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The objective of this inspection was to assess the Law Enforcement Unit’s (LEU) compliance with Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) and LEU internal policies and procedures and applicable regulations. We conducted this inspection to fulfill our responsibility, as the external oversight function (EOF), to review and evaluate the Board’s law enforcement programs and operations. The Uniform Regulations for Federal Reserve Law Enforcement Officers designates the Office of Inspector General (OIG) as the EOF and requires us to perform continuing reviews and evaluations. These regulations also require that the LEU establish an internal oversight committee (IOC) responsible for ensuring that the LEU has instituted a system of management controls and for conducting inspections and evaluations.
To accomplish our objective, we reviewed the Board’s Uniform Regulations for Federal Reserve Law Enforcement Officers and relevant procedures that the LEU developed to implement the regulations.1 We also interviewed Board staff, reviewed previous inspections of the Board’s LEU conducted by the OIG, and reviewed LEU records for the two-year period ending December 31, 2012. We reviewed the following areas of the Uniform Regulations for Federal Reserve Law Enforcement Officers:
In addition, we reviewed the records for weapons, ammunition, credentials, and badges. Additional details on our scope and methodology are discussed in appendix A.
The USA Patriot Act of 2001, Public Law 107-56, empowered the Board to authorize the use of federal law enforcement authority to protect and safeguard the premises, grounds, property, and personnel of the Board and the Federal Reserve Banks (collectively, the Federal Reserve System). The Board approved the Uniform Regulations for Federal Reserve Law Enforcement Officers on June 18, 2002, which establishes basic policies and procedures governing the exercise of federal law enforcement authority. The Board’s LEU maintains a manual titled General Orders to facilitate the implementation of rules; regulations; procedures; and LEU structure, roles, and responsibilities.
The Board’s Uniform Regulations for Federal Reserve Law Enforcement Officers contains basic policies and procedures for Federal Reserve System employees who exercise federal law enforcement authority. The regulations also include a description of the external and internal oversight responsibilities for the LEUs.
The Uniform Regulations for Federal Reserve Law Enforcement Officers requires each Federal Reserve System LEU to establish an internal oversight committee (IOC) that will have inspection and evaluation responsibilities for the unit (figure 1). These committees are responsible for ensuring that the Federal Reserve System LEUs have a system of management controls in place and are maintaining the appropriate administrative records to document compliance with these regulations.
The Uniform Regulations for Federal Reserve Law Enforcement Officers designates the OIG as the EOF for the Board’s LEU, and the Division of Reserve Bank Operations and Payments Systems (RBOPS) as the EOF for the Federal Reserve Banks’ LEUs. The OIG and RBOPS are to conduct “continuing reviews and evaluations of law enforcement programs and operations.” The OIG issued its most recent inspection report on the Board’s LEU in March 2009.
Figure 1: IOC and EOF Responsibilities
Source: Uniform Regulations for Federal Reserve Law Enforcement Officers.
The Board established an IOC to perform the required inspections and evaluations for the Board’s LEU and designated the staff in the following positions as members:
During the period of our review, the Legal Division representative chaired the committee.
According to the Uniform Regulations for Federal Reserve Law Enforcement Officers, the IOCs are required to submit to the respective EOF a written report of each LEU inspection and evaluation. The regulations do not provide guidance relative to each IOC’s specific roles and the expectations for, or the frequency of, inspections and evaluations. The Board’s IOC most recently conducted an evaluation of the LEU in 2004.
For the Federal Reserve Bank IOCs, RBOPS issued a memorandum in 2003 to each committee chair that assigns the IOC the responsibility for inspecting and evaluating Reserve Bank LEUs and specifies the frequency with which the committees should conduct inspections. According to the memorandum, the Federal Reserve Bank IOCs are responsible for reviewing the following policy areas at least every 24 months during their inspections and evaluations:
The Uniform Regulations for Federal Reserve Law Enforcement Officers requires the Federal Reserve System LEUs to develop specific policies and procedures that are appropriate to the unique needs of their facilities and personnel. The Board’s LEU defined specific policies and procedures in a manual titled General Orders, which also describes the roles and responsibilities within the LEU. The General Orders addresses the following areas:
We identified issues within four of the eight areas included in the General Orders: internal oversight, credentials and badges, firearms and ammunition, and training.
The LEU is led by a Chief and an Assistant Chief who oversee four separate bureaus: Operations, Operations Support, Training, and Technical Security (figure 2). Each bureau is led by a Manager/Deputy Chief. Managers are generally responsible for planning, directing, coordinating, staffing, and controlling all activities of their respective bureaus; carrying out the LEU’s mission, goals, and objectives; and being familiar with federal law, administrative policy, and the General Orders. Section Commanders and the Operations Bureau Captain are generally responsible for planning, organizing, and directing the activities of personnel, to include being familiar with, and ensuring consistent interpretation and full compliance with, administrative policy and procedures. To address the objective of this inspection, we focused on the Operations Bureau, the Operations Support Bureau, and the Training Bureau.
Figure 2: LEU Organizational Structure
Source: OIG review of LEU organizational responsibilities and the Management Division’s organization chart.
Note: During our inspection, the LEU Chief was also responsible for overseeing the Safety Bureau and the Personnel Security Section, which were not relevant to this inspection and are not included in the chart.
