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Two veteran Capitol Police officers promoted to assistant chief roles

Jason Bell and Sean Gallagher have been serving in the leadership roles in an acting capacity

Capitol Police assistant chiefs Jason Bell, left, and Sean Gallagher.
Capitol Police assistant chiefs Jason Bell, left, and Sean Gallagher. (Bill Clark, Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photos)

Two top Capitol Police officials, Jason Bell and Sean Gallagher, have shed their acting titles and are now assistant chiefs of police.

Gallagher is the assistant chief for uniformed operations, a role that oversees all the officers posted at security checkpoints, the command center at headquarters and specialized teams, including the SWAT and canine teams. He had been in that job in an acting capacity since June 2021.

Bell is the assistant chief for protective and intelligence operations, a position that supervises department areas such as leadership security details, investigations and threat assessments. He had been in that job in an acting capacity since October 2022.

“As Acting Assistant Chiefs, Sean Gallagher and Jason Bell have proven their ability to help lead and work with everyone to make necessary improvements across our Department,” Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said in a statement to CQ Roll Call.

Manger is in the hiring process for a third assistant chief, which is planned to have a focus on the training efforts of the department.

Gallagher and Bell have both been with the department more than 20 years: Gallagher since 2001 and Bell since 2002.

Gallagher, in a written statement, said he has “never been prouder of the men and women who put their uniform and badge on every day and continue to work without fail to ensure the safety of the Congressional community.”

“It is an honor to be promoted to Assistant Chief, and with this promotion, my leadership and commitment will remain steadfast in putting our officers first, as well as continuing to make improvements across the Department to help our officers meet our critical mission,” Gallagher said.

Gallagher was promoted in 2008 from sergeant to lieutenant and was assigned to be the assistant commander of the Investigations Division. In 2010, he became assistant commander of the Dignitary Protection Division and the Capitol Division.

Gallagher was the commander of the Papal Task Force in 2015 and the 2017 presidential inauguration and has led presidential convention and congressional delegation trips. He rose to the rank of inspector in 2018 and worked as commander of the Dignitary Protection Division. When he was promoted to deputy chief in 2019, he led the Protective Services Bureau.

After the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the Capitol, Gallagher was among those tasked with moving the department through one of its lowest times as officers were livid with leadership’s lack of direction leading up to and on the day of the riot.

Gallagher was among the top officials who received a vote of no confidence from the union in the wake of the attack. Gus Papathanasiou, the head of the Capitol Police union, did not respond to a request for comment on the promotion.

Bell was promoted to sergeant in 2008 and subsequently assigned to the Threat Assessment Section, where he worked as a liaison to the FBI Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate. He rose to the ranks of lieutenant and then captain and served as assistant commander of the Investigations Division.

As an inspector, Bell was assigned to the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer and commander of the Investigations Division. He became deputy chief in March 2021 and was commander of the Operational Services Bureau through October 2022.

The department announced a flurry of other promotions, effective Oct. 22, in the ranks of deputy chief, inspector, captain and lieutenant, according to a list obtained by CQ Roll Call. John Erickson, Thomas Loyd, Jeanita Mitchell and Monique Moore are now deputy chiefs. After the Jan. 6 riot, Loyd’s name was floated by the union as the group’s choice to become chief.

Jessica Baboulis, Andrew Bolinger, Carneysha Mendoza, Darrell Staton, Matthew Tighe and Brian Verderese made the rank of inspector.

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