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Transmittal Notice

  1. Explanation of Material Transmitted: This chapter provides guidance for restricting, removing and/or banning individuals who enter the National Institutes of Health (NIH) grounds or facilities for inappropriate reasons or to engage in threatening and/or disruptive behavior. This policy defines the roles, responsibilities and procedures for the removal and/or banning of an offending individual and in determining the length of time of the restriction.
  2. Filing Instructions:

Remove: N/A
Insert: Manual Issuance 2300-752-3, dated 03/07/2014

PLEASE NOTE: For information on:

This chapter provides guidance for restricting, removing and/or banning offending individuals from NIH campuses and facilities in emergency and non-emergency situations. Included are procedures to be used in determining if such offending individual’s access should be banned and/or restricted on a short or long-term basis.

Following brief security screenings, visitors are permitted to enter onto NIH grounds to visit patients, consult medical staff, attend seminars and engage in a variety of other activities. Generally, escorts are not required after visitors leave the screening area.

This policy of open access has worked to foster biomedical research. However, on rare occasions a visitor, employee, contractor, or patient will enter NIH grounds for an illegal or other inappropriate purpose or engage in threatening or disruptive behavior after entry has been gained. When this occurs, the offending individual’s access, both present and future, may be denied or restricted in order to protect others and ensure fulfillment of the NIH mission.

This chapter applies to all NIH owned, occupied and leased space and to all persons on or within those areas. All persons on NIH property must comply with all applicable Federal laws and must not engage in any conduct that is harmful to the Federal Government or that interferes with the work and mission of the NIH. This includes behavior or statements that reasonably appear to threaten public safety or create a nuisance or disturbance. It is the policy of the NIH to have such persons removed, banned or restricted from its property.

The NIH Division of Police (DP) is tasked with the responsibility of enforcing the aforementioned removals and restrictions on the Bethesda campus, the National Institute on Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) campus in Montana, and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) facilities located at Ft. Detrick, in Frederick, MD. Typically, DP officers remove or bar entry of persons who have been selected for exclusion by NIH officials (non-police).

In certain cases, DP officers may also initiate a ban or restriction without a prior request from a non-police official to deny entry to, or require the removal of, any person whose behavior or statements reasonably appear to threaten public safety or create a nuisance or disturbance on the NIH grounds.

Protection of all other NIH campuses and facilities against unwarranted individuals gaining entry is handled differently. The DP depends upon contracted guard force personnel to protect NIH’s off campus facilities.  NIH’s personnel who work off campus shall direct matters that require a police response to local law enforcement agencies possessing jurisdiction for non-emergency situations and call 911 for emergencies.

The Federal Protective Service (FPS), which is an agency of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), possesses jurisdiction over a few NIH off campus facilities. NIH employees requiring police assistance at facilities under FPS jurisdiction should call the Suitland Mega Center at 301-763-0126 for non-emergencies and the FPS National Emergency Number 1-877-4FPS-411 (1-877-437-7411) for emergencies. 

The NIH is responsible for determining what individuals have access to the NIH facilities with NIH personnel. In the event that it is necessary to ban or restrict the access of an individual, the NIH DP shall oversee the process of banning that individual from the NIH facilities and coordinate with FPS and local law enforcement agencies to enforce the ban or restriction. The NIH bans or restricts the access of an individual (visitor, employee, contractor or patient) who gains entry for inappropriate or illegal purposes or who displays threatening or disruptive behavior.

E. Definitions

  1. All Other Locations – Refers to NIH campuses, offices, labs, grounds where the NIH Police do not have jurisdiction. (Also see: NIH Police Jurisdiction)

  2. Banning (also see Restriction) - When an authorized NIH official decides not to allow an individual entry onto an NIH campus or into an NIH work place, by taking actions described within this Chapter. The individual’s access to an NIH campus or work place can be denied.

  3. Electronic Access Control System – A system designed to track and determine who can access the campus by the scanning of an NIH issued identification (ID) badge.

  4. Facility Official – Any NIH employee, and in some cases an NIH contractor, who has responsibilities for overseeing, managing, caring for, and/or protecting NIH owned or leased space, or General Services Administration (GSA) leased space, regularly occupied and used by NIH employees or contractors where the illegal, inappropriate, threatening, or disruptive behavior has, or is occurring. Examples would include, but are not limited to, Facility Managers, Lab Managers, Office Mangers, and supervisors. 

