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Law Enforcement Services Summary Banner

Program Summary

    In accordance with Section 120, PL 94-587, (90 Stat. 2917), Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1976, as amended by PL 96-536, (94 Stat. 3166), it is the policy of the Corps of Engineers that District Commanders are delegated the authority to contract and/or enter into cooperative agreements with states and their political subdivisions to obtain increased law enforcement services. It was later determined that cooperative agreements cannot be used to obtain law enforcement services.

    The following chronology of milestones describes the development of the program as we know it today:
    1971 ER 190-2-3- Law Enforcement Policy - Established an interim policy at Lake Cumberland, which included a Pilot Program for enforcement of regulations at Corps of Engineers projects.
    1971 Pilot Citation Program, Lake Cumberland, Kentucky under which six Park Rangers were granted authority to enforce rules by issuance of warnings only, and which also specifically stated that the Park Rangers would not carry weapons nor have arrest authority
    1972 ER 190-2-4 - Law Enforcement- Expanded the program nationwide and included citations as well as warnings
    1974 Review of Visitor Protective Services- Reviewed Corps program, including looking at our limited Park Ranger authority, inability of local authorities to enforce. The study addressed options including increased authority, adding to Park Ranger staffing, assuming complete enforcement responsibility, letting state and local agencies assume those responsibilities, or keeping Corps authorities fundamentally the same and initiating Law Enforcement Contracts. Other recommended changes included improving regulations and guidance, training, and uniforms.
    1975 GAO Study, Crime in the Federal Recreation Areas (Published in 1977)- Noted that crime was an issue in all federal recreation areas and addressed concerns of public safety
    1976 Water Resource Development Act, Section 120 - Authorization to establish Law Enforcement Contracts
    1977 ER 1130-2-418- Law Enforcement Contracts, establishing policy to initiate these contracts with guidance for administration
    2005 HQUSACE Chief of Counsel concluded law enforcement services should be procured using contracts rather than cooperative agreements.
    2010-2011 Surveys of Corps Park Rangers and Managers (OPM/APM and Lake/Lock-Level NRM Managers) indicated the benefits perceived by field staff from Law Enforcement Contracts. Asked if visitors were safer because of Law Enforcement Contracts at their locations, 85% of Rangers and 91% of the Managers who responded answered "Yes". Asked if employees were safer because of Law Enforcement Contracts, 81% of Park Rangers and 88% of Managers answered "Yes". Asked if Law Enforcement response times on calls for assistance are shorter when a Law Enforcement Contract is in place, 74% of Park Rangers and 88% of Managers said "Yes" (Note: only Managers at the lake-lock level were asked the response time question).
    2016 HQUSACE Operations Division re-emphasizes that cooperative agreements will no longer be used to procure law enforcement services.

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