United States Secret Service

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United States Secret Service
Common name U.S. Secret Service
Abbreviation USSS
Logo of the United States Secret Service.svg
Logo of the U.S. Secret Service
Badge of the United States Secret Service.png
Badge of a U.S. Secret Service Special Agent
Flag of the United States Secret Service.svg
Flag of the U.S. Secret Service
Agency overview
Formed July 5, 1865; 152 years ago (1865-07-05)
Employees 6,750 + (2014)
Annual budget $2.8 billion (2014)
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agency U.S.
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Sworn members 4,400
Agency executives
Parent agency U.S. Department of Homeland Security (2003–present)
U.S. Department of the Treasury (1865–2003)
Field offices 136
Facilities
Resident agent offices 68
Overseas offices 19
Website
www.SecretService.gov

The United States Secret Service (USSS) is a federal law enforcement agency under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.[2] Until 2003, the Service was part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury because the organization's first mission was to fight counterfeiting of U.S. currency.[3]

The U.S. Secret Service has two distinct areas of responsibility:

  • Financial Crimes, covering missions such as prevention and investigation of counterfeit U.S. currency, U.S. treasury securities, and investigation of major fraud.[4]
  • Protection, which entails ensuring the safety of current and former national leaders and their families, such as the President, past Presidents, Vice Presidents, presidential candidates, visiting heads of state, and foreign embassies.

The Secret Service's initial responsibility was to investigate counterfeiting of U.S. currency, which was rampant following the U.S. Civil War. The agency then evolved into the United States' first domestic intelligence and counterintelligence agency. Many of the agency's missions were later taken over by subsequent agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and IRS Criminal Investigation Division (IRS).

Dual mission

Secret Service Special Agents and Special Officers (foreground) protecting the President of the United States, George W. Bush in 2007.

The Secret Service has two primary missions: investigation of financial crimes and physical protection of designated protectees.

Today the agency's primary investigative mission is to safeguard the payment and financial systems of the United States from such crimes as financial institution fraud, computer and telecommunications fraud, false identification documents, access device fraud, advance fee fraud, electronic funds transfers and money laundering as it relates to the agency's core violations.

After the 1901 assassination of President William McKinley, Congress also directed the Secret Service to protect the President of the United States. Protection remains the other key mission of the United States Secret Service.

Today, the Secret Service is authorized by law to protect:[5]

  • The President, the Vice President (or other officer next in the order of succession to the Office of President, should the Vice Presidency be vacant), the President-elect, and the Vice President-elect
  • The immediate families of the above individuals
  • Former Presidents and their spouses for their lifetimes (except when the spouse divorces or remarries), under the Former Presidents Act. From 1997 until 2013, legislation became effective limiting Secret Service protection to former Presidents and their spouses to a period of 10 years from the date the former President leaves office. President Barack Obama signed legislation reversing this limit and reinstating lifetime protection on January 10, 2013.[6][7][8]
  • The widow or widower of a former President who dies in office or dies within a year of leaving office for a period of one year after the President's death (the Secretary of Homeland Security can extend the protection time)
  • Children of former Presidents until age 16 or 10 years after the presidency
  • Former Vice Presidents, their spouses, and their children under 16 years of age, for up to 6 months from the date the former Vice President leaves office (the Secretary of Homeland Security can extend the protection time)
  • Visiting heads of states or governments and their spouses traveling with them
  • Other distinguished foreign visitors to the United States and official representatives of the United States performing special missions abroad, as directed by the President
  • Major presidential and vice presidential candidates[9]
  • The spouses of major presidential and vice presidential candidates (within 120 days of a general presidential election)
  • Other individuals as designated per executive order of the President
  • National Special Security Events, when designated as such by the Secretary of Homeland Security

Any of these individuals may decline Secret Service protection, except the President, the Vice President (or other officer next in the order of succession to the Office of President), the President-elect, and the Vice President–elect.[5]

When Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State in 2009, the Secret Service continued to protect her at home; however the Diplomatic Security Service protected her while she was performing her duties as the Secretary of State, including foreign travel.