  5. Federal Protective Service (FPS) – An extension of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that serves as a federal law enforcement agency, which provides security and law enforcement services to federally owned and leased buildings, facilities, properties, and other assets. 
  6. Immediate/Emergency – Without delay or hesitation; with no time intervening or an unforeseen crisis (usually involving real or potential danger) that requires immediate action. In this Chapter, the terms are used to refer to a person who has entered, or plans to enter, NIH grounds for an inappropriate purpose, or who engages in threatening or disruptive behavior after entry has been gained and the situation calls for immediate and/or emergency actions.
  7. NIH DP Visitor Identification Badge System – Electronic system designed to create temporary (one day) badges for NIH visitors, create records of visits and to identify any restrictions placed upon specific persons attempting to enter.

  8. NIH Police Jurisdiction – Refers to those locations where the NIH Police can operate and carry out the law. Current NIH Police jurisdiction includes the NIH Bethesda Campus, the NIH/NIAID Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Montana, and the NIH/NCI, Cancer Research Center at Ft. Detrick, in Frederick, Maryland.

  9. Non-emergency – A situation that does not require immediate action. In this Chapter, the term refers to a situation involving a person who has entered or plans to enter NIH grounds for an inappropriate purpose, or who engages in threatening or disruptive behavior after entry. Though the situation may be serious, it does not call for immediate and/or emergency actions.

  10. Offending Individual – Term used by NIH police to describe a person who has entered or plans to enter NIH grounds for an inappropriate purpose or who engages in threatening or disruptive behavior after entry. (Also see: Unwanted Guest)

  11. Removal – Applies to removing an individual who has entered NIH grounds for an inappropriate purpose, has engaged in threatening or disruptive behavior or caused disruption to work at an NIH facility or grounds.

  12. Restriction (also see Banning) – When an authorized NIH official decides to place constraints on an individual’s normal access to his/her work place by taking actions described within this Chapter. The individual’s normal access to an NIH campus or work place can be constrained with conditions.

  13. Thirty-Day (30) Period – The maximum period of time the NIH Police can ban an individual from campus without getting further approval from the Deputy Chief Security Officer (DCSO).

  14. Trespassing – The act of refusing or failing to leave any NIH building or grounds, upon being requested to do so by an authorized employee of the public agency or institution owning, operating or maintaining the building or property.  Note: The above defines Trespassing as used within this Manual Chapter and should not be considered as a legal definition of the crime of Trespassing.

  15. Unwanted Guest – Term used by non-NIH police to describe a person who has entered or plans to enter the NIH grounds for an inappropriate purpose or who engages in threatening or disruptive behavior after entry has been gained, regardless if the person has been requested to leave by an authorized employee or not. (Also see: Offending Individual)    

F. Responsibilities

  1. Complainant – The individual responsible for initiating the request for the restriction, removal and/or banning of an offending individual/unwanted guest. Complainants generally witness offending behavior or have specific information indicating that the restriction, removal and/or banning of an offending individual/unwanted guest is in the best interest of the NIH. 

    Note: A complainant can be anyone initiating actions to restrict, remove and/or ban another individual, when it is their belief that taking such actions is in the best interest of the NIH. Complainants do not have to be employees of the NIH.

  2. Executive Officer (EO) – The Executive Officer of the applicable Institute or Center (IC) is responsible for reviewing, approving and submitting NIH Form 2938 to the DCSO at the email address MC2300-752-3@MAIL.NIH.GOV.

  3. Office of Human Resources (OHR) Employee Relations Official is responsible for:

    1. Responding to a complainant’s notification of an immediate/emergency need to remove an NIH employee by reporting to the area in question and assisting in the police investigation as needed.

    2. Completing and submitting NIH Form 2938 to the EO as soon as the police action is completed in cases where the NIH Police have responded and took actions regarding the complaint received.

    Note: The OHR Employee Relations Official is an NIH employee assigned responsibility for personnel issues associated with an incident where removal and/or banning of an NIH employee is required and/or contemplated.

  4. NIH Police Chief or the Police Chief's designee is responsible for:

    1. Checking the email account (MC2300-752-3@MAIL.NIH.GOV ) for receipt of NIH Form 2938 on a daily basis and forwarding any new requests to the Deputy Chief Security Office (DCSO).

