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Senators issued satellite tv for pc telephones, provided demonstrations on upgraded safety gadgets

Senators issued satellite tv for pc telephones, provided demonstrations on upgraded safety gadgets

2023-05-27 12:09:10

Amid rising issues of safety dangers to members of Congress, over 50 senators have been issued satellite tv for pc telephones for emergency communication, individuals acquainted with the measures instructed CBS Information. The gadgets are a part of a collection of recent safety measures being provided to senators by the Senate Sergeant at Arms, who took over shortly after the assault on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

The satellite tv for pc cellphone know-how has been provided to all 100 senators. CBS Information has realized no less than 50 have accepted the telephones, which Senate administrative workers suggest senators preserve in shut proximity throughout their travels. 

In testimony earlier than the Senate Appropriations Committee final month, Senate Sergeant at Arms Karen Gibson mentioned satellite tv for pc communication is being deployed “to make sure a redundant and safe technique of communication throughout a disruptive occasion.”  

Gibson mentioned the telephones are a safety backstop within the case of an emergency that “takes out communications” in a part of America. Federal funding can pay for the satellite tv for pc airtime wanted to make the most of the cellphone gadgets.

A Division of Homeland Safety advisory mentioned satellite tv for pc telephones are a instrument for responding to and coordinating authorities companies within the case of a “man-made” or pure catastrophe that wipes out communication.  

Gibson has additionally opened an workplace “demonstration house” within the basement of the Russell Senate Workplace Constructing to supply senators and workers an exhibition of recent house state workplace safety upgrades. The demonstration room presents exhibitions of “duress buttons,” mail screening gadgets and security glass to cut back the danger of assaults.   

U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms Karen Gibson testifies before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on April 25, 2023 in Washington, DC.
U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms Karen Gibson testifies earlier than a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on April 25, 2023 in Washington, D.C.

Kevin Dietsch / Getty Photos

In her testimony earlier than the Senate panel in April, Gibson reported, “Our staff supplied preliminary bodily safety enhancements for 31 places of work and improved current safety for 52 others in 2022. Sustaining safety techniques in good working order is a precedence, and to help this effort our staff carried out over 622 service calls to keep up, restore, and or check and examine state workplace bodily safety techniques in 2022.”

Senate directors have additionally provided “cease the bleed” coaching to higher equip staffers to answer medical emergencies and victims of assaults. 

In April, the Home Sergeant at Arms William McFarland instructed legislators there may be “strong participation” in a program to assist Home members safe their house residences. McFarland mentioned that Home directors are coordinating with native police departments to assist shield members of Congress who maintain occasions of their house states and to assist higher safe the houses of members.

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A spending invoice handed in late 2022 supplied extra funds for hometown safety measures for Congress. The laws required safety directors to “improve member safety together with offering a safety program for Congressional Management, increasing Dignitary Safety Division companies and increasing USCP subject workplace presence,” which might deploy and broaden Capitol Police safety in cities exterior of Washington. 

Although the U.S. Capitol complicated is shielded by a pressure of practically 2,000 Capitol police workers, there have been rising issues about hometown safety for members of Congress. A California man was charged in a 2022 attack on the San Francisco house of then-Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The assailant was allegedly concentrating on Nancy Pelosi when he confronted and attacked Pelosi’s husband Paul with a hammer.

In a Might 15 assault on the Fairfax, Virginia, workplace of Rep. Gerry Connolly, one among Connolly’s constituents is accused of attacking two of the congressman’s staffers with a steel baseball bat. Each had been briefly hospitalized and are recovering.  

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