The Secret Service investigates thousands of incidents a year of individuals threatening the President of the United States.

In the face of budget pressure, hiring challenges and some high-profile lapses in its unique protective service role in 2014, the Brookings Institution and some members of Congress are asking whether the agency's focus should shift more to the protective mission, leaving more of its original mission to other agencies.[10][11]

The Director of Secret Service is appointed by the President of the United States.

History

Former USSS badge, used from 1875 to 1890.
Former USSS badge, used from 1890 to 1971.

Early years

With a reported one third of the currency in circulation being counterfeit at the time,[12] the Secret Service was created on July 5, 1865 in Washington, D.C., to suppress counterfeit currency. Chief William P. Wood was sworn in by Secretary of the Treasury Hugh McCulloch. It was commissioned in Washington, D.C. as the "Secret Service Division" of the Department of the Treasury with the mission of suppressing counterfeiting. The legislation creating the agency was on Abraham Lincoln's desk the night he was assassinated.[13] At the time, the only other federal law enforcement agencies were the United States Park Police, the U.S. Post Office Department's Office of Instructions and Mail Depredations (now known as the United States Postal Inspection Service), and the U.S. Marshals Service. The Marshals did not have the manpower to investigate all crime under federal jurisdiction, so the Secret Service began to investigate everything from murder to bank robbery to illegal gambling. After the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901, Congress informally requested that the Secret Service provide presidential protection. A year later, the Secret Service assumed full-time responsibility for presidential protection. In 1902, William Craig became the first Secret Service agent to die while serving, in a road accident while riding in the presidential carriage.

The Secret Service was the first U.S. domestic intelligence and counterintelligence agency. Domestic intelligence collection and counterintelligence responsibilities were vested in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) upon the FBI's creation in 1908.

The Secret Service assisted in arresting Japanese American leaders and in the Japanese American internment during World War II.[14] The U.S. Secret Service is not a part of the U.S. Intelligence Community.[15]

20th century

Former USSS badge, used from 1971 to 2003.

Taft assassination attempt

In 1909, President William H. Taft agreed to meet with Mexican President Porfirio Díaz in El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, the first meeting between a U.S. and a Mexican president and also the first time an American president visited Mexico.[16] But the historic summit resulted in serious assassination threats and other security concerns for the then small Secret Service, so the Texas Rangers, 4,000 U.S. and Mexican troops, BOI agents, U.S. marshals, and an additional 250 private security detail led by Frederick Russell Burnham, the celebrated scout, were all called in by Chief John Wilkie to provide added security.[17][18] On October 16, the day of the summit, Burnham discovered a man holding a concealed palm pistol standing at the El Paso Chamber of Commerce building along the procession route.[19] Burnham signaled a Texas Ranger, Private C.R. Moore, and the two men captured and disarmed the assassin within only a few feet of Díaz and Taft, preventing the shooting of both Presidents.[20]

1950s

Truman assassination attempt

In 1950, President Harry S. Truman was residing in Blair House while the White House, across the street, was undergoing renovations. On November 1, 1950, two Puerto Rican nationalists, Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola, approached Blair House with the intent to assassinate President Truman. Collazo and Torresola opened fire on Private Leslie Coffelt and other White House Police officers. Though mortally wounded by three shots from a 9 mm German Luger to his chest and abdomen, Private Coffelt returned fire, killing Torresola with a single shot to his head. As of 2017, Coffelt is the only member of the Secret Service killed while protecting a US president against an assassination attempt (Special Agent Tim McCarthy stepped in front of President Ronald Reagan during the assassination attempt of March 30, 1981, and took a bullet to the abdomen but made a full recovery). Collazo was also shot, but survived his injuries and served 29 years in prison before returning to Puerto Rico in late 1979.

