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The 12 Federal Reserve Banks Have Their Own Police Forces

Written by Gary North on September 19, 2012

The 12 regional Federal Reserve banks are legally private entities, yet they have their own police forces under the authority of the United States government. They have possessed this authority for over a decade. It was given to them by the Patriot Act (2001).

They do not broadcast this authority. They prefer to keep this fact in the background. But they hire armed officers to police their own affairs.

Why do private agencies possess such authority under the United States Constitution? Because this is not your grandfather’s Constitution any more. The Patriot Act changed all that.

Section 364 of the Act, “Uniform Protection Authority for Federal Reserve,” reads: “Law enforcement officers designated or authorized by the Board or a reserve bank under paragraph (1) or (2) are authorized while on duty to carry firearms and make arrests without warrants for any offense against the United States committed in their presence…Such officers shall have access to law enforcement information that may be necessary for the protection of the property or personnel of the Board or a reserve bank.”

The police officers are technically known as FRLEO, short for Federal Reserve Law Enforcement Officer. The system has its own police academies for training, their own patch and badges, uniforms, pistols, rifles, police cars and the power to arrest coast to coast without a warrant. They have ranks of Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain and a recruitment ad campaign with the slogan: “It’s about respect and recognition from your peers. It’s you.”

They receive training in most weapons: pistols, shotguns, and machine guns.

They have their own union, the Federal Reserve Policemen’s Benevolent Association.

Why should these institutions possess federal power? Because the Congress has paid no attention to such legal issues as the sovereignty of the U.S. government. Congress extended executive power to these private agencies because almost no one in Congress pays any attention to laws. The book title by retired California state senator W. H. “Bill” Richardson is accurate: What Makes You Think We Read the Bills?

When any institution’s agents legally carries badges and guns, it is an agency of civil government. So, the regional banks both are and are not government institutions. The Federal Reserve System is like no other institution.

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7 thoughts on “The 12 Federal Reserve Banks Have Their Own Police Forces

  1. Texas Chris says:


  2. So does the Post Office. I would be more concerned about them than any FRLEO. I would imagine that most of them are former LEO's from City, County, State, or Federal Agency's.

  3. The Post Office has Inspectors and their only allowed to deal with mail crimes.

  4. I don't understand this comment: "When any institution’s agents legally carries badges and guns, it is an agency of civil government."

    Don't private security guards carry badges and guns? Does that mean that every business or organization which hires security guards is an agency of civil government?

    How about a church which has security guards that have badges and guns. Is the church now an agency of civil government?

    I think it would have been more accurate to say "When any institution’s agents carries badges and guns by legislative authority, it is an agency of civil government."

    I think that was probably what the author meant, judging by the context. It is an important distinction though, because most people will interpret "legally" to mean "not restricted by law" as opposed to "instituted by law."

  5. Toward the end of his life President Woodrow Wilson wrote that he had "unwittingly destroyed my own country" when he signed the Federal Reserve Act into law. We are living through the logical conclusion of his decision now.

  6. ThirstyJon,

    Re-read paragraphs (1) and (2), section 364, of the act quoted in the article above. Private security guards have no such authorizations.

  7. I think you missed my point cipher. I made no argument one way or another about the act quoted in the article.

    I merely pointed out that one sentence in the article is begging to be misunderstood.

    Private security guards "legally carry badges and guns" and yet they are not agencies of civil government.

    Reread my comment.