The final bit of temporary fence encasing the U.S. Capitol Complex in Washington is scheduled to come down on Friday, U.S. Capitol Police said Wednesday.
''Based on the current threat environment, recent enhancements to USCP response capabilities, and enhanced coordination with local, state and federal law enforcement, the Capitol Police Board is supporting USCP's recommendation to remove the temporary fencing around Capitol Square,'' USCP wrote in an email to lawmakers obtained by The Hill on Wednesday.
Temporary fencing around many of the federal buildings and parks went up shortly after the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol where several hundred people stormed into the building to try to disrupt a joint session of Congress that was certifying the Electoral College votes from the 2020 election.
Five people lost their lives as a result of the riot, including Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who died after suffering two strokes that day, and civilian Ashli Babbitt, who was shot by an unidentified Capitol Police officer inside the building.
The National Guard also deployed some 25,000 troops to the nation's capital before President Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20.
Those troops eventually winnowed down, with the last of them, about 1,000, leaving the post at the end of May.
''These airmen and soldiers protected not only the grounds, but the lawmakers working on those grounds, ensuring the people's business could continue unabated. They lived out in very tangible ways the oath they took to support and defend the Constitution,'' Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin wrote in a statement at the time. ''They came here from all 54 states and territories, leaving behind jobs, homes and families, to bolster security at the Capitol in the wake of the dramatic events on January 6th. Many of them volunteered for this duty, and most of them did so on little notice.''
The fencing perimeter, which at one time, encased all of the governmental buildings around the White House, Capitol and National Mall, also shrunk to blocking off only the Capitol itself.
Despite the precautions, a 41-year-old man and a Capitol Police officer were killed when the man tried to ram one of the checkpoints around the building with his car in March.
The man hit Capitol Police Officer Billy Evans before being shot by another officer.
Although the fencing is one of the last physical remnants of the security measures taken in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot, lawmakers are still required to go through metal detectors when they enter the respective chambers to vote, The Hill reported.
Capitol Police also advised lawmakers that the fencing could be put back up if warranted.
''Please note that the Architect of the Capitol has the ability to and will reinstall the temporary fencing should conditions warrant,'' they wrote.
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