Critics ask the governor to prevent this from happening, but a constitutional law expert says the USCP has the authority.
TAMPA, Florida – A week after U.S. Capitol Police announced plans to open a field office in Tampa, the Hillsborough GOP on Wednesday sent a letter to Governor Ron DeSantis asking him to prevent the opening from the field office, arguing that the agency lacks jurisdiction.
In addition, more than 2,000 people have signed a petition similarly calling on the governor and other state leaders to “protect the constitutional rights of Floridians from federal excesses.”
Florida leads the country in arrests related to the Jan.6 attack on the Capitol.
The decision to establish field offices in Tampa and San Francisco, the agency said last week, is in part intended to allow for a regional approach in the investigation of threats against members of Congress. California and Florida are behind the âmajorityâ of threats, a spokesperson said.
Although the primary jurisdiction of the USCP is in the buildings and grounds of the United States Capitol Complex, they are also responsible for protecting members of Congress throughout the United States and Territories, and they have the power to protect “in any region” of the country, according to 2 US Code Â§ 1966.
“Absolutely, it is within the constitutional authority of the federal government to create these field offices to ensure that they can protect members as they carry out their mission – their duties – representing their constituents, whether in their home district.” or Washington, âsaid Michael McDaniel, professor of constitutional law at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School.
McDaniel initiated a Homeland Security Law program based on his experience advising the State of Michigan on homeland security matters and his experience in planning homeland defense at the Pentagon. He says the USCP opening a field office is akin to the FBI or TSA operating in the state.
“The state’s law enforcement powers are very broad, but within certain exceptions, and this is one of them, the federal government has full and primary jurisdiction.” McDaniel said.
Asked to comment on the calls to intervene, a spokesperson for the governor said in an email: “Democrats in Congress should focus more on the dangerous ‘police funding’ movement that is gripping the left and less on political projects, “and went on to ask,” When did the FBI or Florida law enforcement ever fail when the Capitol Police called for help. “
Critics of the proposal, such as retired police captain and John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor of criminal justice Dorothy Moses Schulz, said the USCP lacked the resources, knowledge and transparency to develop with success in this way.
“What role are they going to play that is not already being played,” she said, referring to the FBI and the US Secret Service. “And the fact that their budget, staff allowances and nothing about them are submitted to FOIA makes it all the more disconcerting.”
Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott was among those who welcomed the Capitol Police decision.
âSenator Rick Scott made it clear that what happened on January 6 was absolutely horrible and disgusting, and that those responsible for the attack on Capitol Hill should be held fully accountable. He will continue to support the efforts of Capitol Hill police and law enforcement, “the senator’s office said in a statement at 10 Tampa Bay.
Since the Jan. 6 attack, more than 500 defendants face charges, including several from the Tampa Bay area.
Earlier this year, a Clearwater man was charged with assaulting Capitol Hill officers with a fire extinguisher and a plank of wood. A Lakeland woman faces multiple charges after being accused of participating in the crowd of people who stormed the building.
Most notably, however, was the arrest of Adam Johnson after he was identified in a viral photo carrying the lectern of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
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Anyone with information about the insurgency in Washington is urged to call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or submit pictures or videos to fbi.gov/USCapitol.
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