January 10, 2011
Following the attack on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Rep. C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger has asked the Capitol Police to “conduct a thorough threat assessment” of his Maryland office, and advise him on how to improve security at public events, his staff said Monday.
Giffords was meeting with constituents at a public event on Saturday when a single gunman allegedly launched his attack, shooting 19, including the Arizona Democrat. Six have died.
“I know as a Congressman I am a potential target, but I want to make sure people who come to talk to me at public meeting are safe as well,” Ruppersberger said in a statement. “No one should have to think twice about their safety when they go to speak to their Congressman or attend a town hall meeting. That’s the real tragedy here. It’s an attack on the democratic process.”
The Baltimore County Democrat met with the staff of his Maryland and D.C. offices to discuss ways to beef up security to keep his staff and his constituents safe, according to a spokeswoman.
Spokeswoman Heather Molino said Ruppersberger’s staff occasionally receives threatening letters, phone calls, and emails. While Molino said Ruppersberger and his staff have always taken such threats seriously, they are now in the process of creating a better system to track these calls and enhance communication with law enforcement agencies.