Supreme Court of the United States Police is a
small U.S. federal law enforcement
agency headquartered in the District of Columbia, whose mission is to ensure the integrity of the
constitutional mission of the U.S. Supreme Court by protecting the Supreme Court
building, the Justices, employees, guests, and
Although the Court consists of nine Justices, its
police force has 145 members, a 1:13 ratio.
Established in 1935 , the Supreme Court security force was tasked
to provide protection for the Supreme Court building. The Court had
previously resided in the U.S. Capitol Building, and the original force of 33 officers were
selected from the ranks of the United States Capitol
A separate police department was formally created by Congress in
1949, but that act specified that the officers' duties would
consist solely of patrolling the Supreme Court building and its
surroundings. The Supreme Court police were not authorized to carry
guns or to make arrests outside of their small Washington
jurisdiction. If a justice required or requested a bodyguard, he
was provided with either a federal marshal or a member of the
Supreme Court Police who was temporarily deputized as a marshal. In
May of 1982, however, then-Chief Justice Warren E. Burger
, citing a rise in "terrorist
activities, assassination attempts, and street crime", requested
greater powers for the Supreme Court police, and Congress
Currently, the Supreme Court Police are responsible for protecting
, building occupants, and the Court's historic building
and grounds. Additional responsibilities include courtroom
security, dignitary protection, emergency response, and providing
assistance to building visitors.
Units of the Supreme Court Police include:
Police Officers are trained at the Federal Law
Enforcement Training Center in Georgia.
- Uniformed Services
- Protective Services
- Threat Assessment Unit
- Background Investigation Unit
- Honor Guard
- Key Response Squad
- HazMat/Bomb Response.
They may retire at the age of 50
with 20 years of qualifying service, or at any age with 25 years of
service. They are awarded "enhanced retirement benefits".