The Capitol Hill Riot: A Case Study in Securing Buildings Against Violent Intrusion

US Capitol Hill Riot - Case Study of Security Failures

The Capitol Hill Riot: A Case Study in Securing Buildings Against Violent Intrusion

Like many people, I watched the riot at the US Capitol on 6 January unfold live through reporting on TV. And as most, I was horrified to witness the surreal desecration of America’s most sacred symbol of democracy unfolding moment-by-moment. And as a security professional, that horror was amplified even further as I witnessed a cascading series of security failures with full awareness that angry mobs easily turn deadly when group passion supersedes rational judgement.

The next day, as America recovered from its emotional hangover, the leadership of the US Capitol Police was quickly called to reckon. There are obviously many, many questions which need to be answered.

The aim of this article is not to cast judgement about specific matters of security at the Capitol or attribute blame to specific parties. Any statements I could make beyond general critique at this point would be like “playing armchair quarterback without watching the entire game.” No doubt, there will be a comprehensive investigation of the incident and contributing factors which will result in an authoritative report. Rather, our aim in this article is to explore how security measures can be designed to avert similar disaster for the benefit of colleagues protecting other high-risk buildings around the world.

The remainder of this article is posted on the web site of our sister company, the S2 Safety & Intelligence Institute. Click here to read this article in its entirety.