Skip to main content

Primary tabs

Title 3: EOUSA

3-15.000 - Security Programs Management

3-15.010 Introduction
3-15.100 Security Programs
3-15.110 Personnel Security
3-15.120 Information Security
3-15.130 Computer Security
3-15.140 Communications Security
3-15.160 Reporting Security Incidents and Emergency Security Support
3-15.170 Deputation (Authorization to Carry Firearms)
3-15.180 Occupational Safety and Health Program
3-15.190 Emergency Planning
3-15.200 District Security Plan
3-15.300 Security Education and Awareness

3-15.010 - Introduction

Security programs which effectively protect personnel, offices, and investigative and administrative information enable the United States Attorneys' offices (USAOs) to accomplish their mission and goals. The active participation of senior management is critical to the success of these security programs. Security programs management within USAOs comprises three distinct components: the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA), the District Office Security Manager (DOSM), and the Domestic Terrorism Working Group of the Attorney General's Advisory Committee.

  1. EOUSA provides the following support for USAO security programs:
    • Policy and procedural assistance for the implementation of all security programs in accordance with applicable statutes and Executive and Departmental Orders to ensure the unique needs of each office are met.
    • General and specialized security training for all personnel responsible for security-related duties.
    • Budgetary and facilities management support to facilitate the design, procurement, and installation of all security-related equipments, services, and systems.
    • A structured methodology for analyzing the overall security practices of each USAO and determining office-unique security requirements.
    • Oversight to identify weaknesses, provide assistance and advice, ensure compliance with all national and Departmental security policies and regulations, and formulate constructive recommendations to improve the overall quality of security programs and support.
  2. Each United States Attorney appoints a DOSM, preferably a Supervisory Assistant United States Attorney, to manage all district security programs. As the principal security official for the district, the DOSM advises the United States Attorney on all security matters, and is assisted by other assigned individuals as required. The DOSM is responsible for:
    • Analyzing the overall security posture of the district office and recommending necessary security systems, equipment, and services to reduce vulnerabilities and risks.
    • Implementing and locally overseeing the physical, information, personnel, computer, and communications security programs, as well as the security education and awareness, loss prevention, and safety and health programs in accordance with current policy.
    • Developing the District Security and Occupant Emergency plans.
    • Preparing and submitting Urgent and Security Incident Reports.
    • Preparing budget estimates for implementing office security programs, and coordinating these and other security requirements with EOUSA.
  3. The Domestic Terrorism Working Group, whose membership includes United States Attorneys and Assistant United States Attorneys, is part of the Attorney General's Advisory Committee. The Subcommittee coordinates security-related initiatives and educational efforts with EOUSA.

3-15.100 - Security Programs

The DOSM Handbook, which sets forth the requirements and procedures for district security programs and contains copies of applicable security regulations, has been distributed to all USAOs. Refer to the Handbook for more detailed information concerning the following security programs:

3-15.110 - Personnel Security

  1. Background Investigations. All USAO employees must be United States citizens, and require favorably completed background investigations (BIs) prior to entering on duty. Completed BIs are received and initially reviewed by the EOUSA Security Programs Staff. While the Department of Justice (DOJ) Security Officer, Justice Management Division (JMD), has final adjudication authority, attorney and law clerk investigations must also be approved by the Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management (OARM). Favorable adjudication may not be granted, or may be delayed, if the BI reveals questionable or potentially derogatory information.

    In unusual or emergency circumstances, USAOs may request a waiver for completing the BI prior to entrance on duty by submitting to the EOUSA Personnel Staff: a justification, the results of vouchering inquiries, and security forms completed by the individual. Waiver requests for attorneys and law clerks are forwarded to the OARM for approval, and those for nonattorneys to the Department Security Officer.

    Reinvestigations to update BIs are conducted for employees whose BIs are five years or older. The favorable adjudication of a BI is not commensurate with approval of a national security clearance. Any applicant or employee who may require access to classified information in the performance of their duties must execute Standard Form (SF) 86, Questionnaire for National Security Positions.

  2. National Security Clearances. USAOs must contact the EOUSA Security Programs Staff to request National Security Clearances when employees require access to National Security Information, which is generally in connection with litigation involving classified information. Clearances for access to classified information can only be granted if a favorably completed BI is current (i.e., less than five years old), and the employee has a "need-to-know" the information.

