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US Capitol fence officially comes down

“We are extremely grateful for the support we continue to receive in support of our critical mission,” said Acting US Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman.

WASHINGTON — The United States Capitol Police has finished taking down the fence around the Capitol. According to the police, the outer perimeter fence, which surrounded the Capitol Complex, was removed in March. 

“We are extremely grateful for the support we continue to receive in support of our critical mission,” said Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman. “We are prepared to quickly enhance our security posture should the need arise.”

The police also added in their written statement that the changes were made based on the current threat environment and recent enhancements to the USCP’s response capabilities.

“The final fencing around the Capitol is being taken down today, representing an enormous victory for D.C. residents, who staunchly opposed being fenced off from the Capitol, and the American people," said Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-D.C.) when the deconstruction first began days ago. "By the year 2021, we should not be relying on security theater based on 19th-century ideas when state-of-the-art options and cooperation among security forces could have prevented the events of January 6th. We are working on passing my bill to permit retractable fencing but prevent permanent fencing from being used, which would wall off the legislature from the people we represent."

The decision rested with the U.S. Capitol Police Board, a body consisting of the Sergeant at Arms of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper of the U.S. Senate and the Architect of the Capitol.

Members of Congress were notified Wednesday the body agreed to remove the fence, citing a lower current threat environment, and enhanced capabilities of law enforcement implemented since January.

An email to Congressional staff said the Capitol Police will use bike racks to restrict access to the building’s West Terrace, where the inauguration platform stood. The area around the Capitol's west front served as the backdrop for harrowing clashes between Trump-supporting rioters and police.

The email also stressed the Architect of the Capitol has the ability to reinstall temporary fencing, should the security situation deteriorate.

RELATED: Capitol fencing starts to come down, 2-3 days needed for deconstruction


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