Threats to Senate and Staff Increased Last Year

Data from the “U.S. Senate’s top law enforcement officer show security threats against senators and their aides increased last year,” USA Today reports.

There were 49 threats in 2010 against a senator or a staff member and 29 in 2009, according to Senate Sergeant-at arms Terrance Gainer. He shared the statistics in an interview with Federal News Radio, which reports on the federal government in the nation’s capital.

"We probably in the Senate have about five of these threats going at any one time," Gainer said in the radio interview.

Security for lawmakers has become a major issue since the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., over the weekend. Six people died in the rampage and Giffords is fighting for her life at University Medical Center in Tucson.

Will there be security changes?

Gainer told USA TODAY’s Alan Gomez that congressional aides should work more closely with local police to assess threats. Gainer said he doesn’t plan on seeking any major security revisions in the wake of the Giffords shooting, in part because lawmakers want to continue to meet freely with constituents.

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