Requests for access to Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) or Department of Energy "Q" clearances should also be initiated through the Security Programs Staff. SCI is classified information, which concerns or is derived from intelligence sources and methods, and requires strict control in accordance with Intelligence Community directives. Approval for access to SCI includes a required briefing, which must be conducted in an approved Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility. Employees granted access to SCI are required to report all foreign travel, official and personal, to the JMD in advance of their departure by submitting a completed DOJ Form-504, Notification of Foreign Travel. "Q" clearances for access to restricted information concerning nuclear weapons matters are authorized only by the Department of Energy pursuant to provisions of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954. Most departments and agencies require written certification from the Department Security Officer to confirm the national security clearances of USAO personnel attending meetings or conferences at which classified information will be discussed. USAOs should contact the EOUSA Security Programs Staff two weeks in advance, which will in turn request certification be forwarded by the Department Security Officer, JMD.

When an employee's need for access to classified information no longer exists, the USAO should advise the Security Programs Staff that the clearance may be cancelled. Employees should be formally debriefed from SCI and Q programs.

[updated December 2012]

3-15.120 - Information Security

Information security involves the control and safeguarding of Limited Official Use (LOU) information and National Security information (NSI). Other departments and agencies entrust LOU information and NSI to the USAOs during investigations and litigation. It is important that USAOs protect LOU information and NSI, and any materials developed using such information, in the same manner as the originators. All LOU information and NSI must be protected to prevent disclosure to individuals not authorized access to the information.

  1. Limited Official Use (Sensitive) Information. Departmental policy defines LOU information, also referred to as "sensitive," and establishes procedures for its protection. LOU information includes, but is not limited to grand jury information, informant and witness information, investigative material, Federal tax and tax return information, Privacy Act information, and information which can cause risk to individuals or could be sold for profit. The information should be labeled or identified by placing the caveat "Limited Official Use" on the first page, by a notation in a covering memorandum, or by affixing an LOU label or cover sheet to the material to ensure recipients are aware the information requires protection. Provided the USAO has minimum physical security safeguards in place, sensitive information may be stored, when not in use, in locked offices, desks, or cabinets. Secure telephone and facsimile equipment should be used whenever possible to protect sensitive information, particularly investigative, informant, witness, or Title III information.
  2. Tax and Tax Return Information. Although Federal tax and tax return information is generally regarded as LOU information, Internal Revenue Code § 6130 and Departmental policy establish safeguards beyond those mentioned above. Access to tax and tax return information will be limited to the United States Attorney, Assistant United States Attorneys and support staff assigned to the particular case. When in use, the information may be kept in the Assistant United States Attorney's office provided the office is locked when the Assistant United States Attorney is not present. To the maximum extent possible, tax information must be kept separate from other information. Where separation is impractical, such files or containers should be clearly labeled to indicate they contain tax return information. If tax documents cannot be personally transmitted, the material shall be transmitted, double-wrapped, by U.S. Postal Service registered mail, with a return receipt to be signed by the addressee or authorized designee. The interior wrapping or envelope shall be marked "LIMITED OFFICIAL USE, TO BE OPENED BY ADDRESSEE ONLY."

    The receipt and disclosure of all tax information shall be recorded in a tax information log, which also reflects the chain of custody. A record must be kept of tax information received, including copies. Tax logs must be retained for five years from date of receipt or date of any disclosure, whichever is longer. When the information is no longer needed, original tax information must be returned to the Internal Revenue Service within 90 days or shredded. When tax information, including magnetic media, is not in use, it must be secured in a locked filing cabinet, locked room with restricted access, or GSA approved security containers with access restricted to authorized individuals to prevent its unauthorized access or disclosure.

    Access to tax returns and return information must be restricted to persons whose duties require access or to whom disclosures may be made under provisions of the law. The Internal Revenue Code (IRC 6103) permits the disclosure of returns and return information to officers and employees of federal agencies for the administration of federal non-tax criminal laws. The disclosures are subject to restrictions imposed by IRC sections 6103(I)(l) through (I)(6). Students and volunteers should not be allowed access to tax data.

    Tax data obtained though the ex parte court order process should be used in cases which involve a non-tax federal criminal violation. If a determination is made not to pursue the criminal violation and civil enforcement is proposed, the data should be removed from the case file prior to the civil proceedings.

    Unless specifically authorized by the IRC, USAOs are not permitted to allow access to federal tax information to agencies, representatives or contractors. The information may be disclosed only to employees who have a need for the information. Tax data should be clearly labeled "FEDERAL TAX INFORMATION" or "FEDERAL TAX DATA" to allow an office to identify and protect it. Boxes and folders should also be labeled.

