The shooting at the Congressional Republican baseball practice at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Virginia, on Wednesday brings to light renewed security concerns for the Massachusetts Congressional delegation when they return to their home district.
Capitol police were at the baseball practice only because a member of leadership within the House was on the field. A Boston security expert told NBC Boston that some members of Congress should now start considering body armor.
Rick Avery of Securitas Security is an expert who has spent decades teaching businesses and executives to stay safe. He said after a shooting like Wednesday's, there's a concern about copy-cat shootings.
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Avery said Representatives are more vulnerable in their home district and away from the Capitol without Capitol police. He says often their aides will warn local police explaining.
“A lot of times if you are landing in an airport or going somewhere the local police or state police are notified by the way the Congressman or Senator is going to be here,” said Avery.
He said that in D.C. as well as home, Congressional aides are trained to get out of situations quickly.
“If they need to exit, they need to know where their folks are. They also need to know how to exit which they practice, or the aides will practice, on getting them out,” said Avery. “So if something does happen, it is not by accident they go through the back, the side or basement. It has been predetermined.”
Avery says members of Congress should vary their routine and send advance teams to check any venue where they are appearing, for example a town hall meeting. He says teams are now reviewing files as he explains, to start looking at threats made against any member of congress.
He says they would start looking at schedules and checking security at any upcoming scheduled events and, “if necessary, cancel some of the things we have over the next couple of days.”
Some members of Congress already carry guns when they travel away from their home district.
Avery says that and personal body armor should be up for renewed discussion in the wake of the shooting.