The Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA) traces its roots directly to the General Services Administration´s (GSA) United States Special Policemen (USSP) and a variety of security and security-related functions originally located in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Prior to 1971, the USSP provided law enforcement‚ safety, and security functions at the Pentagon. The protection programs were guardian-watchman operations‚ whereby USSP focused primarily on the protection of property. However‚ because of a growing number of disruptive incidents throughout the country‚ GSA reexamined its security program. In response to the mass demonstrations‚ bombings, and bomb threats of that era‚ the Federal Protective Service was established to provide comprehensive protection to the Pentagon and Pentagon personnel.
On Oct. 1‚ 1987‚ the GSA Administrator delegated the authority for protecting the Pentagon Reservation to the Department of Defense (DoD). To carry out the new mission‚ DoD established the Defense Protective Service (DPS) as a new element within the Washington Headquarters Services (WHS)‚ a DoD field operating activity. In addition‚ the scope of the DPS mission was extended beyond the 280-acre Pentagon Reservation to cover other DoD facilities within the National Capital Region. In the early 1990s‚ the various security and security-related functions located within WHS were consolidated and transferred to DPS.
On May 3‚ 2002‚ in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the Pentagon and subsequent anthrax incidents‚ Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz established the Pentagon Force Protection Agency as an agency within the Department of Defense. This new Agency absorbed DPS and assumed DPS’ role of providing basic law enforcement and security for the Pentagon.
Since its creation‚ PFPA has expanded its mission and now provides force-protection services against a full spectrum of potential threats. Law enforcement is still a major part of the Agency’s charge, but PFPA is responsible for operational security‚ building surveillance‚ crisis prevention‚ consequence management‚ counterintelligence‚ antiterrorism‚ hazardous materials response and explosives‚ information technology, and protecting high-ranking DoD officials. PFPA continues to evolve, making it one of the Nation's premier federal law enforcement organizations.