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Better planning, intelligence: Former state police boss breaks down security failure at U.S. Capitol

Posted at 5:49 PM, Jan 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-07 17:49:38-05

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. -- Former Virginia State Police Superintendent Retired Colonel Gerald Massengill watched on television the violent events unfold Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol.

"I don't think anyone suspected that this crowd was going to do what it did," Massengill said. "It clearly was an event, that I suspect will be a change element in law enforcement."

Massengill, who has 37 years of law enforcement experience, said it was clear police at the Capitol were not prepared for what could of -- and eventually -- happened.

"To police a mob, a crowd of the size we had yesterday, would have taken a small army," he said.

Massengill said those planning the event needed a better understanding of why the crowd was at the Capitol.

"You had Congress taking action on the very thing that was so upsetting to [the protesters]," he said.

The key, Massengill said, to preventing turning a crowd into a mob was proper planning, proper intelligence, and proper contingencies.

Inside the Capitol, Senator Tim Kaine called for Congress to take action to figure out how the mob got into the Captiol.

"We in Congress, have to do a significant investigation into the security breach that was so massive," Sen,. Kaine said. "There was poor planning for the security challenge."

Massengill agreed an investigation was needed.

"Clearly there was not enough people, the perimeter or whatever they had set up on the inside, was clearly not enough," he said.

As for the officers around the Capitol, Massengill said officers shown on TV went "above and beyond."