U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Government Website

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Safely connect using HTTPS

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

FPS: Who We Are

The Federal Protective Service is a federal law enforcement agency that provides integrated security and law enforcement services in support of federally owned and leased facilities.

Leadership and Organization

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

The Federal Protective Service's area of responsibility covers the continental United States and U.S. territories. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., FPS is divided into 11 regions nationwide and is responsible for protecting over 9,000 Federal Facilities. Regional headquarters are located in metropolitan areas across the country, with approximately 200 field offices and 3 Mega Centers provide responses to over 534,000 calls for service annually.

Our History

Image
GSA document from 1971

The Federal Protective Service is a federal law enforcement agency that provides integrated security and law enforcement services in support of federally owned and leased facilities. FPS has a long history of protecting U.S. government facilities and safeguarding the millions of employees, contractors, and visitors who pass through them every day. Its history dates back to 1790 when six “night watchmen” were hired to protect government buildings in the newly designated nation’s capital that became Washington, D.C. Over time, the network of security guards evolved and was once known as the U.S. Special Police. 

Image
Historical image of a female FPS officer.

The Federal Protective Service was formally established by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) in 1971 with the mission of protecting federal facilities and their occupants. When the Homeland Security Act of 2002 was passed, FPS was transferred from GSA to the newly formed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and structured within U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. On October 28, 2009, the DHS Fiscal Year 2010 Appropriations Act transferred FPS to the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD). In 2019, FPS was transferred to the DHS Management Directorate. 

FPS commemorated 50 years in 2021! Watch a video message from FPS Director L. Eric Patterson:

Last Updated: 04/14/2022
Was this page helpful?
This page was not helpful because the content