District of Columbia Protective Services Police Department

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District of Columbia Protective Services Police Department
Common name DC Protective Services
Abbreviation PSPD
Washington, D.C. Protective Services Police.jpg
Shoulder patch.
Protective Services badge.jpg
Current PSPD Officer Badge design
Motto Justitia Omnibus
"Justice For All"
Agency overview
Formed 1973
Preceding agency DC Government Protective Services Division
Dissolved PSD
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* City of Washington D.C. in the national capital of District of Columbia, United States
Legal jurisdiction District of Columbia
General nature
Operational structure
Officers Confidential
Civilians Confidential
Agency executive confidential
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.
PSPD cruisers holding a perimeter in SW DC
PSPD sergeant on a traffic detail
PSPD cruiser on patrol in Downtown Washington DC
Typical setup of PSPD cruiser cockpit
PSPD personnel in roll call
2011 PSPD Cruiser Redesign
2011 PSPD Cruiser Redesign

The District of Columbia Protective Services Police Department (PSPD) is a law enforcement agency in the District of Columbia, codified under § 10-1005 of the DC Code, which establishes the "...Protective Services Police Department, which shall coordinate and manage the security and law enforcement requirements for District government agencies and facilities." The Department is administratively a division of the DC Department of General Services,[1] although under the current operational command structure of the Metropolitan Police Department.

PSPD Police Officers are sworn law enforcement personnel with full police authority delegated from the Mayor of the District of Columbia.

PSPD shares its radio frequencies[2] and mobile computer infrastructure and must adhere to all policies and rules set fourth by the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia (MPDC). PSPD utilizes MPDC district booking stations and central cell block in order to process prisoners and also participates in staffing the District of Columbia Fusion Center with Intel personnel. PSPD members are deployed into MPDC Districts for patrol assignments and answer radio runs throughout their assigned district alongside MPDC members. Newly hired recruit officers after passing the hiring process, which includes a DC Government employment application, pre-screening, preliminary record checks, formal oral board interview, background investigation (MPD Blue Book PHQ) to include residence history, driving record (life), criminal and credit check. Applicants who receive a favorable background investigation will be selected for a medical exam, drug testing, psychological exam and may be required to take pre employment polygraph if any areas of concern are detected in the background investigation. Non certified officers receive their initial basic law enforcement training at the Maurice T. Turner Institute of Police Science (MPDC Police Academy) or other local police academy based upon space availability.

In September 2009, Mayor Adrian Fenty signed an Executive Order officially changing the name of the agency from the Protective Services Division (PSD) to the Protective Services Police Department (PSPD).

PSPD officers carry the same equipment as their MPDC counterparts, with the standard duty weapon being the GLOCK 17, 9 mm handgun. Officials of the rank of Captain or higher may carry the GLOCK 19, 9 mm handgun, while Investigators have the option of carrying the GLOCK 19 or GLOCK 26, 9 mm handguns. Sworn members are covered under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), that allows law enforcement officers to carry firearms, on-duty or off-duty, anywhere in the United States without regard to local and state laws. PSPD police vehicles are issued and maintained by the fleet services of the Metropolitan Police Department and are equipped to MPDC standards.

Transfer to the Department of General Services[edit]

Mayor Vincent Gray ordered PSPD to be transferred from the Department of Real Estate Services to the newly created Department of General Services (DGS), effective October 1, 2011. The specific legislation ordering the transfer was attached to the FY 2012 Budget Support Act, which was approved by the DC Council and signed by Mayor Vincent Gray. The legislation was transmitted to the US Congress on August 11, 2011 for a 30-day review period. There was no action taken by Congress and the Act became Law on September 14, 2011.[3] As a division of the Department of General Services, PSPD will begin to assume more primary responsibility for the DC Public School System as well as other duties delegated by the Mayor and Director of the Department of General Services.

As DGS is a new "super-agency" with the third largest operating budget of any DC Government Agency, many aspects of the new agency's responsibilities and mission have yet to be ironed out, however PSPD, as an Administrative Division of DGS, will remain the primary law enforcement agency responsible for safeguarding District Government Property, Personnel and Elected Officials as well as for planning and coordinating various District Government Security Programs.

The goal of the Department of General Services is to ensure the delivery of new or modernized, well- equipped, well-maintained, safe and secure buildings and facilities for the benefit of District residents and employees. Further, the agency’s mission is to promote the efficient and effective management of the District’s real estate investments and interests through strategic portfolio management, construction and facilities management. To this end, DGS will incorporate best management practices from both in the public and private sectors where useful.

