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Dignitary Protection is not unique in today’s Police Departments. Across the country, Police Departments often provide Dignitary Protection for their leaders and other high ranking or influential people. The Pentagon Police Department (PPD) is no different. The PPD Protective Service Unit (PSU) is assigned under the PPD Special Operations Division (SOD). The mission of the PSU is to protect principals from harm or embarrassment and to expedite their movements when necessary. In achieving their goals, PSU personnel must be highly trained and experts in numerous law enforcement skills in order to provide a premier security posture for, and according to specification of the individual principal(s) needs.

An additional function of the PSU is to support the coordination of special events that take place in, and around the Pentagon Reservation. The PSU serves as the single point of contact for PPD on all ceremonies in honor of visiting dignitaries hosted by the Office of Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Various protocol offices such as the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Office of Defense Foreign Affairs utilize PSU officers to assist their organization and ensure that their events operate smoothly as possible.

Quality public relations skills are critical for the officers of the PSU. For PSU officers, strong diplomatic skills and the ability to effectively operate in high-pressure situations are extremely important.