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View Full Version : Federal Protective Service


kj3
11-08-10, 01:33 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm interested in becoming an officer with either the Federal Protective Service or the Park Police.

I've read that the FPS is very competitive and that it helps to have a Bachelors degree to improve your chances.

Does that mesh with others' experience? Thanks! :cheers:


mcsap
11-08-10, 03:46 PM
Having a degree is almost ALWAYS an advantage. I can't think of a scenario where it would be of no use but I'll caveat myself by sayaing almost.

The 2nd best thing to have is active duty military time with an honorable ( and I mean HONORABLE ) discharge.

Joeyd6
11-08-10, 04:09 PM
You need to figure out what you want to do, and not where you want to work. Your two agencies are polar opposites. One very active in a traditional law enforcement sense, and the other a phycial security based position. HUGE difference.

Either way, no matter where you go in the fed system, if you don't have a bachelors degree, don't ever expect to make the GS 11, 12, 13 or management.


Maverick24
11-09-10, 11:52 AM
Having a degree always helps and like Joey said, you really have to have one if you want to excel into management someday.

All federal LEO jobs are very competitive (even more so now with the economy). Thousands took the Park Police test this last go around a few months ago. Also rumor has it that FPS may be hiring next year (they are in need of inspectors but have had budget issues). Keep checking usajobs for them.

Motorolanut
11-10-10, 05:11 PM
BA, BS and Master's always is a feather in your cap, even Associates for that matter.

Being an FPS Inspector myself, feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

UpOnBase2
12-15-10, 11:25 PM
Any idea when FPS plans to hire entry level Inspectors?


BA, BS and Master's always is a feather in your cap, even Associates for that matter.

Being an FPS Inspector myself, feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

Motorolanut
12-16-10, 06:06 AM
There were just openings a couple of weeks ago advertised on USAJOBS for Area Commanders (Supervisory Inspectors), K-9's and a few 1811 positions.

As far as us regular Inspectors go, I have heard unofficially we will not be mass hiring again until around 2014.
Put it this way, there are still UPTP classes going on right now for the girl/guys hired back in 2008....LOL

I hope they hire soon, alot of Inspectors have left or plan on leaving for opinions of greener pastures lately. So people like me who stay have their work load tripled...LMAO

Its really a good job, GS-12, Take Home G Ride, 24/7 carry, toys. The only thing we lack is 6C coverage, our 1811's have it, but the rest of us we will never get it.

Keep watching 0080 series under DHS NPPD, I did hear a rumor from a few in another region that there could be a few small select postings listed in the spring of 2011.

FrozenChosen
01-21-11, 10:38 PM
You need to figure out what you want to do, and not where you want to work. Your two agencies are polar opposites. One very active in a traditional law enforcement sense, and the other a physical security based position. HUGE difference.

Either way, no matter where you go in the fed system, if you don't have a bachelors degree, don't ever expect to make the GS 11, 12, 13 or management.

A degree is not required for the Federal Protective Service but it always helps. What helps is experience in the career field. In either a Law Enforcement or technical security field, if you have both, that is even better. Not as a security guard. You need to be able to manage your time, make it productive, be flexible, and have decent people skills. There will be some public speaking with senior officials and small groups.

FPS usually hires in at the GS-07 level which requires a master degree in criminal justice or similar field or higher to qualify by education. GS-05 can qualify with a Bachelors Degree.

You can progress to the GS-12 level with FPS as an inspector without a degree.
LESO and Police Officers for FPS are on the OPM Special pay scale 980. And that varies with location. (*ttp://apps.opm.gov/SpecialRates/AllSRTables.aspx)

JoeyD is very correct the two jobs are dissimilar but not exactly polar opposites. But they do vary enough that some people who came on the job with visions of high speed chases and kicking in doors every shift have gotten disgruntled and are looking for other jobs.

Depending upon your location assigned to you could be working a lot of physical security with very little LE or mix of mostly Physical Security with enough LE to keep it interesting.

The core job of FPS is to make sure that the federal employees, customers, and our facilities are protected. We do that by ensuring that adequate security options are presented to the facility managers, training employees, and making sure contract security officers are qualified and proficient in their jobs. In addition you may respond to calls for service in more urban areas. Conduct investigations and make arrest. You may provide security at protest around federal facilities; provide protection at events designated by the DHS secretary or secure the president elect. You may respond to natural disasters like many FPS Police, Inspectorís and Agents did for Hurricane Katrina.

FPS inspectors and Police Officers are issued take home vehicles but also sign a mobility agreement. You are subject to call out or to be sent on deployment with little or no notice. It may not ever happen to you in your career or if you are in the right location you may be deployed for a variety of operations in the US and some locations overseas. Usually volunteers are asked for first before any one is required to go.

