Who protects all 9,000 federal government buildings across the US? The Federal Protective Service (FPS)! Every day, FPS officers and agents make sure government employees and visitors are safe and secure in government offices.
How do they protect so many buildings and even more people? With the right planning, training, technology, communication, and a little help from some furry friends.
FPS manages four Mega Centers where FPS employees keep watch over thousands of government buildings across the country. The Mega Centers are the “eyes in the sky” for government buildings. FPS agents at the Mega Centers watch videos from security systems and listen for alarms coming from the systems.
FPS employees at the Mega Centers are like 911 emergency dispatchers. Mega Center dispatchers communicate with FPS officers at or near a facility when they’re alerted about a threat or emergency, giving the officers key information so they can act quickly.
Highly-trained dogs work with FPS officers in Explosive Canine Detection Teams to sniff out bombs and other dangerous materials at or near government buildings. These dogs are some of the first responders on the scene if a building receives a bomb threat.
Hazardous Response Teams stand alongside Canine Detection Teams as first responders to a bomb threat or other threat at a government building where hazardous material is found. And, if the threat becomes a reality, Hazardous Response Teams are the experts that help employees evacuate a building safely, and then, once everyone is safe, secure and decontaminate the building.
Hazardous Response Teams also help government employees in all 9,000 government buildings FPS protects create and practice evacuation plans.
To help its agents and officers respond quickly to emergencies, FPS operates Mobile Command Vehicles, special high-tech vans and SUVs that can go anywhere in the country that they are needed.
Think of a Mobile Command Vehicle as a mini Mega Center. The technology inside the vans gives FPS agents the ability to monitor security systems and video cameras at government buildings across the country, and also communicate with FPS officers and other first responders by radio, cell phone, or computer.
Fun Fact: The SUVs are nicknamed Rabbits!
FPS special agents in the Protective Investigations Programs (PIP) are experts in identifying people who might threaten the security of government buildings, researching these people, and then stopping their plans. In other words, they’re great detectives! But these PIP detectives don’t work alone. They work with other FPS teams, the Secret Service, the FBI, and other law enforcement agencies to stop criminals and terrorists in their tracks.