(WASHINGTON)–On the 15th anniversary of the
devastating bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma
City, we are reminded that that federal buildings and federal employees
are potential targets of terrorism and crime, and that the Federal
Protective Service must be a fully-funded and fully-federalized agency,
American Federation of Government Employees Local 918 President David
Wright said today.
“It is a travesty that the main federal agency, whose mission it is
to protect those very facilities and people, is unable to accomplish its
mission, due in part to a largely contract guard workforce,” Wright
The Federal Protective Service has been cited in at least six GAO
reports over the past two years as an agency in disarray. Its contract
guards lack Federal authority as they are commissioned by local and
state authorities. In addition, the private contract guards are
underpaid, undertrained and under-monitored, said AFGE
“FPS manpower has been reduced to levels so low that there were more
law enforcement personnel before the Oklahoma City bombing,” Wright
said. “It further suffered from a policy of benign neglect by U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement—the agency until recently charged
with overseeing FPS operations.
“FPS treatment by ICE forced the first internal reorganization since
DHS was stood up. The transfer of FPS in October 2009 to the National
Protection and Programs Directorate was critically important,” Wright
added. “This is one measure of how far this agency needs to go before it
can fully perform its mission.”
Both the House and Senate Homeland Security Committees, the House
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and the House Committee on
Government Reform have held numerous hearings on the failings of FPS to
perform its mission. Work is underway on both sides of Congress to
introduce FPS reform legislation this year.
“There is a real urgency to congressional action on this issue.
Recent attacks on federal employees and serious threats to Members of
Congress should be as much a reminder of the need to reform FPS as is
this, the 15th anniversary of the attack in Oklahoma City,” Wright said.
AFGE Local 918 represents FPS officers and personnel nationwide.
Others Remember the Oklahoma City Bombing:
- Union Skeptical Of Building Security “Enhancements”
- Oklahoma City Bombing Victims’ Children Build New Lives
- Fifteen Years Later, Victims, Residents Remember Oklahoma City Bombing
- Separate Initiatives from Congress, DHS May Federalize FPS
- Fifteen Years Since, Lessons Remain from Oklahoma City Bombing
- DHS May Insource 15,000 Guards
- Federalize Building Security
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 600,000 workers in the
federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.