  5. NIH Deputy Chief Security Officer (DCSO) is responsible for:

    1. Reviewing and acting upon all submitted NIH Forms 2938 within the 30-day period;

    2. Gathering additional information to determine if the ban should stand, be dismissed or be modified;

    3. Conferring with the applicable HR Official and/or other officials to determine an appropriate course of action;

    4. Notifying, upon making a determination, the appropriate personnel, i.e. the NIH Police, DPSAC, EO, applicable HR Office, and the banned individual.

    Note: The NIH DCSO is designated by the Director, ORS. This position is currently assigned to the Associate Director, Security and Emergency Response (ADSER).  

  6. NIH Chief Security Officer (CSO) is responsible for:

    1. Reviewing any decision by the Deputy Chief Security Officer (DCSO) that has been appealed by the applicable Executive Officer (EO).
    2. Gathering additional information to determine if the restriction(s) or ban(s) should stand, be dismissed or be modified;
    3. Notifying, upon making a final determination, the appropriate personnel, i.e. the DCSO, NIH Police, Division of Personnel Security and Access Control (DPSAC), EO, applicable HR Office, and the banned individual. (Note: The NIH CSO’s decision is final.)
    Note: The NIH CSO is designated by the Director of the NIH. This position is currently assigned to the Director, Office of Research Services (ORS). 
  7. NIH Facility Official is responsible for:

    1. Responding to a complainant’s notification of an immediate/emergency need to remove an individual by reporting to the area in question and assisting in the police investigation as needed.

    2. If not performed by an OHR Employee Relations Official (F.3.b. Responsibilities), completing and submitting NIH Form 2938 as soon as the police action is completed.

G. Records Retention and Disposal

All records generated as a result of this manual chapter will be maintained for a minimum of 2 years or for the length of the ban if it exceeds the 2 year minimum, by the DCSO.   

All other records (e-mail and non-e-mail) pertaining to this chapter must be retained and disposed of under the authority of  NIH Manual 1743 “Keeping and Destroying Records,” C. Protection and Security 1300-C-4 Investigative Files, in accordance with the specific schedule item as applied to the kind of records

NIH e-mail messages, including attachments that are created on NIH computer systems or transmitted over NIH networks that are evidence of the activities of the agency or have informational value are considered Federal records. These records must be maintained in accordance with current NIH Records Management guidelines. Contact your IC Records Liaison or the NIH Records Officer for additional information.

All e-mail messages are considered Government property, and, if requested for a legitimate Government purpose, must be provided to the requester, employees’ supervisors, NIH staff conducting official reviews or investigations, and the Office of Inspector General who may request access to or copies of the e-mail messages. E-mail messages must also be provided to Congressional oversight committees, if requested, and are subject to Freedom of Information Act requests. Back-up files are subject to the same information requests as original messages and documents.

H. Internal Controls

This chapter provides guidance for restricting, removing and/or banning offending individuals from NIH campuses and facilities in emergency and non-emergency situations. Included are procedures to be used in determining if such offending individual’s access should be banned and/or restricted on a short or long-term basis.

  1. Office Responsible for Reviewing this Chapter: Through this manual issuance, the DP is responsible for ensuring that internal controls are implemented and working.

  2. Frequency of Review: Annual

  3. Method of Review: The DP will maintain oversight and ensure compliance with this policy by assessing documentation obtained through its routine operations and interaction with the population on the NIH campus.

  4. Review Reports are sent to: the Chief of Police. Issues of special concern will be brought immediately to the attention of the Associate Director for Security and Emergency Response (ADSER); the Director, Office of Research Services (ORS) and the Deputy Director for Management, (DDM).   

Appendix 1 - Procedures

  1. Within NIH Police Jurisdiction

    1. Police

      1. NIH Police may act upon their own observation and discretion, or at the complainant’s request, for the following situations:

        1. Arresting the offending individual for offenses such as disorderly conduct and trespassing.

        2. Removing the offending individual from the office, lab, building or campus involved.

          1. Generally, when an offending individual is removed, the NIH Police will issue the offending individual a trespassing notice, which informs the individual that they are subject to arrest for trespassing if they return to the area. (Note: NIH Police will determine if the situation does not warrant a trespassing citation.)

