Should federal guards protect federal buildings?


Chances are when you entered your federal office this morning, you passed by a private-sector security guard.

Although the Federal Protective Service is charged with protecting employees and visitors at roughly 9,000 federal buildings nationwide, the agency largely relies on contract security guards to get the job done: 15,000 guards to be precise, compared to just 1,225 FPS officers, investigators and administrative staff.

The House Homeland Security Committee is debating whether that needs to change. Specifically, the committee will hold a hearing tomorrow morning to debate whether federal guards would provide better security than contract workers.

A series of eye-opening reports from the Government Accountability Office issued in the past year have found that contract guards generally are doing a poor job. In one instance, undercover investigators were able to smuggle bomb-making components into 10 high-security federal buildings.

Still, federalizing the security force could prove difficult. The Congressional Research  Service, in a report to lawmakers, noted that increasing the number of FPS officers could strain the agency’s already tight budget by increasing the amount of personnel benefits afforded to employees.

What do you think? Should Congress federalize the building security force, much like it did to airport screeners in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks? Or would taxpayer dollars be better spent by beefing up FPS’ ability to oversee the contract guards? Sound off below.


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  1. Congress needs to give the Federal Protective Service appropriated funding so the agency can hire more FPS Police Officers and Special Agents. This will help the FPS properly deal with criminal and terrorist actions at federal properties nationwide.

  2. contract guards should be federalized.its only appropiate since they guard federal bldgs.It will also command more respect from the public eyes.I believe it will benefit homeland security in the long term.

  3. Federalize the guards. They need the authority to go with the respnsibility.

    They need the training too. They need the training to. They need the training too

  4. Yes,Federalized the guard’s.It would offer them more stability. right now they go from contractor to contractor.
    Also the problem is the lack of training.Train well you will get a great force.invest in the best equipment.Give more time off for the workers.most of them are working two need fresh eyes on screens.improve the moral in these buildings by asking them what there work enviroment is like.some of them are under unskilled managers.and work in unclear situations everday.

  5. Honestly, this seems to be a “no brainer”! Federalize the guard staff currently working at federal facilities. After 9/11, the federal reserve bank federalized their contract security officers, and now they claim the title, “Federal Police Officer”. TSA, was obviosly formed after 9/11, and are federal. Why hasn’t the contract guards at federal facilities working at federal buildings across the nation ever had that luxury? FPS rarely even promotes from within…the security staff is such a valuable resource…they know what is going on…just ask, and you shall find.

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