    All USAO employees with access to Federal Tax information must be thoroughly briefed on security procedures and instructions requiring their awareness and compliance. Periodic reorientation sessions should be conducted. USAO employees with access to Federal tax information must be advised, at a minimum, annually of the provisions of Section 7213(a) of the IRC which makes unauthorized disclosure of Federal returns or return information a crime which may be punishable by a $5000 fine, five years imprisonment, or both, as well as the costs of prosecution.

    In addition, applicable employees must be advised annually of the provisions of Section 7431 of the IRC which permits a taxpayer to bring suit for civil damages in a United States district court for unauthorized disclosure of returns and return information.

    Copies of tax information not made public during the course of judicial or administrative proceedings should be destroyed by shredding. Ex parte information (certified documents and copies) must be shredded or returned to the IRS Disclosure office. The disposition of the material must be recorded. Magnetic tapes containing tax information may not be made available for reuse or released for destruction without first being subjected to electromagnetic erasing.

  3. Grand Jury Information.

    Access to Grand Jury Material - Access to grand jury material shall be restricted to the Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs) assigned to the case and those personnel deemed necessary by the AUSA to carry out the official duties related to the grand jury activities. The AUSA is responsible for ensuring each person permitted access to the grand jury material is aware of the secrecy requirements associated with the material. Grand jury material in use should be safeguarded from unauthorized disclosure by turning face down or covering when unauthorized persons are present. The material should be locked in storage containers when not in use.

    Storage of Grand Jury Material - Grand jury material shall be stored in a manner which reasonably ensures only authorized persons have access to the material. Grand jury material containing classified national security information must be handled, processed and stored in accordance with 28 CFR Part 17. Grand jury material containing other types of sensitive information such as Federal tax return information, witness security information, and other types of highly sensitive information which have more stringent security requirements shall be stored and protected pursuant to security regulations governing such information and special security instructions provided by the organization originating the information.

    Transmission of Grand Jury Material - Grand jury material transmitted outside a USAO shall be enclosed in opaque inner and outer covers. The inner cover shall be a sealed wrapper or envelope which contains the address of the sender and the addressees authorized access to the grand jury material. The inner cover shall be conspicuously marked "Grand Jury Information: To Be Opened By Addressee Only." The outer cover shall be sealed, addressed, return addressed and bear no indication the envelope contains grand jury material. When the size, weight or nature of the grand jury material precludes the use of envelopes or standard packaging, the material used for packaging or covering shall be of sufficient strength and durability to protect the information from unauthorized disclosure or accidental exposure.

    Grand jury material may be transmitted through reliable mail and courier services. Couriers and other personnel employed in these services shall be unaware of the contents of the material transmitted due to the wrapping procedures implemented; and therefore, do not require a background investigation for this purpose.

    When an AUSA, in consultation with the DOSM, determines the greater sensitivity of, or threats to, grand jury material necessitates a more secure transmission method, the material may be transmitted by: U.S. Postal Service registered mail, return receipt requested; an express mail service approved for the transmission of national security information; or hand-carried by the AUSA or their designated representative.

    Grand Jury Court Reporters - USAOs must ensure contracts with grand jury court reporters contain current security requirements. Grand jury court reporters must be cleared and approved by SPS, EOUSA, with a favorably adjudicated name and fingerprint check at a minimum. These clearances must be updated every five years. See DOSM Handbook, Chapter 11.

    Grand jury court reporters must protect grand jury information and materials in their custody from disclosure to unauthorized individuals. At a minimum, material must be secured and stored in an alarmed facility with locked entrances and exits during non-working hours. Office automation equipment, such as word processors or personal computers, may be used to process grand jury information provided the equipment is used in a dedicated, standalone mode and the information is unclassified. During the non-working hours, diskettes and removable hard drives must be secured in approved containers. Equipment having fixed hard drives must be secure to preclude access by unauthorized individuals such as unescorted cleaning persons. Service personnel must be escorted at all times when working on or around processing equipment.

    Grand jury court reporters must ensure grand jury information does not remain on storage media and all storage media, including fixed hard drives, is removed from the equipment before being moved from the contractor facility for maintenance, servicing, or final disposition. All removable storage media becomes the property of the government and fixed hard drives must be made available to the government for sanitizing.

    For the Guidelines for Handling Documents Obtained by the Grand Jury, see the EOUSA Resource Manual at 156.

