Protection of Government PropertyInvestigative
Because a number of distinct agencies possess jurisdiction to
investigate crimes against government property, it is impossible to provide
simple rules which in all cases define investigative responsibility. In
cases the jurisdiction of these competing agencies is set by statute. In
instances investigative authority is defined by a memorandum of
between the affected agencies. Of course, the principal law enforcement
in this area is the Federal Bureau of Investigation. By statute and by
regulation the FBI has broad jurisdiction over offenses involving government
property. See 28 U.S.C. § 533; 28 C.F.R. § 0.85. A
other agencies, however, possess investigative jurisdiction over crimes
specific federal properties. Some of the most significant of these agencies
- The Department of the Interior is authorized by 16 U.S.C. §§
to designate certain officers "who shall maintain law and order and protect
persons and property within the areas of the National Park System." These
officers may make arrests, with and without warrants, conduct investigations
carry firearms. See 16 U.S.C. §§ 1a-6(l) to (3).
- The General Services Administration, as part of its statutory mandate
administer government properties, is authorized to appoint uniformed guards
"special policemen." See 40 U.S.C. § 318. These special
empowered "to enforce the laws enacted for the protection of persons and
property, . . . to prevent breaches of the peace, to suppress affrays or
assemblies, and to enforce any rules and regulations made and promulgated by
Administrator (of General Services). . . ." See 40 U.S.C.
- The Inspector General Act of 1978, 5 U.S.C.App. § 1 et
creates within several government agencies independent Offices of Inspector
General. See 5 U.S.C. App. § 2(1). The duties of these
General include the detection of fraud and abuse in government programs.
See 5 U.S.C.App. § 2(2). Thus, the Act gives these Inspectors
investigative jurisdiction over some crimes involving government property.
the Act, Inspectors General are required to report to the Attorney General
information which provides them with "reasonable grounds to believe that
has been a violation of federal criminal law." See 5 U.S.C.App.
- The United States Postal Service has jurisdiction to investigate postal
offenses. See 39 U.S.C. § 404(a)(7). In practice, many crimes
involving postal service property and personnel are investigated by law
enforcement officers from the Postal Service.
- Finally, many crimes involving the theft or misuse of property
to the armed services will be investigated at the outset by military police
Defense Department investigators. A copy of the Memorandum of Understanding
in this Manual at 938. This is particularly
of offenses committed by military personnel.
[cited in USAM 9-66.010]