District of Columbia Protective Services Division

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District of Columbia Protective Services Division
Common name DC Protective Services
Abbreviation PSD
Washington, D.C. Protective Services Police.jpg
Shoulder patch.
Current PSPD Officer Badge design
Motto Justitia Omnibus
"Justice For All"
Agency overview
Formed 1973
Preceding agency District of Columbia Watchmen
Dissolved PSPD (2012)
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
Police Officers 71
Civilians 42
Agency executive COL Anthony Fortune
District of Columbia Protective Servics Division
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.
A PSD unit, along with MPDC and FPS units holding the perimeter of a major incident in the Southwest Government Center area of DC in June 2015.
A PSD unit on a POTUS Detail, holding an intersection for the Presidential Motorcade to pass safely in Sept 2014.
PSPD cruisers holding a perimeter in SW DC
PSPD sergeant on a traffic detail
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 Division (formerly, the Protective Services Police Department) is a division of the Department of General Services of the District of Columbia Government, responsible for maintaining order and providing police and security services at and around the District of Columbia's Public Facilities and Grounds.[1] PSD officers are sworn law enforcement personnel with full police authority delegated from the Mayor of the District of Columbia and have the authority to bear firearms, serve warrants and make full custodial arrests throughout the District of Columbia.

The Department of General Services official webpage calls PSD: "the police force responsible for law enforcement activities and physical security of all properties owned, leased or otherwise under the control of the Government of the District of Columbia."[1]


The PSD traces its beginnings to an 1899 Act of Congress, the "Watchmen in Municipal Facilities Act", which mandates a police force separate from the Metropolitan Police Department be established in order to maintain law and order in municipal government facilities that at the time were controlled by the federal government. In 1973, the District of Columbia Government Protective Services Division was established to control the police force being transferred from the federal government to the Mayor of the District of Columbia under the Home Rule Act. Its existence is 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."

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

In 2012, Mayor Vincent Gray transferred PSPD from the Department of Real Estate Services to the new Department of General Services (DGS). The legislation ordering the transfer was attached to the FY 2012 Budget Support Act, and transmitted to the US Congress on August 11, 2012, for a 30-day review. Congress took no action, thus it became law on October 1, 2012, and with this act the Protective Services Police Department became the Protective Services Division of the Department of General Services.

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 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 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 Department of Employment Services One Stop Centers and facilities
  • DC OCTO Data Centers
  • DC Child and Family Services Agency facilities


PSD officers are deployed into MPDC Districts for patrol assignments and answer radio runs dispatched through the city's 911 system on the same radio dispatch zones as the DC Metropolitan Police Department and the DC Housing Authority Office of Public Safety. Additionally, PSD provides uniformed police support to other District agencies including the DC Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, DC Department of Health and the DC Department of Human Services as needed. In addition to uniformed police services, PSD is sometimes called upon to provide plainclothes personnel for Executive Protection Details for various DC Government Officials and VIP's visiting the District of Columbia.

PSD officers carry the same equipment as their MPDC counterparts, with the standard duty weapon being the GLOCK 17, 9mm handgun. Officials of the rank of Captain or higher may carry the GLOCK 19, 9mm handgun.[citation needed] Sworn members are covered under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), that allows law enforcement officers to carry concealed firearms off-duty, anywhere in the United States without regard to local and state laws.


  1. Operations Section - Uniformed police patrols throughout the city, 911 response and protection of critical infrastructure and government officials.
  1. Mission Support Section - Intelligence, training, special events, fleet management and quartermaster.
  1. Threat Management Section - Threat management, threat assessments on District Government Officials, electronic security systems, citywide credentialing, communications and IT support as well as coordinating and writing emergency response plans for District agencies including the Emergency Evacuation/Relocation Plan for the District Government.


In April 2013, Plez Jenkins, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who was serving as Deputy Executive Director of the DC Criminal Justice Coordinating Council within the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety, was appointed as the head of PSD. He resigned on July 21, 2014.[citation needed]

On July 29, 2014, Anthony Fortune, the former assistant director of the Federal Protective Service was named interim associate director of DGS for PSD.[citation needed]

Rank structure[edit]

PSD uses a rank structure that is similar to MPDC.

Title Insignia
Associate Director of DGS for PSD (civilian)
Deputy Associate Director - Operations (civilian)
Deputy Associate Director - Mission Support (civilian)
Deputy Chief of Police (highest ranking sworn member)
US-O7 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

Fallen officers[edit]

Since 1973, one PSD/PSPD officer has died in the line of duty. Mack Wesley Cantrell died from gunshot wounds sustained during the Hanafi Siege of the District Building (now the John Wilson Building) on March 9, 1977.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Protective Services Division". Department of General Services. D.C. Government. Retrieved June 25, 2015. 

External links[edit]