Government Operations:

Review of Potential Merger of the Library of Congress Police and/or the Government Printing Office Police with the U.S. Capitol Police

GAO-02-792R: Published: Jul 5, 2002. Publicly Released: Jul 5, 2002.

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Richard M. Stana
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contact@gao.gov

 

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There are over 30 police forces currently operating in the District of Columbia, many of which have authority or jurisdiction within the Capitol Hill area. Three of these, the Library of Congress (LOC) Police, the Government Printing Office (GPO) Police, and the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP), are part of the legislative branch. Merging the LOC Police and/or the GPO Police with the USCP is feasible for several reasons. First, although each force has unique responsibilities, their overall missions are similar enough that a merged force could assume both the unique and common responsibilities. Another reason is their common geographic area with overlapping jurisdictions. USCP officials also believe it is possible to merge the other forces into its existing force, and the labor committees of the departments support a merger. Nevertheless, if LOC and/or GPO police were to be merged with the USCP, issues to be addressed include gaining LOC and/or GPO management support, resolving differences in retirement systems, and integrating training and security systems. A merger between the LOC and/or GPO police forces and the USCP would incur significant costs if the intent of a merger is to provide consistently applied security policies and practices and seamless security on Capitol Hill within the merger implementation period. Congress would need to address several issues if the forces were merged, including how to modify statutory provisions relating to authority of the forces, whether to alter the composition of the Capitol Police Board, how to apply USCP retirement provisions to LOC and/or GPO officers, and how best to fund and implement a merger.

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