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Regional Security Office
Diplomatic Security Service logo

Diplomatic Security Service logo

The Regional Security Office is staffed by special agents of the Diplomatic Security Service  (DSS), the law enforcement and security branch of the U.S. Department of State.  DSS special agents serving in regional security offices anchor our overseas security efforts and provide the first line of defense for our personnel, their families, U.S.  diplomatic missions, and national security information. More than 480 DSS special agents in over 150 countries advise chiefs of mission on all security matters and develop and implement the programs that shield U.S. missions and residences overseas from physical and technical attack.

Special agents, in concert with other mission or post elements, formulate plans to deal with various emergency contingencies ranging from hostage taking to evacuations. Often, in times of crisis and political instability, DSS special agents rely on the U.S. military for assistance. Since the early 1990s, special agents have worked closely with the military, especially the U.S. Marine Fleet Antiterrorism Security Teams, which have provided emergency force protection support for Department of State operations in a number of countries when the host government was unable to do so.

Special agents are the primary liaison with foreign police and security services overseas, for instance the PET in Denmark, in support of U.S. law enforcement initiatives and investigations. Much of the investigative and law enforcement liaison work done by special agents abroad is on behalf of other federal, state, and local agencies. DSS receives about 3,000 requests for overseas investigative assistance from U.S. law enforcement each year, and has achieved noteworthy success in locating and apprehending wanted fugitives who have fled the United States.

DSS special agents also provide unclassified briefings and other professional security advice to U.S. businesses overseas through the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC).

While special agents face a tremendous challenge in implementing a mission's security program, it is clearly one that cannot be handled alone. In the challenge to safeguard our personnel and sensitive information overseas, Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) security engineering officers (SEOs) augment the efforts of the security office. SEOs are the primary developers and promulgators of technical policy and regulations. They design or develop, implement, and manage security equipment programs at our missions abroad. In a constantly evolving technical environment, SEOs are responsible for detecting and preventing loss of sensitive information from technical espionage.

In addition to SEOs, special agents depend upon Marine Security Guards, U.S. Navy Seabees, surveillance detection teams, local guards, cleared American guards, local investigators, host government officials, and other DS elements domestically and abroad to provide assistance in combating criminal, intelligence, and terrorist threats against U.S. interests worldwide. These entities play a crucial role in the overall DS security efforts overseas.

Denmark Consular Information Sheet

OSAC Copenhagen Page

To learn more about Diplomatic Security's activities, please view Partnerships for a Safer World(PDF), the bureau's latest annual report.

You can contact the RSO on

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