1960s

In 1968, as a result of Robert F. Kennedy's assassination, Congress authorized protection of major presidential and vice presidential candidates and nominees.[21] In 1965 and 1968, Congress also authorized lifetime protection of the spouses of deceased presidents unless they remarry and of the children of former presidents until age 16.[3]

1980s

The Secret Service Presidential Protective Division safeguards the President of the United States and his immediate family. They work with other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and the military to safeguard the President when he travels in Air Force One, Marine One and by limousine in motorcades.

Although the most visible role of the Secret Service today, personal protection is an anomaly in the responsibilities of an agency focused on fraud and counterfeiting.

In 1984, the US Congress passed the Comprehensive Crime Control Act, which extended the Secret Service's jurisdiction over credit card fraud and computer fraud.

1990s

In 1990, the Secret Service initiated Operation Sundevil, which they originally intended as a sting against malicious hackers, allegedly responsible for disrupting telephone services across the entire United States. The operation, which was later described by Bruce Sterling in his book The Hacker Crackdown, affected a great number of people unrelated to hacking, and led to no convictions. The Secret Service, however, was sued and required to pay damages.

In 1994 and 1995, it ran an undercover sting called Operation Cybersnare.[22] The Secret Service has concurrent jurisdiction with the FBI over certain violations of federal computer crime laws. They have created 24 Electronic Crimes Task Forces (ECTFs) across the United States. These task forces are partnerships between the Service, federal/state and local law enforcement, the private sector and academia aimed at combating technology-based crimes.

In 1998, President Bill Clinton signed Presidential Decision Directive 62, which established National Special Security Events (NSSE). That directive made the Secret Service responsible for security at designated events. In 1999, the United States Secret Service Memorial Building was dedicated in DC, granting the agency its first headquarters. Prior to this, the agency's different departments were based in office space around the DC area.[23]

21st century

2000s

September 11 attacks

The New York City Field office was located at 7 World Trade Center. Immediately after the World Trade Center was attacked as part of the September 11 attacks, Special Agents and other New York Field office employees were among the first to respond with first aid. Sixty-seven Special Agents in New York City, at and near the New York Field Office, helped to set up triage areas and evacuate the towers. One Secret Service employee, Master Special Officer Craig Miller,[24] died during the rescue efforts. On August 20, 2002, Director Brian L. Stafford awarded the Director's Valor Award to employees who assisted in the rescue attempts.[25]

Domestic expansion

Effective March 1, 2003, the Secret Service transferred from the Treasury to the newly established Department of Homeland Security.

The USA Patriot Act, signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001, mandated the U.S. Secret Service to establish a nationwide network of Electronic Crimes Task Forces (ECTFs) to investigate and prevent attacks on financial and critical infrastructures in the United States. As such, this mandate expanded on the agency's first ECTF—the New York Electronic Crimes Task Force, formed in 1995—which brought together federal, state and local law enforcement, prosecutors, private-industry companies, and academia.[26][27]

The network prioritizes investigations that meet the following criteria:

  • Significant economic or community impact,
  • Participation of multiple-district or transnational organized criminal groups,
  • Use of new technology as a means to commit crime.

The network includes ECTFs in the following 28 U.S. cities:

International expansion

On July 6, 2009, the U.S. Secret Service expanded its fight on cyber-crime by creating the first European Electronic Crime Task Force, based on the successful U.S. domestic model, through a memorandum of understanding with Italian police and postal officials. Over a year later, on August 9, 2010, the agency expanded its European involvement by creating its second overseas ECTF in the United Kingdom.[30][31]

Both task forces are said to concentrate on a wide range of "computer-based criminal activity," including:

The overseas network includes ECTFs in the following European cities:

2010s

As of 2010, the Service had over 6,500 employees: 3,200 Special Agents, 1,300 Uniformed Division Officers, and 2,000 technical and administrative employees.[32] Special agents serve on protective details, special teams or sometimes investigate certain financial and homeland security-related crimes.

