Still reeling from the aftermath of the deadly insurrection at the seat of the U.S. government last week, U.S. Capitol Police have designated Yogananda Pittman as the law enforcement agency’s acting chief.
She has been with the force since April 2001 and was named acting chief on Friday, according to the U. S. Capitol Police (USCP) website. That came two days after pro-Trump extremists faced off and eventually overwhelmed security forces at the U.S. Capitol complex.
Pittman is the first woman and the first African American to lead the law enforcement agency, USCP confirms to NPR.
She assumed the role a day after now-former USCP Chief Steven Sund announced his resignation following a mob laying siege to the Capitol, ransacking lawmakers’ offices, breaking windows and defacing walls and statues inside the complex. Sund said he was stepping down just hours after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushed for his removal.
Sund, who has since refuted claims that he did not request National Guard and other security forces ahead of Wednesday’s attack, originally said in his resignation letter that his last day on the job would be Jan. 16.
Pittman has built a distinguished career with the USCP.
She was one of the first Black female supervisors to rise to the rank of captain in 2012. In that role she oversaw more than 400 officers and civilians and was an integral part of the security planning for President Barack Obama’s second inauguration the following year, according to her biography.
She was promoted to inspector in 2015 for the USCP, where she was responsible for responding to the department’s disciplinary appeals and grievances. In 2018 Pittman was promoted to deputy chief and tapped to become bureau commander for the Command and Coordination Bureau, according to the USCP. She is currently assistant chief of police for Protective and Intelligence Operations.
In October, Sund announced that Pittman was recognized as the 2020 recipient of the Women in Federal Law Enforcement’s Outstanding Advocate for Women in Federal Law Enforcement award.
“It is very important for young female law enforcement officers to see someone who looks like them in leadership positions,” Pittman in a statement announcing her award. “It says to them that these positions are obtainable and available to them.”
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SOURCE: NPR, Brakkton Booker