GOP Congressman Made Emergency Calls To Police Just To See How Quickly They’d Come – By Jennifer Bendery (Huffington Post) / April 20 2021
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry’s test of Capitol Police as they face actual threats is “reprehensible,” one officer said.
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) made two false calls for emergency help from U.S. Capitol Police last week ― just to see how long it would take for officers to arrive, according to two Capitol Police officers.
Fortenberry told Capitol Police he wanted to test the duress button in his office, which signals an emergency situation. It was an unusual request, but one that Capitol Police agreed to, these officers said. So when Fortenberry pushed the button, they didn’t respond, because they knew it was a test.
However, according to the officers, it turns out the Republican lawmaker wasn’t testing the device itself; he was testing how quickly police would come to his office. When they didn’t come, he pushed the button a second time. Officers were almost to his office when they got word it was a test, so they turned back. This apparently upset Fortenberry, who concluded the officers were slow to respond.
A spokesperson for Fortenberry initially did not respond to multiple requests for comment. After the story published, his office provided this statement from Fortenberry’s chief of staff, Andrew Braner: “The Congressman strongly supports the Capitol Police, which is why we constructively worked through an unfortunate delay during a test of the duress alarm system with the police on the phone.”