  4. National Security (Classified) Information. NSI, which is also referred to as "classified information," concerns national defense and foreign relations matters. National and Departmental policies prescribe requisite procedures for marking, handling, storing, and transmitting NSI. Refer to Paragraph 3-15.100, for guidance on requesting national security clearances.

    The following three classification levels for NSI indicate information sensitivity and the potential damage to United States national security if the information is disclosed to unauthorized individuals:

    • TOP SECRET (TS) could cause "exceptionally grave damage,"
    • SECRET (S) could cause "serious damage," and
    • CONFIDENTIAL (C) could cause "damage."

    Classified documents must be clearly marked to indicate their level, authority, and duration of classification. When not in use, classified documents and computer media on which NSI is stored must be locked in security containers ("safes"). Classified documents must be accounted for, and when no longer required, returned to the originating agency or destroyed by shredding in an approved "cross-cut" shredder.

    NSI must not be processed on EAGLE or PRIME computers. Classified information must be processed and stored, following special procedures, on standalone or laptop computers.

    Classified information must not be discussed or transmitted by commercial telephone or facsimile. Secure telephone (STU-III) and/or secure facsimile, keyed to the appropriate classification level, must be used to discuss or transmit classified information. SECRET and CONFIDENTIAL material may be sent by United States Postal Service registered or express mail, return receipt requested. TOP SECRET material cannot be mailed from office to office, but may be hand-carried by an employee possessing a TOP SECRET clearance. Any classified material which is mailed or hand-carried must be double-wrapped.

    The Classified Information Procedures Act (P.L. 96-456. 94 Stat. 2025) is invoked for some cases involving NSI. In such cases, the Department Security Officer appoints a special Court Security Officer to assist the Federal Judiciary, the defense, and the USAO. EOUSA provides funding for additional security resources and equipment for such cases.

[updated February 2003] [cited in EOUSA Resource Manual 156]

3-15.130 - Computer Security

The computer security program is mandated by the Computer Security Act of 1987 (P.L. 100-235), and involves the safeguarding of information in electronic or magnetic media form and of the systems used to electronically process that information. The program focuses on the security of the PRIME Computers, word processing equipment, the EAGLE system, personal computers, laptop computers, and the information these systems store and process. This information is primarily case-related, although some administrative records relate to personnel and budgetary functions. Procedural guidance should be developed which sets forth basic computer security safeguards such as separation of functions, safety considerations, and access control and protection of USAO computer systems and equipments from misuse or computer-related crime.

Each computer system which processes sensitive or classified information must be certified and accredited. A risk analysis must be conducted for each system, and computer security and contingency plans, which allow for the continuation of automated processing in the event of natural disaster or system damage, must be prepared. Additionally, computer security software which encrypts data, protects communications, and detects viruses must be installed. The System Manager, or other responsible party, certifies that contingency and computer security plans are complete, and that safeguards are in place. The USA, or senior designee, accredits the systems by acknowledging and accepting any residual risk associated with operating the systems as configured.

3-15.140 - Communications Security

Communications security (COMSEC) involves the protection of voice, data, and facsimile signals during transmission. Rapidly advancing technology and the ease with which communications systems can be monitored and exploited by criminal elements or hostile intelligence services presents a serious challenge to the legal and law enforcement community. The Type 1, Secure Telephone Unit-Third Generation (generally referred to as the STU-III) was developed in response to National Security Decision Directive 145 (1983) which mandated the production of a reliable, cost-efficient secure telephone, which could also function as a normal telephone instrument and be provided to each Federal employee whose duties entailed the discussion of sensitive and/or national security (classified) information.

The STU-III program is fully supported by the Attorney General and the Director, EOUSA. All USAOs have been furnished STU-IIIs and secure facsimile equipment in order to provide a secure means to exchange sensitive and classified information concerning ongoing cases with other USAOs, Department components, and law enforcement entities. Secure telephone and/or secure facsimile equipment must be used to discuss or transmit classified information, and should be used to protect sensitive information, particularly investigative and informant or witness information.

Each USAO has also been provided at least one TRIAD system consisting of a secure telephone, a secure facsimile machine, and a personal computer which can be used to process sensitive and/or classified information, and directly transmit such information in a secure manner to other Department or law enforcement organizations. The STU-III program has been further expanded with the development of the Type 2 secure telephone unit for installation at state and local government and law enforcement organizations through a Federally-sponsored program.

Within each USAO, the DOSM oversees communications security and the STU-III program, determines USAO requirements for secure telephone and facsimile equipment, and promotes the use of secure communications equipment among district personnel. Primary and Alternate COMSEC Representatives will be appointed to assist the DOSM. The COMSEC Representatives are responsible for day-to-day management of secure communications equipment, maintaining required accounting records, and conducting periodic inventories of COMSEC equipment and material.

