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November 03, 2020

Watchdog: DHS Improperly Deployed Officers and Agents to Task Force

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement on a Management Alert issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) that found DHS improperly stood up its so-called “Protecting American Communities Task Force” this summer.    

“This emergency Management Alert warns that the DHS did not comply with the law when it created and deployed – for political reasons – a ‘Task Force’ that included officers from Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The violations uncovered by the Inspector General are part of a pattern of DHS serving the President’s political aims rather than following the law. The timing of this report is critical given that Chad Wolf, whom the Government Accountability Office found to be serving illegitimately as Acting Secretary, may activate the Task Force again for potential Election Day-related unrest.” 

In the Management Alert, “FPS Did Not Properly Designate DHS Employees Deployed to Protect Federal Properties under 40 U.S.C. § 1315(b)(1),” the OIG found:

  • The Federal Protective Service (FPS) Director did not properly identify employees by name who were being designated as officers or agents of the Task Force, as required.
  • The FPS Director may not have had the authority to designate members of the Task Force since this authority was designated by Kevin McAleenan, whom GAO found to have improperly and illegally served as Acting Secretary.
  • Officers were deployed to Portland before they received proper training, some officers may have never received the proper training, and officers used force without receiving training.

Link to Report

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Press Contact

Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978