FPS is not Park Police who are more patrol and traditional city police oriented. Park is only in DC, New York and San Francisco normally but can get into a lot of activity if they work it right.

With FPS you can be working in an urban area or covering large areas of rural America to get the mission accomplished, or both. FPS is in every state, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the American Virgin Islands. So you get plenty of variety of locations to pick for work if the vacancies are there. If you want to transfer another location it is possible if there is a vacancy where you want to go.

FPS is a lot of community policing and problem solving for our community of federal locations. It can be a very satisfying job at times and at others you may just want to pull your hair out but so far for me I have enjoyed working for FPS.

If you get selected and clear the screening process if you have not already attended the Uniformed Police Training Program at FLECT in Glynco, GA you will have to do that. UPTP is 59 training days. That can be 12 weeks if federal holidays fall just right. After that you go to the DC area for a 2 week agency specific training before getting basic LE certification. Depending upon your Region assigned to you may go to a 12 week Field Training and Evaluation Program with a FTI (Field Training Inspector) in your region or to the 6 Week Basic Physical Security Training Program located at FLETC in Glynco. You will attend both but in what order may depend on your area supervisor. If you get fortunate and the training is consecutive and reasonably close together you are looking at 5-6 months of training before beginning to work by your self. If schedules conflict you could look at 9 months to a year but that is worst case scenario.

You are not stuck as just an inspector if you decide to add to what you want to do once you get proficient at the job. FPS has K-9 handlers for Explosive Detection Dogs, HazMat Response Technicians, and some inspectors have transferred over to Criminal Investigator positions.

Your federal law enforcement authority is derived from 40 USC 1315. Some states grant FPS statutory arrest authority for state law violations while on duty, some grant it all the time, and others donít want any intervention. If you get hired you need to educate your self on polices and laws of where you will be are working.

You are authorized to carry your duty weapon off duty if you choose but you are not required to. However no additional arrest authority is conveyed with that authorization.

How you work with the local, state and other Federal LE agencies depends a lot on you and your professionalism. When I interact with or LE agencies or officers I try to let them know what the FPS mission is and how we can help them. Sometimes they are interested and others they are not.

FPS is in a state of flux. It is still divesting itself of the old GSA building guard mentality and the perceived neglect when under ICE. FPS is working to modernize the force and leadership and take a leader role in keeping its responsibilities. But I think it is a good organization as a whole.

Joeyd6
01-22-11, 10:32 AM
A degree is not required for the Federal Protective Service but it always helps.


FPS usually hires in at the GS-07 level which requires a master degree in criminal justice or similar field or higher to qualify by education. GS-05 can qualify with a Bachelors Degree.


You can progress to the GS-12 level with FPS as an inspector without a degree.

And just how many folks in 2009 and 2010 are getting hired without degrees? Not many! Hoe many are getting hired as 1811's without a degree? None! While being a retired LEO or experienced LEO will get you into FPS, I have yet to find and entry level Officer without one.


JoeyD is very correct the two jobs are dissimilar but not exactly polar opposites.
Having worked with FPS and the USPP, they are. FPS is PHYSICAL SECURITY based. Their focus in on the building and those entering such. USPP is regular patrol police work. Focus on keeping the National Parks and Monuments safe. Their coverage area is larger, they respond to 911 jobs, run traffic, crowd control, etc... Working out of 26 Fed in NY, I can tell you just how different FPS is than a traditional police force. FPS doesn't leave the property.....no traffic.....no 911 jobs....etc. Crowd outside? NYPD comes, FPS is on a hard or soft perimeter. Getting called to SS office for an upset citizen who 20 minutes prior was screened at a metal detector is not "traditional law enforcement" work. It is far different than a USPP officer responding to a "dispute" in one of the parks. While you folks do get to dabble, he needs to make a decision. The pace is two different things, if he wants one and goes to the other, it is a waste for him and you. No sugar coating it. Both are GREAT jobs and fun, but he has to focus.


FPS is in a state of flux. It is still divesting itself of the old GSA building guard mentality and the perceived neglect when under ICE. FPS is working to modernize the force and leadership and take a leader role in keeping its responsibilities. But I think it is a good organization as a whole.
I am with you 100%!!!! You folks were passed off like the red headed step child. I don't get why. I don't get why they went from FPS Officers with 0 contract guards to thousands of contract guards. I don't think there should be any contract guards. Put 100% FPS at all federal facilities. No reason not to! And give you folks some damn money! I know at least in NY they guns they got for various events, and now sitting in the armory with no money for ammunition to shoot them. They will screw you folks till the crap hits the fan and then try to blame you, and then dump more money at you than you can spend!