In September 2014, the United States Secret Service came under criticism following two high-profile incidents involving intruders at the White House. One such intruder entered the East Room of the White House through an unlocked door.[33]

Another incident involved a violation of procedure in which an armed security guard for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rode in the same elevator as President Barack Obama during a visit to that agency's headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, to discuss U.S. response to the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa. The guard used his phone to record a video of Obama and refused to comply with a request to stop.[34] The guard had been arrested multiple times in the past, but had never been convicted of a crime.[35]

Structure

Ranks of the Secret Servicecitation needed
  • Director of Secret Service
  • Deputy Director
  • Chief Operating Officer
  • Chief of Staff
  • Assistant Director
  • Deputy Assistant Director
  • Special Agent in Charge
  • Deputy Special Agent in Charge
  • Assistant Special Agent in Charge
  • Assistant to the Special Agent in Charge
  • Administrative PT
  • Special Agent
  • Special Officer
  • Uniformed Officer

Attacks on presidents

Secret Service agents in response to the assassination attempt of Ronald Reagan by John Hinckley, Jr. on March 30, 1981

Since the 1960s, Presidents John F. Kennedy (killed), Gerald Ford (twice attacked, but uninjured) and Ronald Reagan (seriously wounded) have been attacked while appearing in public.[36][37] Agents on scene though not injured during attacks on Presidents include William Greer and Roy Kellerman. One of the agents was Robert DeProspero, the Special Agent In Charge (SAIC) of Reagan's Presidential Protective Division (PPD) from January 1982 to April 1985. DeProspero was deputy to Jerry Parr, the SAIC of PPD during the Reagan assassination attempt on March 30, 1981.[38][39]

The Kennedy assassination spotlighted the bravery of two Secret Service agents. First, an agent protecting Mrs. Kennedy, Clint Hill, was riding in the car directly behind the presidential limousine when the attack began. While the shooting continued, Hill leapt from the running board of the car he was riding on and jumped onto the back of the President's moving car and guided Mrs. Kennedy from the trunk back into the rear seat of the car. He then shielded the President and the First Lady with his body until the car arrived at the hospital.

Rufus Youngblood was riding in the vice-presidential car. When the shots were fired, he vaulted over the front seat and threw his body over Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson.[40] That evening, Johnson called Secret Service Chief James J. Rowley and cited Youngblood's bravery.[41][42] Youngblood would later recall some of this in his memoir, Twenty Years in the Secret Service.

The period following the Kennedy assassination was the most difficult in the modern history of the agency. Press reports indicated that morale among the agents was "low" for months following the assassination.[43][44] The agency overhauled its procedures in the wake of the Kennedy killing. Training, which until that time had been confined largely to "on-the-job" efforts, was systematized and regularized.

The Reagan assassination attempt also highlighted the bravery of several Secret Service agents, particularly agent Tim McCarthy, who spread his stance to protect Reagan as six bullets were being fired by the would-be assassin, John Hinckley, Jr.[45] McCarthy survived a .22-caliber round in the abdomen. For his bravery, McCarthy received the NCAA Award of Valor in 1982.[46] Jerry Parr, the agent who pushed President Reagan into the limousine, and made the critical decision to divert the presidential motorcade to George Washington University Hospital instead of returning to the White House, was also honored with U.S. Congress commendations for his actions that day.[47] After the near-successful assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan, it was clear that the Secret Service needed to increase its efficiency to protect the President.

Significant investigations

Arrest and indictment of Max Ray Butler, co-founder of the Carders Market carding website. Butler was indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, after his September 5, 2007 arrest, on wire fraud and identity theft charges. According to the indictment, Butler hacked over the Internet into computers at financial institutions and credit card processing centers and sold the tens of thousands of credit card numbers that he acquired in the process.[48]

Operation Firewall: In October 2004, 28 suspects—located across eight U.S. states and six countries—were arrested on charges of identity theft, computer fraud, credit-card fraud, and conspiracy. Nearly 30 national and foreign field offices of the U.S. Secret Service, including the newly established national ECTFs, and countless local enforcement agencies from around the globe, were involved in this operation. Collectively, the arrested suspects trafficked in at least 1.7 million stolen credit card numbers, which amounted to $4.3 million of losses to financial institutions. However, authorities estimated that prevented loss to the industry was in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The operation, which started in July 2003 and lasted for more than a year, led investigators to identify three cyber-criminal groups: Shadowcrew, Carderplanet, and Darkprofits.[49]

