Skip to content

Some Capitol Police officers on forced leave after hitting pay cap

The department is awaiting board approval to waive annual limit for officers who worked substantial overtime

A member of the Capitol Police is seen in the Senate carriage entrance in September.
A member of the Capitol Police is seen in the Senate carriage entrance in September. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Capitol Police officers who have worked substantial overtime, resulting in them hitting an annual pay cap of $212,100, are being put on leave without pay — and the union that represents them is not happy about it.

Department leadership asked for, and received, approval for an approximately $10,000 increase to the pay limit regarding Protective Services Bureau officers, which includes the agents that travel with leadership and work high volumes of overtime.

But the Uniformed Services and Operational Services bureaus — which includes the officers standing post at the doors and more specialized units like SWAT — have not yet been included in that raise.

In previous years, such as when overtime was particularly acute following the Jan. 6, 2021 attack at the Capitol, the department asked for and received blanket waivers for all officers. This year, the department chose to approve the increase by bureau rather than an overall approach.

The Capitol Police Board approved the pay cap increase for the Protective Services Bureau on Oct. 4. Shortly after, on Oct. 7, the Israel-Hamas war broke out and resulted in several large protests regarding the conflict. That meant many officers from the Uniformed Services and Operational Services bureaus were drafted to work lots of overtime.

The department since then has submitted waiver requests for those bureaus, which are awaiting approval from the Capitol Police Board.

Chief J. Thomas Manger, in an internal message he sent to the department, said that some officers are again reaching the maximum allowable pay rate, an issue “caused by the fact that our staffing is still not what it needs to be.” The department, which is authorized to have 2,126 police officers, currently has 2,047.

Manger said he has been working with the Capitol Police Board to “address the issues surrounding our employees who are exceeding the maximum allowable pay rate” and that he is “confident” the issues will be resolved “in the next few days.”

Gus Papathanasiou, who heads the Capitol Police’s union, questioned why the department had made the request to increase caps for one bureau but not for the others.

“The Department has already received a waiver of the pay cap from the US Capitol Police Board for those officers assigned to protective details, threats, and intelligence this past September,” Papathanasiou said in a press release.

“Yet they did not make the same request for the uniformed officers at that time, who are on the front line in securing the Capitol complex,” he said. “This made absolutely no sense, as the waiver in previous years was for the entire Department, as we are suppose to be one team.”

The Capitol Police Board did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Recent Stories

Security fence to go up at Capitol for State of the Union

California has no shortage of key House races on Tuesday

Alabama, Arkansas races to watch on Super Tuesday

Over the Hill — Congressional Hits and Misses

House GOP reverses course on Jan. 6 footage, will no longer blur faces

Three questions North Carolina primaries may answer