Members of the federal team deployed in Portland, Oregon, confront protesters. Courtesy of Doug Brown, ACLU of Oregon.

Contractors Are Part of the Team in Trump’s ‘Law and Order’ Blitzkrieg

A listing of federal security-firm contractors in U.S. cities being targeted by Trump reveals the players to keep an eye on

Bill Conroy
6 min readSep 3, 2020


Sometimes, even the professional media fact-checkers need to be fact-checked.

That’s the case with a Poynter Institute “PolitiFact” online posting about the use of private contractors in President Trump’s federal troop deployments, which are focused on quelling protests in cities like Portland, Oregon, and Seattle. They are among more than dozen cities that Trump has targeted for such deployments, with the secretive camouflage-clad federal troops sent to Portland this summer receiving the most press attention to date.

For now, the federal troop deployments under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are supposed to be limited to buildings owned or leased by the U.S. government — though pending ACLU of Oregon litigation alleges their law-enforcement activities have been excessive and strayed well beyond federal property. The forces are being led by DHS’ Federal Protective Service (FPS), which employs some 15,000 private security contractors, according to recent information from FPS officials.

The contractors have a range of skills and training, with many authorized to carry weapons and some even required to have top secret clearances. They work for dozens of private companies that contract with FPS — including Blackwater corporate descendant Triple Canopy and a subsidiary of Sweden-based Securitas called Paragon Systems Inc.

The PolitiFact online posting, however, makes the following claim about the FPS private contractors:

The Federal Protective Service oversees more than 13,000 contract security guards who “conduct security screenings at federal buildings,” according to a 2015 Homeland Security fact sheet. Those contracts made up about 70% of the FPS budget during the 2015 fiscal year.

However, public officials have made no public statements about using defense contractors in lieu of federal agents to quell protests in Portland. And we could find no news reports or public documents that say that’s the case.



Bill Conroy

Bill Conroy is an independent investigative journalist. For more information, check out