Arrest and indictment of Albert "Segvec" Gonzalez and 11 individuals; three U.S. citizens, one from Estonia, three from Ukraine, two from the People's Republic of China, one from Belarus, and one known only by an online alias. They were arrested on August 5, 2008, for the theft and sale of more than 40 million credit and debit card numbers from major U.S. retailers, including TJX Companies, BJ's Wholesale Club, OfficeMax, Boston Market, Barnes & Noble, Sports Authority, Forever 21, and DSW. Gonzalez, the main organizer of the scheme, was charged with computer fraud, wire fraud, access device fraud, aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy for his leading role in the crime.[50]

Uniformed Division

The USSS Uniformed Division is a security police similar to the U.S. Capitol Police or DHS Federal Protective Service and is in charge of protecting the physical White House grounds and foreign diplomatic missions in the Washington, D.C. area. Established in 1922 as the White House Police, this organization was fully integrated into the Secret Service in 1930. In 1970, the protection of foreign diplomatic missions was added to the force's responsibilities, and its name was changed to the Executive Protective Service. The name United States Secret Service Uniformed Division was adopted in 1977.

Special agent

At a minimum, a prospective agent must be a U.S. citizen, possess a current valid driver's license, possess visual acuity no worse than 20/60 uncorrected, correctable to 20/20 in each eye, and be between the ages of 21 and 37 at the time of appointment. However, preference eligible veterans may apply after age 37. In 2009, the Office of Personnel Management issued implementation guidance on the Isabella v. Department of State court decision: OPM Letter.[51]

Secret Service agents (foreground, right) guard President George W. Bush in 2008.

Special agents receive basic training in two locations. The first phase, the Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP) is conducted at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) at Glynco, GA. The second phase, the Special Agent Training Course (SATC) is conducted at the James J. Rowley Training Center, located in Beltsville, MD.citation needed

A Secret Service agent's career consists of three phases. In phase one, Secret Service special agents spend six to eight years on-the-job, assigned to a field office. After their field experience, agents usually transfer to a protective detail for four to seven years, during what is known as phase two or the protection phase. Following their protective assignment, many agents return to the field, transfer to a headquarters office, a training office, or other Washington, D.C.-based assignment for phase three of their career. Promotions affect the typical career path. An agent's working hours depend upon the assignment. Generally, an agent can expect to travel a lot and do a significant amount of shift work, especially during phase two. Throughout their career, agents continue their training.

Special Officer

Special officers (not to be confused with Uniformed Division Officers) are federal agents who work within the Special Agent Division of the USSS and perform a wide range of security functions and support assignments as part of the protective mission for the Secret Service. Whereas special agents alternate between protection and investigative assignments, special officers are hired only to work protection details. They must have a familiarity with all phases of protective responsibilities sufficient to assist in protective movements, cover designated security posts and drive protective vehicles.

Assignments may include

  • Maintaining designated protective security posts that control movement of persons into and around multiple Secret Service facilities and associated areas
  • Inspecting all operational, safety, emergency, and convenience equipment of protective vehicles to ensure peak-operating condition
  • Driving protective or follow-up vehicles
  • Monitoring and operating various communications equipment
  • Using various advanced x-ray screening technologies to detect and identify high-risk items

Special officers are sworn law enforcement officers, and are authorized to make arrests in connection with their official duties. They are classified as federal agents but use "special officer" as their official title much the same way as Deputy US Marshals are special agents but use the title "Deputy US Marshal".