By the way...please get verified! PM me if you need help, but the details are on the main page.

Motorolanut
01-22-11, 01:02 PM
FrozenChosen is right in some respects..... But each region is run like its own little fiefdom with each RD being a demigod king status ruler.

Joeyd6 is right in alot of respects as well as far as what FPS is allowed to do.....But then again it all comes down from your regional RD. Some RD's want you out there writing citations in full uniforms, other RD's want nothing but facility assessments completed (no excuses no LEO work period).

Make no mistake FPS is 95% physical security duties and 5 % Quasi Leo work.

Nothing will ever change in FPS as we are a NON APPROPRIATED FUNDS AGENCY which means our money comes from security fees (rent from building tenants). No matter if we are under GSA, ICE, NPPD, ABC123 there will be NO change. FPS will never be a high speed Leo gig....We get a lot of nice toys, uniforms and vehicles because that is the HQ leadership's WET DREAM to play Po Po dressed up in a uniform and DO NOTHING (reminds me of playing army as a kid ...LMAO).

The funny thing about FPS is people spend years trying to get hired then even more years trying to get the hell out.

I DO NOT drink the FPS Kool Aid...The job is what it is....and it pays my bills...

FrozenChosen
01-22-11, 02:37 PM
Motorolanut drink..drink :crazy: come to the dark side. :party:

JoeyD6 Please note I was not trying to down play what Park does. I routinely steer people in their direction when I get asked about federal uniform police positons. I think it is a great organization.

A lot of the lack of activity by FPS in the last few years has been to lack of manpower. Many of us feel that the jump to DHS was great thing. The bad thing was being placed under ICE. Physical security isn't sexy Law in Enforcement circles and there is a belief that ICE was slowly trying to kill FPS off. Hence the transition to contractors. With the transition out of ICE and some growth we will see how things evolve.

I guess the point I was trying to make is that FPS is a large organization with many variations. It is kind of like the story of the blind men describing the elephant. By relying on one description you only get a part of the story. I hoped I was adequate in pointing out what you get depends a lot on where you are assigned. You may not do many of things I listed above or you may get fortunate and do quite a few. It is not an everyday occurrence either but once again depending on where you are it could be fairly frequent. As Motorolanut pointed out our funding mechanisms and federal regulations on how you are able to spend monies are a bigger restriction to FPS being more of a help off of federal property than a lack of jurisdiction. Many feel that making FPS a "partially appropriated funded agency" can help alleviate that. But the bills to do that have been stuck in Congress for the last few years.

If the poster wants more traditional patrol police experience I would recommend Park. Once again if we do our job right FPS should be a problem solving, community oriented, preventive law enforcement organization. If we do the physical security part right, then the reactive part should be diminished right?

Yes there are many after the fact calls that we respond to like you mentioned above but depending on your location and the location of you and what region you are in you are, and I have been, first on scene and dealing with situation where decisions need to be made. So like I said it's a big organization that covers the entire country and experiences and duties are going to different.

For me where I am at in my career FPS is a good place for me to be. It pays well and I can get a decent amount of job satisfaction. But then again I have had my car chases, shooting scenes, and bar fights. If you want a daily diet of those I wouldn't recommend FPS.

If you are interested in FPS I would try to talk to the Inspectors in the area you want to work and see what they actually do and what they are allowed to do.

There is no age cut off for FPS so I would encourage LEOís who are looking at retiring from a local or state agency to look at the career. I think the maturity and experience help in this job where you often work alone.

Joeyd6
01-22-11, 09:23 PM
I think you folks at FPS get the shaft big time from the G. One day they will blame for you an incident (whihc will be the reuslt of their lack of funding you), and then give you folks more money than you can spend.

You guys see this or know about this?
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr176ih/pdf/BILLS-112hr176ih.pdf

You think it will help?

Motorolanut
01-22-11, 10:57 PM
Yea, the union has been behind this too for a while. We were all hoping for 12D Leo retirement to be included in the bill. But the agency has been teasing everyone for years with that one....So Hell will freeze over first before we get that..LOL

Here is the real deal with FPS, they made a fatal mistake with the inspector position. We should go back to armed PSS'rs for the surveys/facility security assessments and regular 0083's for the Law enforcement.

We are far too overwhelmed to keep doing all these duties as inspectors...It's all smoke and mirrors...And don't even get me started on RAMP

We got hammered by the GAO pretty bad on our guards. And Yes... we will get the shaft and like it as usual.
Even with new leadership now and more kool aid.....Some things never change...