What the Jan. 6 responders found: Brotherhood in trauma and a search for accountability

Dunn, who testified to having suffered a “storm” of racist abuse during the attack, returned to work on January 7th. The therapy helped, said Dunn, especially since he and his colleagues work on the crime scene every day.

“I can’t avoid it. So you have to learn to deal with all of this, ”said Dunn, who ran unsuccessfully to head the Capitol Police union last year.

The department says it expanded its wellness program after additional funding from Congress. Among other things, 42 officers are being trained to provide peer support, therapy dogs are visiting officers, and spiritual assistance is available. Legislators have renamed the Capitol Police wellness center for Officer Howard Liebengood, who died of suicide in the days following the attack.

However, therapy cannot always prevent the pain from boiling over in frustration.

“While they get 30 to 45 days,” Gonell said of some rioters’ jail sentences, “I do more than 10 months of physical therapy.”

“That can’t happen again”

The room was made up almost entirely of lawmakers, advisers, and reporters on the night the House’s elected body met on January 6 to detain former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in disregard of Congress. Except for Dunn and Gonell, who were watching from the audience in street clothes.

There’s a reason they didn’t show up in uniform: the investigation is personal to them.

“You can’t go on from something until you find out what happened,” said Dunn, who hopes to attend every public meeting of the insurgency committee.

The decisions of Dunn, Fanone, Gonell and Hodges to testify before the Democrat-led panel bound them to his work and opened them to conservative criticism of partisanship. But for them it is part of their job to keep in touch with the investigation – no matter the risks, no matter how many allies of the former president they are downplaying – as well as responding to the attack.

“The most important fight is to tell everyone what happened. Because that’s how we prevent it from happening again, ”said Hodges.

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