3-15.160 - Reporting Security Incidents and Emergency Security Support

The DOSM is responsible for immediately reporting to EOUSA any situation which: (1) involves possible or actual injury to employees, (2) results in loss of, or damage to, Government assets; or (3) affects or threatens the ability of a USAO to operate. Examples of reportable incidents include: threats to a USAO or its employees, regardless of whether the threat is related to the employees' official duties; office break-ins; theft or loss of Government property; and discovery of computer viruses.

USAO employees must notify the DOSM or other designated USAO employee (collectively "DOSM") of any threat to any USAO employee.

  • Each USAO employee must timely notify the office DOSM of any threat or potential threat, even if the employee does not believe that the threat is a serious one. It is critical that all threats be reported and logged for future reference.
  • Should it be determined that no action needs to be taken in response to a reported threat, the report of threat nevertheless plays a critical role in helping law enforcement assess and investigate the pattern or context of future threats. Such information may well be critical to the same or another USAO employee in a future incident. Thus, it is not for the individual AUSA or USAO employee to determine which threats are serious and should be reported to the DOSM—all threats must be reported.

Urgent Reports are submitted to report significant events of interest or concern to the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General. Such events include bomb threats which directly involve a USAO, threats against USAO personnel, and any natural or man-made emergency which affects the continued operation of an office. See USAM Chapter 1-13.000. Any Urgent threat report should include at a minimum the following information:

  • the name and position of the targeted employee;
  • the nature of the threat;
  • the name and location of the person making the threat, if known;
  • the date the threat was made, or the date the target was made aware of the threat;
  • the date the DOSM was informed of the threat;
  • the date the USMS and FBI were notified; and,
  • the date of the Urgent report to EOUSA.

If any action or security measures are undertaken in response to a reported threat, each DOSM must send timely, periodic follow-up reports to EOUSA notifying EOUSA of any such follow-up action.

Security Incident Reports are submitted to report all other types of security-related incidents (e.g., bomb threats which do not directly involve a USAO, thefts of personal or Government property, disclosure of sensitive or classified information to unauthorized individuals, and discovery of computer viruses).

The submission of an Urgent or Security Incident Report initiates a variety of corrective or protective measures and should not be delayed pending the development of more detailed information. Follow-up reports will be submitted to provide additional data.

When it is first learned that a threat has been made or may exist against a USAO or an employee of a USAO, three things must be done immediately:

  • Notify the local United States Marshal. When threats warrant such action, the United States Marshals Service (USMS) provides assistance to threatened individuals in the form of personal security briefings, residential security surveys, and armed protective details. The local United States Marshal reports the threat to USMS Headquarters, which compiles all threat-related data and rates the threat High, Medium, or Low to determine if protective services are warranted. The local Marshal has the authority to assign a protective detail for 72 hours, continuances are approved by USMS Headquarters.
  • Notify the local Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) office. The FBI investigates all threats made against Department employees. Upon notification, the FBI initiates an investigation and shares investigative results with the USMS, the USAO, and EOUSA.
  • Submit a report to EOUSA. Urgent Reports, unless classified, should be submitted to EOUSA by electronic mail to USAEO-URGENT mailbox. See USAM Chapter 1-13.000. Security Incident Reports should be submitted to the Security Programs Staff by facsimile, electronic mail (to USAEO-SECMAIL), or telephone.

When threats to an individual or an office develop, EOUSA provides emergency security support to the USAO. The measures taken are proportional to the speed with which Urgent or Security Incident Reports are provided. The Security Programs Staff compiles and coordinates threat-related information with the USMS, the FBI, and other sources to determine the nature of emergency security support required by the USAO or individual to adequately counter the threat. This support may consist of one or more of the following:

  • Providing immediate on-site surveys and assistance to the affected district, advice and assistance to threatened individuals on dealing with the threat locally, or assistance in obtaining special deputy status.
  • Authorizing, funding, and coordinating the relocation of the threatened individual and/or immediate family members, the immediate installation of residential or automobile alarm systems and/or remote automobile starting devices, or the purchase or temporary lease and installation of other security-related items and equipment.

