The Police Labor Committee for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) – Fraternal Order of Police (the union representing the police force at NIST) spoke out today in response to the breaking news that undercover operatives were able to infiltrate the NIST campus in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Gaithersburg, Maryland. November 8, 2017—
(PRWEB) November 08, 2017 -- The police union responsible for enforcing laws and maintaining peace and order on the NIST campus reports that they have been replaced by a contract security guard company at the main gate and other entry and access points.
Police Corporal Dalia Kulowiec, Chair of the Union, stated, “National media outlets recently reported that covert operatives, who were conducting secretive surveillance missions at our Gaithersburg, Maryland and Boulder, Colorado campuses, were able to obtain unauthorized entry.” However, as Brian Bregman, the attorney for the police union, clarified, “While this important news story highlighted critical security concerns at our government’s installations, there is much more involved that needs to be told.”
“For the last several years, NIST management has not replaced our workforce and they are slowly squeezing us out,” Cpl. Kulowiec reported, “When our personnel transfer or retire, management has refused to hire more officers.” Instead, she added, “the government signed a multi-million dollar contract for security guards to replace us and assume responsibility for the physical security of the campus. However, these guards are not federal employees. They do not have undergo the same rigorous hiring and training standards that federal law enforcement officers are held to, including the stringent training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.”
The union has voiced concerns previously this year, alleging that NIST and its parent agency, the Department of Commerce, have been working for several years to do away with the police department. “Whether it is an effort to save a few dollars or an issue of power or control, we simply cannot tell,” Mr. Bregman said, “but one thing is for sure: the government’s decision to replace the police officers with security guards, are not in the best interests of safety and security.”
Attorney Bregman also identified some key events that occurred recently: “In addition to voicing our complaints about the shrinking police force, which is now down to a mere 12 officers, two important occurred early this past summer. First, myself and officers in the Union spoke with investigators from the Government Accountability Office, who were preparing an assessment of the security at the NIST campus. We expressed concerns that our police force was not being supported with the proper manpower or leadership. The Union also had a long meeting with one of the top directors of the office of security for the Department of Commerce, where we urged them to stop hiring security guards to replace our police officers, which are vital to the NIST campus. The next thing that occurred was the news stories of the security breach”
“The government investigators apparently decided to not only conduct these secret operations but then also release the results shortly after we had these important meetings and requested that they support the police force instead of hiring security guards.” Cpl. Kulowiec noted, citing recent media reports and statements made to the press. However, as Mr. Bregman added, perhaps the motivation was more about the information that was left out of the investigation and media reports: “When this story broke, it was only about how these investigators were able to gain unauthorized entry onto a campus that has a nuclear reactor and hazardous chemicals on it. However, no effort was made to explain where the actual security lapses were. The security guard company was hired to assume responsibility for the gates and other entry points, while the police officers are being told to handle only internal duties. The security guards are expanding and taking over almost all aspects of security, while the police force is shrinking and management is cutting back on their role and responsibilities.”
Attorney Bregman summarized for the Union by stating, “It is clear to us that NIST and Commerce leadership want the police force abolished. It seems to be a turf war about who controls the money and who is in charge, because police officers are federal law enforcement professionals who are sworn to uphold the law, whereas security guards can be told to do anything. This is a power grab by government bureaucrats over who controls their soldiers.” But, as Cpl. Kulowiec concluded, “The saddest part is that our officers of 15 or 20 years, who know the campus inside and out, are being replaced by inexperienced security guards who work for a company with high turnover, so end result is that security and safety are the only casualties of this war.”
For More Information, Contact: Brian R. Bregman, Attorney (http://www.BB-Law.com and +1-301-362-0009)
Police Union Speaks Out about Reports of Undercover Investigation at Federal Facility that Houses Hazardous Chemicals and a Nuclear Reactor
November 8, 2017