DHS Had Authority to Deploy Federal Law Enforcement Officers to Protect Federal Facilities in Portland, Oregon, but Should Ensure Better Planning and Execution in Future Cross-Component Activities
Under 40 U.S.C. § 1315, DHS had the legal authority to designate and deploy DHS law enforcement officers from CBP, ICE and United States Secret Service to help the Federal Protective Service protect Federal facilities in Portland, Oregon. However, DHS was unprepared to effectively execute cross-component activities to protect Federal facilities when component law enforcement officers first deployed on June 4, 2020. Specifically, not all officers completed required training; had the necessary equipment; or used consistent uniforms, devices, and operational tactics when responding to the events in Portland. This occurred because DHS did not have a comprehensive strategy that addressed the potential for limited state and local law enforcement assistance, and cross-designation policies, processes, equipment, and training requirements. We made two recommendations to improve DHS’ preparedness for protecting Federal property. DHS concurred with both recommendations.