The Federal Protective Service was not involved with security at the Navy Yard, but the deadly incident renewed questions over security at other federal buildings across the country and whether the Federal Protective Service was fit to protect the 9,600 federal buildings under its jurisdiction. The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives held several hearings on the matter.
A government review of the agency last year found significant “challenges” in “some aspects of guards’ training,” noting that, “Screener training is essential to helping prevent unauthorized individuals and items from entering federal facilities.”
Current and former law enforcement officials, however, told ABC News the blame for the security lapse on Monday should sit with the university police for failing to retrieve Ramos’ ID, not the Federal Protective Service guard.
“No one’s going to be an expert on identifying every badge,” said one former official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “[Ramos allegedly] used a genuine ID, and that’s where things went bad.”
A current federal law enforcement official agreed, adding that the seemingly “valid” ID card would have had the effect of validating the fake badge Ramos was allegedly holding.
The former official said the FBI deserves credit for recognizing holes in Ramos’ alleged story and securing his gun.
Still, another current official said the whole incident “does seem alarming, and this could’ve been a very bad outcome.”
Several sources said officials at the federal building in Philadelphia are examining their security procedures in the wake of Monday’s incident, but changes are unlikely due to the high volume of law enforcement officers working in the building.
“We should always strive to figure out how to better respond to evolving security threats,” Sen. Carper said in his statement. “I look forward to receiving more information from Federal Protective Service and others about plans to address this incident and prevent similar incidents in the future.”
Ramos has been arrested and charged with bringing a firearm into a federal facility and making false statements to federal law enforcement. A hearing to discuss his competency for trial is expected in the coming days.
The University of Pennsylvania and its police department “are cooperating fully with the FBI in their investigation,” the university spokesman said.
A federal public defender representing Ramos declined to comment for this article. An FBI spokeswoman also declined to comment.