Last year the number of threat investigations by the United States Capitol Police had decreased since reaching a high of 9,625 in 2021, the year President Joe Biden took office, but the caseload remains historically high, the agency reported.
In 2022, the Capitol Police’s Threat Assessment Section investigated a total of 7,501 cases, including investigations into concerning statements and direct threats. That’s a 22% decrease from 2021.
“The threats against Members of Congress are still too high,” said U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger. “This has resulted in a necessary expansion of, not only our investigative capabilities, but our protection responsibilities as well. While that work is ongoing, everyone continuing to decrease violent political rhetoric across the country is the best way to keep everyone safe.”
The threat case numbers for the last five years:
- 7,501 in 2022
- 9,625 in 2021
- 8,613 in 2020
- 6,955 in 2019
- 5,206 in 2018
- 3,939 in 2017
“Overall, during the last couple of decades the Threat Assessment Section’s caseload has increased because people on social media have a false sense of anonymity and feel more emboldened,” said Dr. Mario Scalora, the U.S. Capitol Police’s consulting psychologist. “This is not a problem we can only arrest our way out of.”
All members of Congress receive threats and concerning statements. The number of threats against both parties are similar.
In 2021, the Capitol Police opened field offices to swiftly deal with threats in California and Florida, where the department has the most threats against members of both parties. These new field agents are not investigating cases related to the Jan. 6, 2021 surge into the U.S. Capitol by protesters.