The Operations Bureau’s function is to prevent crime and protect Board property, staff, contractors, and visitors in Board-occupied space by providing professional law enforcement, physical security, and access control services. The Manager of the Operations Bureau is the commanding officer and is responsible for all elements within the bureau. The Captain is responsible for ensuring the efficiency and effectiveness of operations; the quality of supervision, including conformity to regulations and policy; and initiating corrective action or disciplinary measures. The Shift Commanders are responsible for organizing and directing the activities of assigned officers within their section, which includes maintaining the daily firearms inventory.
The Operations Support Bureau enables Operations officers to function effectively on a day-to-day basis by
The Manager of the Operations Support Bureau is responsible for all aspects within the Operations Support Bureau. The Administrative Section Commander is responsible for all LEU property, as well as planning for and ordering supplies as needed for the LEU.
The Training Bureau develops, administers, and coordinates all basic, in-service, and advanced training for LEU officers. The Manager of the Training Bureau is responsible for
The Section Commander oversees the basic training, in-service training, special projects, and firearms training programs. Specific responsibilities include the following:
The General Orders states that to ensure accountability, property receipts should be used by the LEU to record the issuance and return of credentials and badges. The LEU issues each officer one law enforcement badge and one law enforcement credential after an officer has (1) completed the Board’s application process, (2) successfully completed the Board’s officer basic training program, and (3) been sworn in and designated as an officer.
Officers are directly responsible for the safekeeping of the credentials and badges issued to them. When a credential or a badge has been lost or stolen, the officer must prepare a written report for the LEU Chief within 24 hours. An on-duty manager or supervisor will notify the local law enforcement agency of the loss and ask the agency to enter the badge or credential information into the National Crime Information Center database. The manager must also notify the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis LEU to alert all Federal Reserve System protection managers. The written report must specify that the required alerts have been made. The LEU Chief, or his or her designee, will ensure that the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has alerted the Federal Reserve System protection managers.
When an officer separates from the LEU, the officer must return his or her credential and badge to the LEU at the end of the last day of employment. Law enforcement badges returned by officers are to be placed in the unit’s badge inventory and be available for reissuance. The Operations Support Bureau’s Administrative Section Commander, or his or her designee, must destroy or void credentials and maintain a record of the disposition. The record should include the separating officer’s name, date, method of disposal, and the signature of the Commander or designee.
Officers are authorized to carry firearms only while conducting law enforcement activities in accordance with LEU policies. As part of the General Orders, the LEU developed procedures for the storage and maintenance of firearms and ammunition, as well as the use of property receipts to record the assignment of these items. In addition to satisfying training requirements for each authorized firearm, each officer must sign a Statement of Eligibility to Possess Firearms each year to affirm that he or she has not been involved in criminal activity, has not renounced his or her U.S. citizenship, and has not been found to be mentally incompetent, among other requirements.
The General Orders states that the officers must fulfill training and retraining standards established by the Board. The Federal Reserve System Law Enforcement Training Manual is the foundation for all law enforcement training throughout the Federal Reserve System. Each Federal Reserve System LEU, including the Board’s, is required to provide training to officers and officer candidates. In addition, instructors must meet the minimum instructor training requirements as specified in the training manual.
Instructors must complete a minimum of 40 hours of advanced training in instructor skills every three years, maintain certifications, and complete periodic advanced or recertification training every three years in subjects such as firearms, intermediate weapons, emergency medical response, and physical control techniques.2 Instructors are also required to sign the Instructor Performance and Expectations Acknowledgement form to show that they are aware of their duties and responsibilities as an instructor. The form must be signed prior to the delivery of any basic or in-service training. In 2012, the Federal Reserve System Law Enforcement Training Manual was updated to require instructors to sign the Instructor Performance and Expectations Acknowledgement form each year and to complete 4 hours of advanced instructor training each year. The revised guidance also requires instructors to teach a minimum of 4 hours per calendar year, 2 hours of which should address high-liability areas. Additionally, instructors must maintain certifications for each discipline they are qualified to teach.
The Federal Reserve System Law Enforcement Training Manual requires annual in-service training for officers. In-service training includes courses such as Firearms Safety and Qualification, Basic Tactics, Physical Control Techniques, Report Writing, Emergency Medical Response, and Use of Force. Following completion of the annual Use of Force course, officers sign and date the Board’s Use of Force Policy Review and Acknowledgement form to certify that they have read and understood the policy. In addition, officers are required to review the requirements for firearms eligibility during in-service training. During the annual firearms eligibility review, officers submit a Statement of Eligibility to Possess Firearms form. By signing and dating the form on an annual basis, officers certify that they meet the requirements and are eligible to possess a firearm.
During our inspection, we found that the Board’s LEU was in compliance with elements of the Uniform Regulations for Federal Reserve Law Enforcement Officers and the General Orders applicable to reporting an accidental discharge of firearms, searches, arrest powers, use of force, and plain-clothes operations. Specifically, officers followed the proper procedures during incidents that resulted in an arrest, wore proper plain clothes, prepared incident reports following the accidental discharge of a firearm, and properly secured unassigned badges. The individual policy areas listed in table 1 are components of the Uniform Regulations for Federal Law Enforcement Officers and General Orders.
|Policy area||In compliance||Deficiencies noted|
|Accidental discharge of a weapon||.|
|Use of force||.|
|Internal oversight committee||.|
|Credentials and badges||.|
|Weapons, inventory and control||.|
|Qualifications and standards||.|
Source: OIG analysis based on testing.