Inspector General says DHS had the authority to use federal law enforcement in Portland last year

The report says that DHS "had the legal authority to designate and deploy DHS law enforcement officers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and United States Secret Service to help FPS protect Federal facilities in Portland, Oregon."
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Department of Homeland Security seal in August 2019
Department of Homeland Security seal in August 2019
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General has issued a report declaring that DHS did possess the authority to utilize law enforcement officers from various agencies to help defend federal facilities in Portland, Oregon last year.

The Inspector General noted that officers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Federal Protective Service and Secret Service were utilized.  

"Between June 4, 2020 and August 31, 2020, DHS repositioned and deployed 755 officers at various times from FPS, CBP, ICE, and Secret Service to assist FPS with protecting the Federal facilities in Portland, Oregon. In our review of 63 officer training records, we found officers met basic law enforcement training requirements as outlined in Attorney General guidelines regarding 40 U.S.C. § 1315," the report notes.

The two Secret Service "Special Agents assigned from the Portland Resident Office" only performed "limited investigative procedures and did not engage with the public."

"Under 40 United States Code (U.S.C.) § 1315, the Department of Homeland Security had the legal authority to designate and deploy DHS law enforcement officers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and United States Secret Service to help FPS protect Federal facilities in Portland, Oregon," the watchdog reported. "However, DHS was unprepared to effectively execute cross-component activities to protect Federal facilities when component law enforcement officers first deployed on June 4, 2020. Specifically, not all officers completed required training; had the necessary equipment; and used consistent uniforms, devices, and operational tactics when responding to the events in Portland."