It may have taken years and $621 million for the Capitol Visitor Center be built but it only took overnight for Capitol Police to increase the size of their break room after news broke that their CVC quarters were too cramped.
On Monday when Politico brought complaints from police union officials to the attention of Assistant Chief Dan Nichols, he said that he was unaware of the issues and needed time to investigate the problems.
Complaints about the new space—or lack of space – included the inadequate break room space(seating for only 40 when officers said there are a few hundred assigned to the division), poor ventilation and locker rooms that provide little distance between changing and bathroom facilities, according to members of the police union.
Within 24 hours of the CVC grand opening, the police were granted a bunch of new space.
Nichols said that the new Capitol Division headquarters grew from about 3,600 square feet to 10,000 square feet. But Capitol Police declined to say how many officers protect the Capitol due to security concerns; however, there are about 1,600 officers on the entire force.
Until this change, members of the Capitol Police had taken to storing government property in their cars. “Guys have difficulty getting into the locker room,” Michael Detorie, an officer and the CVC shop steward for the Capitol Police Labor Committee, said. Capitol police were also sitting down in the hallway or locker rooms to eat their lunch, Greg Baird, another officer and union representative, said.
“The chief and the chairman of the union have committed to work on this issue to communicate the needs and where we make accommodations and where we just have to work around the obstacles,” Nichols said.