United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Jul 07, 2020
Law enforcement authority of Secretary of Homeland Security for protection of public property
To the extent provided for by transfers made pursuant to the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the Secretary of Homeland Security (in this section referred to as the “Secretary”) shall protect the buildings, grounds, and property that are owned, occupied, or secured by the Federal Government (including any agency, instrumentality, or wholly owned or mixed-ownership corporation thereof) and the persons on the property.
The Secretary may designate employees of the Department of Homeland Security, including employees transferred to the Department from the Office of the Federal Protective Service of the General Services Administration pursuant to the Homeland Security Act of 2002, as officers and agents for duty in connection with the protection of property owned or occupied by the Federal Government and persons on the property, including duty in areas outside the property to the extent necessary to protect the property and persons on the property.
While engaged in the performance of official duties, an officer or agent designated under this subsection may—
enforce Federal laws and regulations for the protection of persons and property;
make arrests without a warrant for any offense against the United States committed in the presence of the officer or agent or for any felony cognizable under the laws of the United States if the officer or agent has reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing a felony;
serve warrants and subpoenas issued under the authority of the United States;
conduct investigations, on and off the property in question, of offenses that may have been committed against property owned or occupied by the Federal Government or persons on the property; and
carry out such other activities for the promotion of homeland security as the Secretary may prescribe.
The Secretary, in consultation with the Administrator of General Services, may prescribe regulations necessary for the protection and administration of property owned or occupied by the Federal Government and persons on the property. The regulations may include reasonable penalties, within the limits prescribed in paragraph (2), for violations of the regulations. The regulations shall be posted and remain posted in a conspicuous place on the property.
A person violating a regulation prescribed under this subsection shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, imprisoned for not more than 30 days, or both.
On the request of the head of a Federal agency having charge or control of property owned or occupied by the Federal Government, the Secretary may detail officers and agents designated under this section for the protection of the property and persons on the property.
The Secretary may—
extend to property referred to in paragraph (1) the applicability of regulations prescribed under this section and enforce the regulations as provided in this section; or
utilize the authority and regulations of the requesting agency if agreed to in writing by the agencies.
When the Secretary determines it to be economical and in the public interest, the Secretary may utilize the facilities and services of Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies, with the consent of the agencies.
For the protection of property owned or occupied by the Federal Government and persons on the property, the Secretary may enter into agreements with Federal agencies and with State and local governments to obtain authority for officers and agents designated under this section to enforce Federal laws and State and local laws concurrently with other Federal law enforcement officers and with State and local law enforcement officers.
The powers granted to officers and agents designated under this section shall be exercised in accordance with guidelines approved by the Secretary and the Attorney General.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to—
preclude or limit the authority of any Federal law enforcement agency; or
restrict the authority of the Administrator of General Services to promulgate regulations affecting property under the Administrator’s custody and control.
cite as: 40 USC 1315