Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson today ordered the Federal Protective Service to “enhance its presence and security at various U.S. government buildings” in Washington as well as “other major cities and locations around the country.”
“The precise actions we are taking and the precise locations at which we will enhance security is law-enforcement sensitive, will vary and shift from location to location, and will be continually re-evaluated,” Johnson said in a statement.
The Federal Protective Service is tasked with protecting more than 9,500 federal facilities owned or leased by the General Services Administration.
DHS said 1.4 million visitors and occupants pass through these buildings daily.
“We are taking this action as a precautionary step, to safeguard U.S. government personnel and facilities, and the visitors to those facilities,” Johnson said. “The reasons for this action are self-evident: the continued public calls by terrorist organizations for attacks on the homeland and elsewhere, including against law enforcement and other government officials, and the acts of violence targeted at government personnel and installations in Canada and elsewhere recently.”
“Given world events, prudence dictates a heightened vigilance in the protection of U.S. government installations and our personnel.”
Johnson noted that they “urge state and local governments and their law enforcement personnel, along with critical infrastructure owners and operators, to be equally vigilant, particularly in guarding against potential small-scale attacks by a lone offender or a small group of individuals.”
“Likewise, we continually urge the public at large to be vigilant and report any suspicious activities to appropriate authorities,” he said.
In the D.C. metropolitan area, there’s been an increase in the “see something, say something” commercials during prime time since the attacks in Ottawa last week.