An AFGE-backed bill was introduced this week to extend law enforcement retirement coverage to Federal Protective Service officers and make other improvements to the security at federal facilities. Federal Protective Service officers are sworn law enforcement officers who protect federal workers and visitors at 9,000 federal facilities nationwide, yet they do not receive the law enforcement retirement benefits provided to all other law enforcement agents within the Department of Homeland Security.
“FPS officers carry guns, make arrests, perform investigations, and apprehend criminals,” said David Wright, president of AFGE Local 918, which represents more than 800 FPS officers. “They are law enforcement officers in every sense of the word, and they should be entitled to law enforcement retirement benefits.”
Wright said FPS has suffered from recruitment, retention and morale problems because officers aren’t under the same retirement system as other federal law enforcement officers, including special agents within FPS. Under law enforcement retirement rules, officers are subject to mandatory retirement at age 57 with at least 20 years of service, compared to age 60 with 20 years of service for other federal employees.
“Yesterday, Americans marked the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, which claimed the lives of 168 people,” Wright said. “Today, by introducing vital legislation to reform and expand the one federal agency charged with protecting federal buildings and their occupants, Rep. Carson has taken an important step in preventing a recurrence of this tragedy at another federal building in the U.S.”
The bill, HR 1851, was introduced by Rep. André Carson of Indiana. Current employees under age 38 will have the opportunity to opt in to the retirement system.