        3. Banning the offending individual from entering an NIH office, lab, building or campus, for a period of up to 30 days.

      2. After removing/banning the offending individual, the NIH Police will make an entry into the “NIH DP Visitor Identification Badge System” noting that future access for the individual should not be granted for the period requested, (not to exceed 30 days).

      3. If the offending individual possesses an NIH issued Personal Identity Verification (PIV) card, the NIH Police will also request that DPSAC remove the offending individual’s electronic access to the area(s) involved and possibly confiscate their ID.  (Note: There are occasions where the offending individual is only banned from a specific location on campus but is still allowed campus access.)

      4. Whenever the NIH Police ban an offending individual’s access, they must submit a detailed NIH Form 2938 to the DCSO for review.

    2. NIH Complainant

      1. Immediate and/or emergency removal and/or banning of an individual

        1. The requesting individual or complainant should call the applicable NIH Police dispatch center and request an immediate response by the police to the area in where the illegal, inappropriate, threatening, or disruptive behavior has or is occurring. Note: In true emergencies request a priority response from the police.

          1. On Bethesda Campus: Dial 911

          2. On NCI/Ft. Detrick Campus: Dial 9-911

          3. NIAID Rocky Mountain Laboratories Campus: Dial 0

        2. The complainant informs the operator of the circumstances and the need to have the offending individual removed and/or banned from an office, lab, building, or campus.

        3. The complainant notifies an NIH Facility Official and an HR Official, if the offending individual is an NIH employee, to report to the area in question to inform them of the circumstances and the need to have the offending individual removed and/or banned from the specified area involved.

        4. Upon the arrival of the NIH Police, the above mentioned official(s) and/or complainant should address any questions from the responding officer(s), to include any requests to remove and/or ban the individual.

        5. Absent extraordinary circumstances, such as making an immediate arrest when warranted, the NIH Police generally take the actions requested if those actions fall within the guidelines of this Chapter and the applicable laws. (See Appendix 1: Procedures. 1. “Within NIH Police Jurisdiction,” a. “Police,” for further details.)

        6. Upon conclusion of the police action, the responding NIH Facility and/or HR Official(s) and the complainant will confer and decide which of them will file a report regarding the incident and their desires regarding any bans by completing and submitting NIH Form 2938 to their EO. Upon receipt, the EO will review and fill out applicable sections of the report and submit it to the DCSO. (See Appendix 1: Procedures, 3. “Submitting NIH Form 2938, 'Restricting, Removing and/or Banning Individuals from NIH Work Places' to the DCSO,” for further instructions.)
      2. Non-immediate and/or non-emergency restriction, removal and/or banning of an individual.

        1. The complainant completes NIH Form 2938 and submits it to their EO. Upon receipt, the EO will review and fill out applicable sections of the report and submit it to the DCSO. (See Appendix 1: Procedures, 3. “Submitting NIH Form 2938, 'Restricting, Removing and/or Banning Individuals from NIH Work Places' to the DCSO,” for further instructions.)

  2. Outside NIH Police Jurisdiction

    1. NIH Complainant

      1. Immediate and/or emergency removal and/or banning of an individual

        1. The complainant calls the Police dispatch center (call 911) or FPS emergency number 1-877-4FPS-411 (1-877-437-7411), depending upon applicable jurisdiction, and requests immediate response by the police/FPS to the area where the illegal, inappropriate, threatening, or disruptive behavior has or is occurring.
        2. The complainant informs the operator of an unwanted guest or trespasser on the premises, and the need to have the individual removed and/or banned from the office, lab, building, or campus involved.

        3. The complainant notifies an NIH Facility Official and an HR Official, if the unwanted guest is an NIH employee, to report to the area in question to inform them of the circumstances and the need to have the individual removed and/or banned from the office, lab, building or campus involved.

        4. Upon arrival of the police/FPS, the above-mentioned official(s) and/or the complainant will answer any questions from the responding officer(s), to include any requests to remove and/or ban the offending individual..

        5. Given that the local police officers/FPS inspectors have no official connection with the NIH, any decisions/actions they take fall completely within their discretion. Their decisions are final.

        6. If the police/FPS decide not to remove and/or ban the individual and that individual again becomes disorderly or threatening after the police depart, another call to the police dispatch center should be made to request assistance.

