|Office of the Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper FAQs
How is the current sergeant at arms chosen?
The Senate sergeant at arms and doorkeeper (SAA), elected by the members, serves as the protocol and chief law enforcement officer of the Senate and is the executive officer responsible for most support services in the Senate.
What are the responsibilities as the chief law enforcement officer?
As the Senate's chief law enforcement officer, the SAA supervises the Senate wing of the Capitol, maintaining security in the Capitol and in all the Senate buildings, and controlling access to the Senate Chamber and galleries through a team of doorkeepers. The SAA also protects the senators and can arrest and detain any person violating Senate rules. On the orders of the Senate, the SAA is the only person who can arrest the president of the United States. Additionally, the SAA can compel senators to come to the Senate Chamber to establish a quorum.
As a member of the Capitol Police Board, the SAA also helps to oversee the operations of the United States Capitol Police. Alternating with the House sergeant at arms, the Senate SAA serves as chairman of the Capitol Police Board every other year.
What are the duties as the protocol officer?
As the Senate's chief protocol officer, the SAA’s responsibilities include
- Escorting the president and other heads of state or official guests of the Senate who are attending official functions in the Capitol
- Making arrangements for funerals of senators who die in office
- Assisting in plans for the inauguration of the president
- Organizing the swearing-in and orientation programs for newly elected senators
- Escorting the senators when they proceed from the Senate to the House Chamber for the State of the Union Address or joint sessions or meetings of Congress, and other times when the Senate may proceed as a body
What is under the authority of the executive officer?
As executive officer of the Senate, the SAA enforces all rules of the Senate: Standing Rules, Standing Orders, Rules for the Regulation of the Senate wing, and Rules for Impeachment Trials. The Office of the Sergeant at Arms also provides a range of services to senators in their Washington, DC, and state offices, to visitors, and for the Capitol complex including
- Providing computer and technology support services, video and audio recording services, photographic services, printing and graphic services, and telecommunications services to the Senate
- Assisting Senate offices with the management of their staffing, mailing, purchasing, leasing, and financial accounting needs
- Providing continuity of operations and emergency preparedness training and assistance to the Senate community
- Issuing staff IDs
- Arranging for parking and issuing parking permits
- Arranging cleaning and furnishing Senate offices in the Capitol
- Greeting and directing visitors with official business in the Capitol
- Credentialing and assisting members of the news media who cover the Senate
The SAA also shares responsibility for the Senate Page Program and the Senate Office of Education and Training.
How do I apply for a job with the Sergeant at Arms Office?
To view current job openings in the SAA office and to apply visit the employment page at http://www.senate.gov/employment.