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Posts in "Capitol Police"
July 22, 2014
If Rep. John L. Mica had his way, a lot of people who currently inhabit some of the most cherry spots on the House side of the Capitol would be looking for new places to hang their hats come November.
“It’s something that we need to look at in the next Congress, … opening up more of these historic spaces,” the Florida Republican told HOH about his quest to carve out additional meeting rooms and reception areas for entertainment-minded lawmakers.
Per Mica, the current crop of reservation-required options is woefully limited to the Speaker’s Dining Room (H-122) and the Henry J. Hyde Room (H-139).
By comparison, Mica noted that senators have access to the cavernous Lyndon Baines Johnson (S-211) and Mike Mansfield (S-207) rooms. “We don’t have those equivalents. And we should,” he argued. Full story
June 25, 2014
Sid, Buddy, Skip, Kassy, Joe and Tim are not on the rosters for the 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game. But they have all helped shape this monument to Capitol camaraderie, a game that allows public servants to shed power suits and briefing books in favor of leather and lumber on Nationals Park’s elegant diamond.
Roll Call founder Sid Yudain thought it was a shame that Speaker Sam Rayburn, D-Texas, pulled the plug on the Capitol’s midsummer classic in 1958. In 1962, Sid partnered with Speaker John McCormack, D-Mass., to bring the game back, and now we find ourselves — more than half-a-century later —under the lights.
Sadly, this year’s game will be the first one since then without Sid, who died in October. But his infectious spirit and love of the Capitol community leaves a legacy we at Roll Call are proud to follow.
It’s that character that brought Coach Kenneth “Buddy” Burkhead to the game. Buddy, as everyone called him, was a one-time Capitol Police officer and veteran coach for the Democrats’ squad. He died in April, and the outpouring of stories and tributes to Coach Buddy, from the Capitol to St. Albans, where he also coached, were a testament to his dedication to the game. One of his fellow coaches, Joe Foley, recalled that it was nice having a no-nonsense cop (Buddy was on Speaker Carl Albert’s protection detail at one point) at early morning practices at Randall Field, which hasn’t always been the nicest neighborhood.
Speaking of Joe, he’s in his 40th year now of being affiliated with the game (“I started when I was six,” he joked), and he’s experienced it in every venue from Langeley High School to Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium, Four Mile Run Park, Prince George’s Stadium, RFK Stadium and now Nats Park. Although he’s been asked when he is going to hang it up, given multiple injuries and early morning, rainy practices, his reply is simple: “It’s baseball. How could I say no?”
Tim Johnson, a 20-year coaching veteran, introduced me to Joe, who relayed more stories about Buddy and other coaches, like Gary Caruso, who’s been guiding squads for 30 years, than this program has room for.
Some of those stories overlap with memories, photos and clips that people such as Skip Maraney and Kassy Benson have shared with us.
Skip, who long ago spearheaded Roll Call’s sports coverage with his Skip-a-Long and Capitol Sports features, shared a massive, not-available-online portfolio, underscoring how rich the history of the game is, as you’ll see in our “vintage” section on Page 30.
Kassy, a baseball game cheerleader and one-time Roll Call pin-up girl (not a misprint!) told us a story that shows just how much the game was, and is, a part of the Hill’s culture. “After work, we decided to practice our cheerleading in the hallway in front of the Doorkeeper’s Office. We were very loud. It never occurred to us that we would disturb anyone since it was after hours, but what we didn’t take into consideration was that the Senate was still in session. They sent someone down to quell our enthusiasm :),” she shared.
It’s an enthusiasm that hasn’t let up for 53 years.
So a tip of the cap to those (Sid, Buddy) who aren’t here to see the latest run for the coveted Roll Call Trophy. And another tip of the cap to those who still are (Joe, Skip, Kassy, Tim and many more) and who make this game what it is. Play ball.
May 13, 2014
Less than a week before he became the Senate’s chief law enforcement officer, Sergeant-at-Arms Drew Willison had an ego-bruising incident with Capitol Police.
Willison arrived at work on April 30 without an ID and was told by officers guarding the doors that he would need to get a visitor badge before going into the Capitol.
Being shooed along under standard protocol by the rank and file likely led to what happened next. Around 6:30 that evening, the SAA’s office sent an email to Capitol Police brass with mug shots of Willison and incoming Deputy SAA Michael Stenger, instructing him to “please ensure” that the photos were posted at each division in the department’s Uniformed Services Bureau.
“Obviously, we would like to avoid this in the future,” wrote Ronda Steward, senior program manager for police operations with the Senate SAA.
Deputy Chief Donald A. Rouillier passed the email along with a simple “FYI” note to his team. Soon, the one-page memo explaining the incident was posted around the campus and at police headquarters to help officers recognize their incoming boss.