Newly appointed special officers must successfully complete eight (8) weeks of intensive training at the Special Officer Basic Training Course at the Secret Service James J. Rowley Training Center just outside Washington, D.C. The training includes courses such as Criminal Law, Laws of Arrest, Search and Seizure, Control Tactics, Civil Liability, Emergency Medicine, Basic Water Safety, Firearms and Weapons Handling, Radio Communications, Emergency Driving and Physical Fitness Training.

Weapons and equipment

Two men on a roof with rifles positioned on tripods
Two snipers protect Vice President Mike Pence in Indianapolis, 2017.

Since the agency's inception, a variety of weapons have been carried by its agents.

Previous firearms

Initially the firearms were privately procured and there was little if any standardization. In the 1930s, the USSS issued the Colt M1911A1 pistol in .45 ACP caliber. In the 1950s and 1960s, Special Agents carried the Smith & Wesson Model 36 and Colt Detective Special .38-Special revolvers.

Following President Kennedy's assassination, USSS Special Agents were authorized to carry the .357 Magnum Smith & Wesson Model 19 revolver.

Between 1981 and 1991, the Secret Service issued the Smith & Wesson Model 19 and the Smith & Wesson Model 66 .357 Magnum revolvers, with 2.5-inch barrels all the way up to the 4-inch-barreled models, loaded with hollow-point rounds.

By 1992, the standard issue weapon became the SIG Sauer P228 9mm pistol. This weapon stayed in service through 1999.

The Secret Service replaced the Thompson submachine gun with the Uzi submachine gun in the 1970s. Uzis that the Secret Service used have slightly shorter-than-standard barrels so they could to fit inside the standard size Samsonite briefcases that concealed them. They phased out the Uzi in the mid 1990s and replaced it with the H&K MP5. The Secret Service was the last Federal agency to use the Uzi.

The Counter-Assault Team used the M4 carbine from the early 1990s until 2006, when they replaced it with the SR-15 carbine.

Current weapons

A U.S. Secret Service "counter-sniper" marksman on top of the White House's roof, armed with a sniper rifle.

The current sidearm for USSS agents is the SIG Sauer P229 chambered in .357 SIG, which entered service in 1999.

Agents and officers are trained on standard shoulder weapons that include the FN P90 submachine gun,[52] the 9mm Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine gun, and the 12-gauge Remington 870 shotgun.[52] The agency has initiated a procurement process to ultimately replace the MP5 with a 5.56mm rifle.[53]

As a non-lethal option, Special Agents, Special Officers, and Uniformed Division Officers are armed with the ASP baton, and Uniform Division officers carry pepper spray.

Units assigned to the Special Operations Division carry a variety of non-standard weapons.

The Counter Assault Team (CAT) and the Emergency Response Team (ERT) are both issued the 5.56mm Knight's Armament Company SR-16 CQB assault rifle. CAT also uses 12 gauge Remington 870 MCS breaching shotguns.

Uniform Division technicians assigned to the Counter Sniper (CS) team use custom built .300 Winchester Magnum-chambered bolt-action rifles referred to as JARs ("Just Another Rifle"). These rifles use Remington 700 actions in Accuracy International stocks with Schmidt & Bender optics. CS technicians also use the 7.62mm KAC SR-25/Mk11 Mod 0 semi-automatic sniper rifle with a Trijicon 5.5× ACOG optic.

The Department of Homeland Security has made numerous attempts to bring the Secret Service's weapons procurement in line with the rest of the department. The agency has resisted these inroads and currently maintains an independent acquisition process.

Communications

The agency uses Motorola XTS and APX radios and surveillance kits in order to maintain communications. These radios are known to use DES encryption keys. When operationally required, members of the Special Operations Division use military grade radios that use Type 1 encryption algorithms.citation needed

Vehicles

When transporting the President in a motorcade, the Secret Service uses a fleet of custom-built armored Cadillac Parade Limousines, the newest and largest version of which is known as "The Beast". Armored Chevrolet Suburbans are also used when logistics require such a vehicle or when a more low profile appearance is required. For official movement the limousine is affixed with U.S. and presidential flags and the presidential seal on the rear doors. For unofficial events the vehicles are left sterile and unadorned.[25]

