The top Republicans on committees overseeing DHS in both the House and Senate have asked the agencies for an accounting of what “specific steps is DHS taking to deter violent attacks against federal law enforcement officers and government facilities.”
The letter by Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio and Rep. John Katko of New York notes that the DHS Federal Protective Service provides security for some 9,500 federal facilities and raises concerns in light of recent incidents in the Portland, Ore., area and elsewhere. Portman is on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and Katko is on the House Homeland Security Committee.
The letter also asks for descriptions of steps the department is taking to “assess, on an ongoing basis, the potential for attacks against facilities owned, occupied or secured by the federal government or the personnel in them” and “what plans, policies, and processes does DHS currently have in place to respond to incidents of civil disturbance at federal facilities.”
They also asked whether FPS has contingency plans in place to respond to civil disturbances at federal facilities; whether there any capability or equipment shortfalls that limit the ability to respond; and whether there are any restrictions on the FPS “that would inhibit FPS officers from protecting federal facilities nationwide.”