It may have looked like they were ready for war or some deranged person looking for his late Social Security benefits.

But it was only Federal Protective Service officers with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security who were conducting a random training operation early Tuesday morning when they surprisingly showed up at the Social Security Administration office in downtown Leesburg.

With their blue and white SUVs circled around the Main Street office, at least one official was posted on the door with a semiautomatic rifle, randomly checking identifications. And other officers, some with K-9s, sifted through the building.

“I thought someone was upset about not getting there check,” said Laura Kelly, who took a friend to the office on Tuesday.

According to one Homeland official in the Washington, D.C. office, Operation Shield. is an effort that uses routine, unannounced visits by FPS inspectors to test the effectiveness of contract guards, or protective security officers — “detecting the presence of unauthorized persons and potentially disruptive or dangerous activities.”

Read More at The Daily Commercial By Millard K. Ives, The Daily Commercial

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