Inspector General: National Archives Guards Unprepared

Monday, 10 Jan 2011 01:12 PM

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Private security guards at the National Archives are inadequately trained to respond to an attack. A report from the Archives’ inspector general said there is no “assurance officers are proficient enough with their weapons” to respond to an emergency, The Washington Post reports.

"We lack the confidence the security officers would be able to respond appropriately during an incident," Inspector General Paul Brachfeld said last fall in a letter obtained by the Post.

The letter, to archivist David S. Ferriero, said building security was a priority in the wake of the 2009 shooting at the Holocaust Museum and a hostage crisis in September at the headquarters of the Discovery Channel in Maryland.

The Federal Protective Service is responsible for security at federal buildings around the country, employing some 15,000 private guards to help in the effort. The company used by the Archives is American Security Programs, based in Dulles, Va., the Post said.

In the letter, the inspector general noted that guards received weapons training with a separate company at their own expense; the contractor did not have an adequate physical fitness program; and that there were no regular drills to test emergency response, according to the Post.







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