When To Seek A Recusal—Any subsequent prosecution of individuals making threats against employees in USAOs raises concerns about impartiality. Specifically, a decision to prosecute such an individual raises the serious appearance that the USAO is aggressively targeting the individual who threatened a USAO employee. Pursuant to USAP 3-2.170.001, Recusals, "the requirement of recusal does not arise in every instance in which the United States Attorney or a member of a USAO has a personal relationship or involvement with the matter, but it is required when an actual or apparent conflict of interest exists that would raise a question concerning the United States Attorney's or the USAO's involvement in the matter." In addition, the Office of the Deputy Attorney General has established a policy that, when an employee of a USAO is the victim of a crime, the USAO will be recused from investigating and prosecuting the matter.

In the interests of security, USAOs may take all necessary steps to ensure the safety and well being of their employees, including working with the United States Marshals Service or other appropriate agency on investigating such threats up to the point where any security concerns have been resolved. However, once the threat has been deemed credible, the security issues have been resolved, and there is a substantial likelihood the matter will move forward for criminal investigation and prosecution, office- wide recusal is appropriate, and the USAO should contact EOUSA's General Counsel's Office (GCO). GCO will process the recusal request to the Associate Deputy Attorney General and, upon approval, arrange for another district or Department component to handle the matter. USAOs may continue to be involved during the process of transitioning the case to another district or Department component to ensure that security is still maintained for the threatened employees and that no investigative steps are missed. Once the case has been transitioned, USAOs may receive limited information from the office handling the matter solely for purposes of ensuring the continued safety of the threatened employees, as well as other personnel. They are prohibited, however, from any involvement with the actual prosecution of the matter, including discussing any information that would allow them to have inappropriate influence over the investigation or prosecution of the threat.

[updated August 2011] [cited in USAM 1-13.130; 3-1.200]

3-15.170 - Deputation (Authorization to Carry Firearms)

The Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General, as delegated by the Attorney General, may, in appropriate cases, authorize the Director of the United States Marshals Service to deputize United States Attorney personnel on an individual basis as Special Deputy United States Marshals for the limited purpose of carrying firearms for self protection. Such deputations will enable them to possess and carry firearms without violating local, state, and federal laws which may restrict the possession or carrying of firearms. Such deputations expressly exclude law enforcement powers such as the power to arrest for violations of federal law and court-related duties of United States Marshals.

REQUESTING DEPUTATION. The deputation of United States Attorney personnel will be determined on an individual basis. Authorization for deputation will be granted only in cases where the Deputy Attorney General or his designee determines that at least one of the following conditions exists:

Threat Made:

  • The individual or immediate family members are in imminent danger: a threat of physical harm has been communicated specifically or implicitly, and considering the totality of the circumstances, in the opinion of the investigating agency involved, that the threat is credible.

Threat Posed:

  • The individual is assigned duties which bring them in contact with persons involved in certain types of criminal activity (e.g., organized crime, violent crime, illegal drug distribution, etc.) that lead to a reasonable determination by the United States Attorney that the individual or family members are at a significantly increased level of risk and thereby warrants the carrying of a firearm for self-protection.

Individuals requesting deputations as Special Deputy United States Marshals must: furnish their own firearms and ammunition; be responsible for ensuring their firearms are in safe working condition; and obtain and maintain their firearms proficiency and safety training. Firearms must meet United States Marshals Service criteria for qualifying as primary duty weapons.

An individual seeking an initial or renewal of a deputation as a Special Deputy United States Marshal will make a written request to the United States Attorney. Information on how to complete that request, and other related information, can be found in the EOUSA Resource Manual at 132.

INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITIES. Individuals authorized to carry firearms as Special Deputy United States Marshals pursuant to this order shall not carry such firearms on their persons while pursuing their official duties in courtrooms or in the United States Attorneys' offices. When not in the office, individuals authorized to carry firearms pursuant to this order shall secure the firearms in a proper location when not carried on their person. Everyone, especially those with young children, is required to comply with the presidential directive to secure their firearms with safety locking devices (gunlocks) and receive proper instruction for the use of approved firearms.

Any individual who is deputized as a Special Deputy United States Marshal, and who carries a firearm pursuant to this order, shall at all times be in full compliance with the provisions and requirements set forth herein and as may be required by the Deputy Attorney General. Individuals who have been deputized are also subject to United States Marshals Service policies and regulations regarding the handling and storage of firearms. The United States Marshals Service "Code of Conduct" requires that weapons be concealed from view when not in use; stored in a secure manner to prevent theft, tampering, or misuse when not being carried; and not be inspected, cleaned, handled, or exchanged in public areas or in the presence of jury members, prisoners, witnesses, protected individuals, family members, or the general public. The United States Marshal in each district may impose additional restrictions, and deputized individuals should contact the local United States Marshal to ascertain if other restrictions apply within their district.