Willison seemed to take it all in stride. “I forgot my Senate ID at my desk when I ran over to the credit union that day. The officer did not recognize me, so he did the right thing and stopped me. It wasn’t a big deal. I don’t know if the photos (standard practice for new officers of the House and Senate) help or not because I almost always wear my Senate ID,” he said.
May 6, 2014
“If anyone gives you any problems about being late for your meeting, just tell ‘em THE good-looking officer held you up. They’ll know who you’re talking about.”
– Capitol Police Officer offers female journalist delayed by the motorcade of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. an easy out.
March 27, 2014
Capitol Police stationed outside the Senate gallery got a surprise Thursday afternoon when they asked one visitor to empty his pockets in accordance with procedure.
Sherman Tyrone Edwards Jr., 32, placed a bag of marijuana on the stand next to the security checkpoint, manned by three uniformed officers.
According to sources on the scene, Edwards pulled out a bag of bud big enough that the U.S. Attorney could probably hold onto it and bust him for distribution, rather than tossing the evidence, as normally happens when lesser amounts — such as joints — are confiscated.
Sources also said that based on his demeanor and expression, they were not too shocked that this particular Capitol visitor would be in possession of large quantities of dope.
He looked stoned, apparently, but the prediction on distribution charges turned out to be bogus.
Edwards was arrested at 2:33 p.m. on Thursday, then transported to Capitol Police headquarters. He was charged on two counts — possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to a Capitol Police spokesperson.
March 12, 2014
A brief outage of some of the exterior lights on the Capitol Dome, likely caused by tornado-like winds, jump-charged some local pranksters.
The parody “Uncle Earl” account — established in the wake of a political corruption scandal involving many of the District’s top elected officials, including Mayor Vincent Gray — jumped into the midst of the 30-minute spell of darkness claiming he’d cut the lights as part of yet another pay-to-play scheme.
D.C. statehood activist Josh Burch, who blogs for the51st.org, also made a joke out of the blackened Dome. Burch invited D.C. residents to “seize equal representation under the cover of darkness!”
In reality, no one is quite sure what caused the lights to go down from about 8:15 p.m to 8:45 p.m. on Wednesday.
Matt Guilfoyle, a spokesman for the Architect of the Capitol, told CQ Roll Call that the AOC was aware of the power outage and working to address the problem.
The Capitol Police continued patrolling inside and outside the Dome, checking for power outages and damage to report to the AOC, according to Lt. Kimberly Schneider, a spokeswoman for the department.
HOH tipsters working inside and burning the midnight (or late evening) oil reported that lights were flickering in the press galleries but never actually went out.
March 7, 2014
Capitol Police have cleared the scene of a fatal single-car crash that propelled a silver SUV into a tree south of the Capitol early Friday morning.
No details have been released on what may have caused the high-speed collision as the driver headed northbound on South Capitol Street. The car hit a large, decorative flower pot — ironically designed to deter crashes and traffic — with such force that the vehicle was flung airborne, ripping branches nearly 30 feet above the ground from two nearby trees.
Updated 6:42 p.m.
First responders arriving on the scene around 3 a.m. found the silver SUV vertically wrapped around a tree, about 50 feet from the cracked pot. The force of the crash catapulted pieces of the car into the intersection with D Street Southeast. The Metropolitan Police Department identified the driver, who died in the accident, as 19-year-old Hunter B. Harries of McLean, Va. A toxicology report is “pending autopsy,” said MPD spokesman Hugh Carew.
Update 11:53 a.m. | A high-speed crash at the intersection of South Capitol and D streets Southeast landed a driver in the hospital early Friday morning — and the car in a nearby tree.
Capitol Police responded to the scene of the crash at approximately 3 a.m., according to department spokeswoman Lt. Kimberly Schneider.
The car hit one of the massive, round decorative flower pots outside the barricade on the South side of the Capitol campus and went airborne before landing in the tree, Schneider reported. The vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed northbound on South Capitol Street. The car was still in the tree as of 7:37 a.m. Friday.
Immediate street closures remain in effect until the scene is cleared. Due to the traffic accident investigation, nearby streets are closed including portions of Washington Avenue, New Jersey Avenue and South Capitol Street Southeast.
Update 11:53 a.m.
The cause of the crash remains unknown and Capitol Police have not yet released any information on the driver’s condition or whether drugs or alcohol were involved.
Officers were already on the scene when D.C. Fire and EMS responded to a single, overturned vehicle around 3:02 a.m., according to D.C. Fire and EMS spokesman Oscar Mendez. The driver was transported to George Washington Medical Center at 3:28 a.m. with life-threatening injuries, Mendez said.
The single-car accident involved a lone driver and no passengers. There was no chase involved, according to Schneider.
Debris from the crash, including the small engine of the small, silver SUV littered the intersection, and officers on the scene said car parts had been found on the roof of the nearby Longworth Office Building Parking Garage.
Read our new post on the investigation finishing here.
More photos below.