        7. Upon conclusion of police/FPS action, the official(s) will fill out the report with input from the complainant.  The official will then file NIH Form 2938 with their EO. Upon receipt, the EO will review and fill out applicable sections of the report and submit it to the DCSO.  (See Appendix 1: Procedures, 3. “Submitting NIH Form 2938, 'Restricting, Removing and/or Banning Individuals from NIH Work Places' to the DCSO,” for further instructions.)

      2. Non-immediate and/or non-emergency removal and/or banning of an individual:

        1. The complainant completes the “Restriction/Removal/Banning Report” and submits it to their EO. Upon receipt, the EO will review and fill out applicable sections of the report and submit it to the DCSO. (See Appendix 1: Procedures, 3. “Submitting NIH Form 2938, 'Restricting, Removing and/or Banning Individuals from NIH Work Places' to the DCSO,” for further instructions.)

          Note: When officials plan on serving individuals with adverse personnel actions, and believe such actions might result in inappropriate behavior by the individual being served, officials should consider serving the adverse action at an on-campus site where the NIH Police can assist as might be necessary. If not feasible, such officials should consider requesting the NIH Police to coordinate having a police official or FPS official from the jurisdiction where the action is planned to take place on site when service occurs.

      3. Submitting NIH Form 2938, "Restricting, Removing and/or Banning Individuals from NIH Work Places" to the DCSO

        1. Upon receipt from the EO, the DCSO reviews the report and gathers additional information as necessary to determine if the ban should stand, be dismissed or be modified.

        2. The DCSO confers with the applicable HR Official, if the banned individual is an NIH employee, and/or other officials the DCSO believes should be consulted, to determine an appropriate course of action.

        3. Upon making a determination, the DCSO sends notification, as appropriate, to the NIH Police, DPSAC, requesting EO, applicable HR Office, and the banned individual.

        4. If the DCSO fails to act within the initial 30-day period, the ban will be removed from applicable access control systems.

        5. If the EO disagrees with the decision made by the DCSO, he/she can appeal the decision to the NIH Chief Security Officer (CSO) by completing the applicable sections on NIH Form 2938, and submitting it to the CSO.

        6. The CSO reviews the report and gathers additional information as necessary to determine if the ban should stand, be dismissed or be modified.

        7. Upon making a determination, the CSO sends notification, as appropriate, to the DCSO, NIH Police, DPSAC, requesting EO, applicable HR Office, Facility Official, original complainant, and the banned individual.

        8. The CSO’s decision is final.

      4. Appeal by Banned or Restricted Individual

        1. The individual banned or restricted access to any NIH facility must contact the DCSO to initiate an appeal.

        2. The person must submit a written appeal detailing the incident(s) and specifying why the ban or restriction should not be enforced.

        3. The DCSO will then gather further information (interviews, paperwork, etc.) necessary to make a decision.

        4. The DCSO will notify the banned or restricted individual of the decision reached and others as appropriate.

        5. The DCSO’s decision on the appeal is final.

      5. The Review of Extended Bans

        1. Records of extended bans will be maintained by the Division of Police (DP) official designated as the DP Records Manager (RM).

        2. The DCSO will review all extended bans every 2 years (see G. Records Retention and Disposal above).

        3. The DP RM will advise the DCSO on which extended bans are reaching the 2 year timeframe, along with providing him/her with appropriate records.

        4. If the DCSO elects to keep the ban in place, new documents must be created reflecting the new timeframe. Upon doing so, the 2 year records retention period restarts.

        5. If the DCSO elects to allow the ban to expire, the DCSO will make notifications to the CSO, NIH Police, DPSAC, EO, applicable HR Office, and the banned individual to ensure that the ban has been removed from applicable access control systems, applicable record retention timeframes are met and other personnel as appropriate are notified of his/her decision

Appendix 2: Official Notification Letter Revoking Physical and Electronic Access to the National Institutes of Health

This is an image of                the Official Notification Letter Revoking Physical and                Electronic Access to the National Institutes of Health.                For more information on accessibility for this letter                please contact the OD, OM, ORS, SER and DP office at 301                496 2387.


* If you require a 508 compliant PDF version of a chapter please contact policymanual@nih.gov
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