Armed DHS Agents Conduct Practice Raid at Florida Social Security Office

Senior Trying to Enter the Social Security Building

118 Main Street, Leesburg, North Florida, armed guard set up for checking ID

Don’t worry, the semi-automatic rifles and K-9′s used during the practice raid were only for show – they weren’t planning to use them against the seniors (I’m pretty sure). I’m being ironic of course. A practice raid is legitimate, however, a little notice would have been nice. If reports by The Daily Commercial are true, there were no warnings.

When Fish & Game aren’t raiding guitar factories, DHS is apparently conducting armed “training” raids on social security offices as part of Operation Shield.

The training exercise by DHS took place in Leesburg, Florida on January 4th allegedly.

At least the social security building is a government building and the purpose was to test security, unlike the bizarre raid on the Gibson Guitar factory last summer. My problem with this raid is that it was allegedly conducted without anyone in social security knowing about it.

Whenever actual weapons are used it creates a potentially dangerous situation and you would think DHS would have at least alerted internal security. According to the SSA District Manager, no one was notified.

This compelling story came out of The Daily Commercial, which is an in-print and online newspaper in Leesburg, Florida. They are the only legitimate media source for this story at this point. According to them, DHS surrounded the building, put an armed guard at the door and, while well-armed, they filtered throughout the building with K-9′s.

Conducting a raid like this without telling someone at the social security office is unusual.

Securing our government buildings is of vital necessity, but surrounding a social security building with SUV’s and heavily armed agents who are locked & loaded might be a bit much, especially considering the fact that those offices are set up for seniors and handicapped people. I can’t really speak to that as a professional, only as a citizen.

What DHS did may not by egregious but it’s dangerous in my opinion. DHS might want to tell someone at the locality next time .

Eh, maybe that’s too much to expect coming out of Janet “Big Sis” Napolitano’s office.

Oddly, no other local, state or national paper has picked up the story though the blogs are spreading it throughout the Internet, inaccurately, I might add.  Read here: In-Print Daily Commercial Article or Online Article

Training excercise startles locals

Published: Wednesday, January 04, 2012

LEESBURG

MILLARD K. IVES | Staff Writer

millardives@dailycommercial.com

It may have looked like they were ready for war or some deranged person looking for his late Social Security benefits.

But it was only Federal Protective Service officers with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security who were conducting a random training operation early Tuesday morning when they surprisingly showed up at the Social Security Administration office in downtown Leesburg.

With their blue and white SUVs circled around the Main Street office, at least one official was posted on the door with a semiautomatic rifle, randomly checking identifications. And other officers, some with K-9s, sifted through the building.

“I thought someone was upset about not getting there check,” said Laura Kelly, who took a friend to the office on Tuesday.

According to one Homeland official in the Washington, D.C. office, Operation Shield. is an effort that uses routine, unannounced visits by FPS inspectors to test the effectiveness of contract guards, or protective security officers — “detecting the presence of unauthorized persons and potentially disruptive or dangerous activities.”

Part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, FPS is the federal law enforcement agency that provides integrated security and law enforcement services to over 9,000 federally-owned and leased buildings, facilities, properties and other assets.

Officers on the scene would not speak to the press and by noon they were gone. But Thomas Milligan, district manager for the Social Security Administration office, said while the visit came as a surprise, the office was ready. He added the officers checked videos, security measures, alarm system and more.

“It was to make sure security measures are in place and properly followed,” Milligan said.

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Sara Noble

Sara Noble

Sara Noble, B.A. English Literature, St. John's University; M.S. Education, M.A. Administration, Hofstra University. World traveler. Worked with children as a teacher and school administrator for three decades. Published in educational journals, children's mystery magazines, and was an editor at This Week Magazine. I am devoted to an America that promotes free enterprise and ingenuity, values the Constitution as intended, and does not encourage a nanny state under the casuistic banner of "the common good". 

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