Areas of Responsibility and Primary Jurisdiction[edit]

  • John A. Wilson Building (Seat of Government)
  • Historic Eastern Market
  • DC Government Office Buildings (Reeves Center, One Judiciary Square, Municipal Center, Southwest Towers, etc.)
  • DC Jails and Halfway Houses throughout the city
  • DC Department of Youth and Rehabilitation facilities and Halfway Houses throughout the city
  • DC Department of Mental Health facilities, including St Elizabeth's Hospital and Halfway Houses throughout the city
  • DC City Parks, Recreation Centers and Pools
  • DC Public Charter Schools occupying surplus DCPS school buildings
  • DC Public Schools
  • DC Public Library System
  • DC Office on Aging Facilities including 2 Nursing Homes
  • DC Fire and EMS Headquarters, Fire Stations and facilities
  • DC Department of Human Services Homeless Shelters
  • DC Department of Human Services Welfare Offices
  • DC Department of Health Community Health Care Clinics (Unity Health)
  • DC Animal Shelter and associated facilities
  • DC Water treatment plants and facilities
  • DC Department of Public Works yards and facilities
  • DC Department of Transportation yards and facilities
  • DC Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency Headquarters
  • DC Metropolitan Police Department Headquarters and facilities
  • DC Office of Unified Communications facilities (911 centers, communications towers, etc.)
  • DC Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (Parole and Probation)
  • DC Department of Motor Vehicles Service Centers
  • DC Village Campus
  • DC General Campus
  • ST Elizabeth's Campus
  • DC Sports and Entertainment Authority facilities (RFK Stadium, Nationals Stadium, etc.)
  • DC National Guard facilities
  • DC Department of Employment Services One Stop Centers and facilities
  • DC OCTO Data Centers
  • DC Child and Family Services Agency facilities
  • PSPD provides police support to other District Agencies such as DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, DC Department of Health and DC Child and Family Services Agency and many others in order to support that agency's mission thru PSPD's law enforcement authority.
  • PSPD is charged as the lead agency in securing, safeguarding and escorting the District of Columbia's Strategic Medicine Stockpile during times of crisis or during major National Events occurring in the nation's capitol.
  • PSPD provides Executive Protection Details to members of the DC Council and Executive Branch Agency Officials on an as-needed basis.
  • PSPD provides uniformed police support to the Mayoral Executive Protection Detail on a 24/7 basis.
  • PSPD is charged with ensuring the integrity of Primary and General Elections thru securing and escorting election equipment, election officials and ballots during elections.
  • PSPD is charged with ensuring Continuity of Government during times of crisis or civil disorder by securing key DC Government Officials and moving them to secure locations.


PSPD is broken into three Bureaus; each of which is commanded by a Deputy Chief or Civilian Equivalent.

  1. Patrol Operations Bureau (POB) - uniformed police patrols throughout the city, with concentration on critical government centers and high crime areas around government facilities. Members of POB are routinely deployed in support of major incidents throughout the city including protests and demonstrations and often work in support of MPDC's Special Operations Division (SOD) and DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency.
  2. Operational Support Bureau (OSB) - investigations, intelligence, training, development, internal affairs, special events, Wilson Building Command, Honor Guard and K-9.
  3. Strategic Services Bureau (SSB) - electronic security systems, citywide credentialing, communications and IT support. SSB is also responsible for designing and writing emergency response plans for District agencies including the Emergency Evacuation/Relocation Plan for the District Government.
  4. Office of the Associate Director (OAD) - administrative and executive support operations, includes the Associate Director for Security, Assistant Chief of Police, Operations Manager (Civilian Deputy Chief Equivalent), 2 Commanders, 1 Captain and several additional civilian employees.


In December 2012, the Director of the Department of General Services announced a reorganization plan for PSPD, wherein the Chief of Police position would be eliminated from the PSPD Command Structure. The new head of PSPD will be a civilian with the job title of "Associate Director of the Department of General Services for Security" and will be classified as a 080 in the OPM Job Series.

In April 2013, Lieutenant Colonel Plez Jenkins, US Army Retired, was appointed as the new head of the Protective Services Police Department. Colonel Jenkins most recently served as Deputy Executive Director of the DC Criminal Justice Coordinating Council within the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and brings with him over 30 years of extensive security, force protection, emergency management, threat analysis and law enforcement experience.

On July 21, 2014, Lieutenant Colonel Plez Jenkins announced his resignation from the District Government in order to pursue other opportunities in the private sector. On July 22, 2014, Colonel Anthony Fortune; the former Assistant Director of the Federal Protective Service was named as the Interim Associate Director of DGS for Security.

Fallen officers[edit]

Since the establishment of the Government of the District of Columbia - Protective Services Division, which later became the Protective Services Police Department, one officer has died in the line of duty.

Rank Structure[edit]

PSPD utilizes a rank structure similar to MPDC, with the highest ranking sworn member being the Deputy Chief of Police:

Title Insignia
Associate Director for PSPD
Deputy Associate Director for PSPD
Deputy Chief of Police
US-O7 insignia.svg
US-O6 insignia.svg
US-O3 insignia.svg
US-O2 insignia.svg
MPDC Sergeant Stripes.png
Lead Police Officer
First Class Stripes - Blue w-White.png
Police Officer

See also[edit]