Attire

Secret Service agent guarding President Barack Obama in 2010

Special Agents and Special Officers of the Secret Service wear attire that is appropriate for their surroundings, in order to blend in as much as possible. In most circumstances, the attire of a close protection shift is a conservative suit, but it can range from a tuxedo to casual clothing as required by the environment. Stereotypically Secret Service agents are often portrayed wearing reflective sunglasses and a communication earpiece. Often their attire is customized to conceal the wide array of equipment worn in service. Agents wear a distinctive lapel pin that identifies them to other agents.citation needed

The attire for Uniformed Division Officers includes standard police uniforms or utility uniforms and ballistic/identification vests for members of the countersniper team, Emergency Response Team (ERT), and canine officers. The shoulder patch of the Uniformed Division consists of the U.S. coat of arms on white or black, depending on the garment. Also, the shoulder patch is embroidered with "U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division Police" around the emblem.[54]

Field offices

The Secret Service has agents assigned to 136 field offices and the headquarters in Washington, D.C. The field offices are located in cities throughout the United States and in Brazil (Brasilia), Bulgaria (Sofia), Canada (Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver), Colombia (Bogota), China (Hong Kong), France (Paris, Lyon), Germany (Frankfurt), Italy (Rome), Mexico (Mexico City), Netherlands (The Hague), Romania (Bucharest), Russia (Moscow), South Africa (Pretoria), Spain (Madrid), Thailand (Bangkok), and the United Kingdom (London). The offices in Lyon and The Hague are respectively responsible for liaison with the headquarters of Interpol and Europol, located in those cities.[55]

Misconduct

In April 2012, an incident involving the president's security detail received international press attention. The incident involved 11 agents and personnel from four branches of the U.S. military; they allegedly engaged prostitutes while assigned to protect the U.S. President at the 6th Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia. As of April 24, 2012, nine employees had resigned or retired.[56][57]

After the incident was publicized, the Secret Service implemented new rules for its personnel.[58][59][60][61] The rules prohibit personnel from visiting "non-reputable establishments"[59] and from consuming alcohol less than ten hours before starting work. Additionally, they restrict who is allowed in hotel rooms.[59]

A few weeks later, stories emerged of Secret Service agents hiring strippers and prostitutes prior to Obama's 2011 visit to El Salvador.[62]

In 2015, two inebriated senior service agents drove an official car into the White House complex and collided with a barrier. One of the congressmen in the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that investigated that incident was Jason Chaffetz. In September 2015, it was revealed that 18 Secret Service employees or supervisors, including Assistant Director Ed Lowery, accessed an unsuccessful 2003 application by Chaffetz for employment with the agency and discussed leaking the information to the media in retaliation for Chaffetz' investigations of agency misconduct. The confidential personal information was later leaked to The Daily Beast. Agency Director Joe Clancy apologized to Chaffetz and said that disciplinary action would be taken against those responsible.[63]

In March 2017, a member of US Vice President Mike Pence's detail was suspended after he was caught visiting a prostitute at a hotel in Maryland.[64]

In popular culture

Films

Television

  • The Wild Wild West (1965): A highly popular Western action series, set in the early- to mid- 1870s, starring Robert Conrad and Ross Martin as Secret Service agents James West and Artemus Gordon. West and Gordon pursue a variety of villains across the old west and often report directly to President Ulysses S. Grant. Two reunion telemovies were screened in 1979 and 1980, followed by the film Wild Wild West (above).
  • 24 (2001): Involves many characters and operations within the Secret Service as they protect the presidents throughout the series, most notable Agent Aaron Pierce, played by Glenn Morshower.
  • House of Cards (2013): Edward Meechum initially serves as a bodyguard to President Frank Underwood when he was Majority Whip but later gets promoted to the Secret Service when Underwood became Vice President (remaining on his detail when he becomes president). During an assassination attempt on President Underwood, Edward Meechum takes a bullet for the president and shoots and kills the gunman before immediately dying from his injuries.
  • Intelligence (2014): U.S. Secret Service agent Riley Neal (Meghan Ory) is recruited by the U.S. Cyber Command to provide protective services for Cyber Command agent Gabriel Vaughn (Josh Holloway), into whose brain a high-tech microchip has been implanted.
  • Wayward Pines (2015): After a car crash, U.S. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon) wakes up in the mysterious town of Wayward Pines, where the inexplicable happens and from which there is no escape.