When carrying a firearm, all individuals are required to carry their Department of Justice credentials and United States Marshals Service Form 3A which identifies them as Special Deputy United States Marshals.

STORAGE OF APPROVED FIREARMS. Upon entering their official place of business, an individual who has been deputized as a Special Deputy United States Marshal shall, at a minimum, promptly store their approved firearm, preferably while still holstered and loaded, in an approved container specifically designed for weapons storage which must be locked to prevent access by unauthorized individuals. Firearms must not be stored with other materials such as cash, evidence, or office files. Firearms shall remain secured until the individual leaves the official place of business.

DISCHARGE OF FIREARMS. Individuals deputized as Special Deputy United States Marshals may use approved firearms defensively only. Firearms may be discharged only as a last resort to prevent the loss of life or serious bodily injury when there is imminent danger of such an occurrence. Warning shots are prohibited.

Any deputized individual shall immediately report, in writing, to the United States Attorney the circumstances of any accidental or intentional discharge of an approved firearm not related to firearms training. The loss or theft of a firearm shall also be immediately reported in writing to the United States Attorney. Upon receipt of a written report regarding the discharge, loss, or theft of a firearm, the United States Attorney shall forward such report to the Deputy Attorney General or designee via the Director of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys. The Deputy Attorney General shall cause any alleged noncompliance with this Order, discharge of a firearm, loss or theft of a firearm, to be investigated as deemed appropriate.

Any deputized individual who uses their firearm in a shooting incident which results in injury or death will surrender that firearm, upon request, to the appropriate law enforcement authority during the course of the investigation of the incident.

REVOCATION OF DEPUTATION AND DISCIPLINARY SANCTIONS. The Deputy Attorney General may upon the recommendation of the United States Attorney or United States Marshals Service revoke the deputation of an individual. The Special Deputy United States Marshal status of an individual shall be subject to immediate review and possible revocation upon the occurrence of any of the following:

  • Noncompliance with any part of this Order;
  • Noncompliance with the procedures and directives the Deputy Attorney General issued to affect the provisions of this Order;
  • The unsafe or unlawful discharge of a firearm by a deputized individual;
  • An injury or death results from the accidental discharge of the firearm; and
  • Failure of the individual to adhere to recognized standards of safety for the handling of firearms.

Failure of the deputized individual to adhere to any of the provisions of this order or the procedures and directives implementing this order may result in the imposition of formal disciplinary action.

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS. The Director of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys shall provide to the Deputy Attorney General or designee a semiannual report listing all deputized United States Attorney personnel, and other such information as requested by the Deputy Attorney General.

[updated May 1999] [cited in USAM 3-1.200; EOUSA Resource Manual 132]

3-15.180 - Occupational Safety and Health Program

The Director, EOUSA, has overall responsibility for implementing the Occupational Safety and Health Program in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.); Executive Order 12196, "Occupational Safety and Health Programs for Federal Employees"; 29 CFR § 1960, et seq., "Basic Program Elements for Federal Employee Occupational Safety and Health Programs"; and Department of Justice Order 1779.2A, "Occupational Safety and Health Program." The Director has designated the Assistant Director of the EOUSA Security Programs Staff as the Safety and Health Manager to administer the Occupational Safety and Health Program for EOUSA and the USAOs. Reports of unsafe or unhealthful working conditions should be directed to the Manager who will investigate the matter, and make every effort to ensure such matters are corrected in a timely manner. If a condition cannot be corrected within the specified time frame, the Manager notifies the Director of the status of corrective efforts, the basis for the delay, and recommends a course of action.

Each United States Attorney shall designate an individual to serve as the district Occupational Safety and Health Coordinator. Coordinators must be afforded appropriate training and their duties incorporated into performance work plans. The Coordinator is responsible for: arranging and participating in annual inspections of district offices; monitoring findings and reports of inspections to confirm that appropriate corrective measures are implemented; reporting to EOUSA any unsafe or unhealthful working conditions; displaying the Occupational Safety and Health Act poster; conducting investigations and maintaining records of employee or public injuries, property damage, and motor vehicle accidents; and an annual summary of occupational injuries, illnesses, accidents, and property damage.

For further information on investigations and reports, see USAP 3-15.180.001(M).

