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Oral History Project

Leonard H. Ballard Inspector, U.S. Capitol Police (1947–1984)

Leonard H. Ballard

When Leonard Ballard joined the Capitol Police in 1947, the police rolls carried the names of 157 men, ranging from college students to retired policemen, who were mostly patronage appointments. When he retired 37 years later, the Capitol Police had expanded to 1,200 men and women, and was a fully professional police force. During this growth, the police balanced increasing security requirements against the needs of an open, democratic institution. Ballard recounts this transformation, explaining the importance of public relations when dealing with the politicians, staff, lobbyists, press, visiting dignitaries, and tourists who daily populate Capitol Hill.


Scholarly citation: "Leonard H. Ballard, Inspector, United States Capitol Police, 1947–1984," Oral History Interviews, August 18, 1983, to January 10, 1984, Senate Historical Office, Washington, D.C.

Disclaimer: The Senate Historical Office has a strong commitment to oral history as an important part of its efforts to document institutional change over time. Oral histories are a natural component to historical research and enhance the archival holdings of the Senate and its members. Oral histories represent the personal recollections and opinions of the interviewees, however, and should not be considered as the official views or opinions of the U.S. Senate, of the Senate Historical Office, or of other senators and/or staff members. The transcripts of these oral histories are made available by the Senate Historical Office as a public service.