As PFPA director, Cofer is the DOD’s principal liaison with state and local authorities, and communicates directly with DOD components and other executive departments and agencies in carrying out his responsibilities.
These include not only protection of the people and infrastructure of the Pentagon but also other DOD-occupied facilities in the National Capital Region. As such, Cofer works collaboratively with a host of other federal law enforcement and force protection organizations within the region.
PFPA has four subsidiary directors of law enforcement, security integration and technology, threat management, and mission integration. Their authorities extend over directorates beginning with the Pentagon Police Department (PPD).
The Pentagon police have exclusive jurisdiction within the Pentagon Reservation and share concurrent jurisdiction with other police agencies in an area of approximately 275 acres around the complex. Arlington County, Virginia, also gives Pentagon Police officers conditional police authority throughout Arlington County.
Pentagon police officers are federal law enforcement officers, appointed under Title 10 Section 2674. They receive their initial training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers in Glynco, Georgia.
They welcome visitors overtly and subtly by checking identification, credentials, and personal items, assisting visitors and their sponsors to various designated areas or offices. They patrol the reservation perimeter, facilitate the flow of vehicular and foot traffic, and when problems or incidents arise, they respond to the scene, coordinating their activity with other directorates.
The Anti-Terrorism Force Protection (AT/FP) Directorate advises Pentagon leaders on AT/FP threats, analyzing and disseminating threat information across the Pentagon. The directorate develops AT/FP contingency plans and perhaps most crucially, conducts antiterrorism training for all Pentagon and OSD workers.
AT/FP Level 1 antiterrorism awareness training covers incidents that have taken place and provides insight about terrorist groups that operate in the Pentagon and national capitol area. Given to the tens of thousands of DOD military and civilians at the Pentagon, it not only equips employees to deal with a crisis situation, it effectively crowdsources their ability to recognize anomalies in day-to-day affairs and present information to AT/FP for analysis or action.
Spotting anomalies is also central to PFPA’s Force Protection Technology Directorate (FPTD) and Security Services Directorate (SSD). The former manages the agency’s computers and networks as well as its sensors and security alarms. FPTD also operates the extensive network of computerized locks that control building access. A segment of its work is administrative, but as its responsibilities suggest, FPTD is keenly attuned to cyber and electromagnetic interference threats, as well as sensor detection of physical activity.
The SSD issues Pentagon building passes. It operates all barriers and gates that control access on the Pentagon campus. It reviews all requests from people to take pictures of the Pentagon.
When an incident or act of crime does arise, the Criminal Investigations & Protective Directorate (CIPD) investigates the matter within the jurisdiction of the agency. PFPA special agents are tasked with responsibility for such criminal investigations. The agents also provide protection during visits by foreign ministers of defense to the United States. Other visits, designated by OSD, enjoy the PFPA special agent protection as well.
CIPD’s Operations Section is responsible for coordinating protection missions and providing around-the-clock support for field agents. Those include agents in the Protective Services Unit (PSU), which provides support for the OSD and the chairman and vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon building.