[updated August 2004]

3-15.190 - Emergency Planning

Emergency planning within the USAOs encompasses two areas: 1) local emergency planning efforts which require the development of Occupant Emergency Plans and 2) national security emergency planning efforts which specify courses of action to ensure the continued operation of the Federal Government in the event certain crisis situations occur.

  1. Occupant Emergency Plans. Federal Property Management Regulations, 41 CFR, § 101-20, require that a short-term emergency response program be developed, and that procedures for safeguarding lives and property in Federally-occupied space during specified emergencies be established. Where the USAO is the primary tenant of a Federal building or facility, and the United States Attorney is the Designated Official, it is the DOSM's responsibility, as the United States Attorney's designee, to ensure an Occupant Emergency Plan is developed and coordinated with other occupant agencies. Where the USAO is not the primary tenant, it is the DOSM's responsibility to participate in the development and staffing of the Occupant Emergency Plan. DOSMs may contact the Security Programs Staff or their local GSA office for guidance and assistance in the preparation of Occupant Emergency Plans. In addition to ensuring that an Occupant Emergency Plan is established for each office within the district, the DOSM must ensure that all USAO employees are familiar with applicable emergency procedures. Occupant Emergency Plans should be reviewed and updated annually. DOSMs should ensure that, at a minimum, evacuation drills are conducted on an annual basis.
  2. National Security Emergency Preparedness. Pursuant to Executive Order 12656, "Assignment of Emergency Preparedness Responsibilities," and in accordance with subsequent DOJ Orders, it is Department policy to maintain a high level of readiness in order to respond to any emergency (i.e., natural disaster, military attack, technological emergency, etc.) which seriously degrades or threatens national security and to ensure the continuity of the Department under such conditions. Before, during, and after such emergencies, the Department must maintain both headquarters and field capabilities to perform the following essential uninterruptible functions:
    • Provide for Attorney General succession;
    • Furnish legal advice to the President, the Cabinet, and the heads of executive branch department and agencies; and
    • Respond to law enforcement matters including foreign counterintelligence and domestic security threats.

    For the purposes of federal emergency preparedness programs, regions have been established and regional cities have been designated from which field entity emergency efforts will be directed. The United States Attorneys in the regional cities of Boston, New York (Southern District), Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City (Missouri), Denver, San Francisco, and Seattle are responsible for serving, in their respective regions, as the senior DOJ official and as the senior member of the DOJ Regional Emergency Team which will include representatives from the FBI, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the USMS, and the Bureau of Prisons. As senior Regional Team members, these United States Attorneys must ensure that all appropriate DOJ emergency plans are developed, maintained, and, in time of emergency, implemented.

    Each regional United States Attorney must designate an individual within their office to serve as the Justice Regional Emergency Coordinator (JREC). The JREC assists the United States Attorney, coordinates policy implementation and operational readiness planning, and serves as liaison between the Federal Emergency Management Agency and all participating DOJ field components. All DOJ field organizations are required to establish an order of succession through a minimum level of four positions for each staffed office to include a delegation of authority. This information must be provided to the JREC. Interagency emergency preparedness training may be held periodically and may involve participation by certain USAO or other DOJ personnel.

3-15.200 - District Security Plan

Each USAO is required to develop a "District Security Plan" which, at a minimum, will include certain required elements. The plan should be reviewed on an annual basis, updated as necessary, and made available to all district employees. Required elements of a District Security Plan are in the EOUSA Resource Manual at 134.

[cited in EOUSA Resource Manual 134]

3-15.300 - Security Education and Awareness

National and Departmental regulations require that employees be provided both initial and refresher security training. DOSMs should establish regular, ongoing security education and awareness programs to ensure USAO employees are familiar with their security responsibilities and USAO emergency procedures. To assist DOSMs in developing training, EOUSA distributes a wide variety of security education materials including: a quarterly security bulletin and advisory memoranda, videos, posters, pamphlets, and books concerning topics such as secure communications, computer security, bomb threats, mail bombs, workplace violence, and personal safety.

New employees should be afforded general security training during orientation. Refresher training may be accomplished by disseminating security information via electronic mail, in district newsletters, or at regular staff meetings. A number of districts have implemented a "security awareness month" during which mandatory and voluntary training sessions are held covering such issues as office security, computer security, information security, mail bombs, and personal safety. DOSMs should consider requesting guest speakers from the EOUSA Security Programs Staff, the DOJ Employee Assistance Program office, local offices of Federal law enforcement (e.g., FBI, USMS, ATF, United States Postal Inspections Service), the local police department, and community organizations such as the PTA or Neighborhood Watch.