, and will ensure the Senate remains in good hands when a replacement is named,” McConnell said in a statement.

The sergeant-at-arms, who also serves as the chamber doorkeeper, oversees a wide array of Senate offices beyond security functions, including technology infrastructure and logistical support. The Senate SAA also serves alongside his House counterpart and the Architect of the Capitol on the Capitol Police Board.

There have been disagreements between Larkin’s office and members of the press about the correct balance between security and access, particularly in the aftermath of an incident last year when a protester who wasn’t a member of the media worked his way into a press area and threw Russian flags in the direction of McConnell and President Donald Trump.

Larkin had a long career in law enforcement before arriving in the Senate, including work as a Secret Service supervisor based out of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001.

“When the first tower collapsed, I was actually moving to the center square between the towers,” Larkin said in a 2015 Roll Call interview. “I was leading a group of folks with the intention of getting some folks that had been injured out of that center plaza area. At the same time, we were dodging, unfortunately, folks who were jumping to their deaths, you know, witnessing that, which is something you just never forget.”

Larkin is a familiar face to everyone on Capitol Hill, and most noticeable to those away from the Capitol complex to the side of dignitaries, including the president of the United States.