Video games

Similar organizations

See also

References

  1. ^ https://www.secretservice.gov/about/leadership/
  2. ^ Resse, Shawn (April 16, 2012). "The U.S. Secret Service: An Examination and Analysis of Its Evolving Missions" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. Retrieved April 18, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Secret Service History". United States Secret Service. Retrieved May 3, 2017. 
  4. ^ "United States Secret Service: Investigative Mission". Secretservice.gov. Retrieved August 9, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "United States Code: Title 18, Section 3056". 
  6. ^ Gillman, Todd J. "Obama signs lifetime Secret Service protection for George W. Bush, himself and future presidents". Trail Blazers Blog. The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved January 18, 2013. 
  7. ^ Adams, Beckett (January 10, 2013). "President Obama Will Have Secret Service Protection For the Rest of His Life". TheBlaze. Retrieved September 21, 2013. 
  8. ^ Compton, Ann (January 10, 2013). "Lifetime Secret Service Protection Restored for Presidents Bush and Obama". ABC News. Retrieved September 21, 2013. 
  9. ^ USSS. "USSS Fiscal Year 2010 Annual Report" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 18, 2012. Retrieved June 8, 2012. 
  10. ^ "The Secret Service: What’s next for the new director | Brookings Institution". Brookings. Retrieved October 26, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Secret Service Recruitment Campaign Amps Up". www.wbur.org. Retrieved October 26, 2016. 
  12. ^ "The United States Secret Service". Clinton2.nara.gov. July 1, 1922. Retrieved August 9, 2012. 
  13. ^ Petro, Joseph; Jeffrey Robinson (2005). Standing Next to History, An Agent's Life Inside the Secret Service. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 16. ISBN 978-0-312-33221-1. 
  14. ^ 11 Asian L.J. 147 (2004), Foreword: Sixty Years after the Internment: Civil Rights, Identity Politics, and Racial Profiling; Tamaki, Donald K.
  15. ^ Intelligence.gov
  16. ^ Harris 2009, pp. 1–2.
  17. ^ Harris & Sadler (2009), p. 15
  18. ^ "Mr. Taft's Peril; Reported Plot to Kill Two Presidents". Daily Mail. London. October 16, 1909. ISSN 0307-7578. 
  19. ^ Hammond (1935), pp. 565-566
  20. ^ Harris & Sadler (2009), p. 213
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Bibliography

  • Hammond, John Hays (1935). The Autobiography of John Hays Hammond. New York: Farrar & Rinehart. ISBN 978-0-405-05913-1. 
  • Harris, Charles H. III; Sadler, Louis R. (2009). The Secret War in El Paso: Mexican Revolutionary Intrigue, 1906-1920. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press. ISBN 978-0-8263-4652-0. 

Further reading

  • Costello, Mark (2002). Big If. New York: W. W. Norton & Co. ISBN 978-0-393-05116-2. 
  • Emmett, Dan (2014). Within Arm's Length: A Secret Service Agent's Definitive Inside Account of Protecting the President (First ed.). New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 9781250044716. 
  • Kessler, Ronald (2010). In the President's Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect (1st paperback ed.). New York: Three Rivers Press. ISBN 9780307461360. 
  • Roberts, Marcia (1991). Looking Back and Seeing the Future: The United States Secret Service, 1865–1990. Association of Former Agents of the United States Secret Service. 
  • Palamara, Vincent (2013). "Survivor's Guilt: The Secret Service and the Failure to Protect President Kennedy". Trine Day. ISBN 978-1937584603.

External links