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The regional security office works closely with the U.S. embassy’s consular affairs office and serves as a resource for U.S. citizens living, working, and traveling overseas. Regional security offices provide timely information on local safety and security conditions and provide recommendations on protecting against crime, civil unrest, terrorism, or other threats. Regional security office personnel may also provide assistance to U.S. citizens before, during, or after emergencies overseas.

Newly trained first responder volunteers at the U.S. Embassy in The Hague prepare to sponge down an embassy Marine Security Guard during the decontamination portion of an exercise simulating a chemical, biological, radiological & nuclear incident, April 26, 2018. (U.S. Department of State photo)

Emergency Response

When the embassy is aware of an impending emergency, the regional security office assists the American Citizen Services office in producing and distributing advisories or warnings to registered American citizens via e-mail, fax, or telephone.

The regional security office assists in disseminating critical evacuation information and may coordinate with host nation law enforcement and security agencies to ensure that the safe evacuation of U.S. citizens in the event of an emergency.

DSS special agents assigned to the regional security office staff provide country-specific security briefings for U.S. citizens at embassy and consulate “town hall” meetings.

If a U.S. citizen becomes a victim of crime while abroad, the regional security office can help the victim file criminal complaints, obtain police reports, and engage with the host country judicial system.

Schools and Recreational Organizations

Terrorists have begun to pursue less-protected targets of U.S. interest. These “soft targets” include overseas schools and recreational facilities where U.S. citizens or their children study or socialize.

To reduce the threat of terrorist attacks against these “soft targets,” the State Department awards grants for facilities to purchase and install security upgrades.

Although these facilities are not under the authority or the responsibility of the U.S. embassy or consulate, the regional security office often serves as an informal advisor on security matters.

U.S. Department of State

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