Washington DC is policed by several different law enforcement agencies which can be confusing to local residents and visitors. Following is a guide to the law enforcement agencies and police departments that serve and protect the District of Columbia. Keep in mind that most agents can be identified by their agency patch, badge and ID number.
- DC Metropolitan Police Department - The law enforcement agency run by District of Columbia government is one of the ten largest police forces within the United States. The local police department works with many other agencies to prevent crime and enforce local laws.
- US Park Police - The unit of the Department of the Interior provides law enforcement services in National Park Service areas including the National Mall.
- Secret Service – Serving under the Department of Homeland Security, the Secret Service protects the president, vice president, and their families, visiting heads of foreign governments and other distinguished foreign visitors.
- Metro Transit Police - Law enforcement agents provide security for Metrorail and Metrobus in the tri-state area, Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia.
- U.S. Capitol Police – The police force enforces regulations throughout the congressional buildings, parks, and thoroughfares and protects Members of Congress, Officers of the United States Senate, United States House of Representatives, and their families.
There are dozens of additional small law enforcement agencies that protect specific buildings and agencies in Washington DC including the Pentagon Police, the Supreme Court of the US Police, Amtrak Police, Zoo Police, NIH Police, Veteran's Administration Police, Library of Congress Police, the US Mint Police and more.