US flag signifying that this is a United States Federal Government website   Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

About the Federal Protective Service

The Federal Protective Service (FPS) is a federal law enforcement agency that provides integrated security and law enforcement services to federally owned and leased buildings, facilities, properties and other assets.

Read about a Day in the Life of the Federal Protective Service


The FPS mission is to render federal properties safe and secure for federal employees, officials and visitors in a professional and cost effective manner by deploying a highly trained and multi-disciplined police force. As the federal agency charged with protecting and delivering integrated law enforcement and security services to facilities owned or leased by the General Services Administration (GSA), FPS employs 1,225 federal staff (including 900 law enforcement security officers, criminal investigators, police officers, and support personnel) and 15,000 contract guard staff to secure over 9,000 buildings and safeguard their occupants. FPS provides comprehensive coverage for these facilities nationwide.

Protecting the critical infrastructure and key resources of the United States is essential to our nation's security, public health and safety, economic vitality and way of life. FPS protects one component of the nation's infrastructure by mitigating risk to federal facilities and their occupants.

FPS organizes its activities along three guiding principles: stakeholder service, technical expertise, and organizational excellence. Supporting these principles are immediate priorities that will allow FPS to meet its short-term goals and long-term strategic goals.

With nearly 40 years of law enforcement experience, FPS has established a physical security program to provide protection to GSA owned or leased federal facilities. From the installation of alarm systems, x-rays, magnetometers and entry control systems, to monitoring those systems 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, providing uniformed police response and investigative follow-up, FPS is organized to protect and serve. The provision of contract protective security officer services, crime prevention seminars tailored to individual agency and employee needs, facility security surveys, integrating intelligence gathering and sharing, and maintaining special operations capabilities all serve to make FPS a world-class security force. What FPS does every day embodies the spirit of the Department and contributes to the achievement of Department goals and organizational excellence.

Primary Protective Services

  • Conducting Facility Security Assessments
  • Designing countermeasures for tenant agencies
  • Maintaining uniformed law enforcement presence
  • Maintaining armed contract security guards
  • Performing background suitability checks for contract employees
  • Monitoring security alarms via centralized communication centers

Additional Protective Services

  • Conducting criminal investigations
  • Sharing intelligence among local/state/federal
  • Protecting special events
  • Working with FEMA to respond to natural disasters
  • Offering special operations including K-9 explosive detection
  • Training federal tenants in crime prevention and Occupant Emergency Planning

Federal Facility Code of Conduct for Occupants, Tenants, and Visitors
Code of Federal Regulations

§ 102-74.365: The rules in this subpart apply to all property under the authority of GSA and to all persons entering in or on such property. Each occupant agency shall be responsible for the observance of these rules and regulations. Federal agencies must post the notice in the Appendix to this part at each public entrance to each Federal facility.

Leadership and Organization

The Federal Protective Service is headed by Director L. Eric Patterson.

Last Published Date: January 22, 2014
Back to Top