Secret Service Scandals: Review, Resolve, Renew
It is important to accentuate their service to America by understanding the vision and mission of the agency:
The vision of the United States Secret Service is to uphold the tradition of excellence in its investigative and protective mission through a dedicated, highly-trained, diverse, partner-oriented workforce that employs progressive technology and promotes professionalism.
The mission of the Secret Service is to ensure the security of our President, our Vice President, their families, the White House, the Vice President’s Residence, national and visiting world leaders, former Presidents, and events of national significance. The Secret Service also protects the integrity of our currency and investigates crimes against our national financial system committed by criminals around the world and in cyberspace.
Transparency, Accountability, Commitment
But recently, this once-proud agency has been blistered with numerous scandals.
Transparency, accountability and commitment must be front and center for the agency’s renewal.
America needs the Secret Service and we must appreciate all who proudly honor the calling to its vision and mission.
The fact is that agents are human beings and like all of us are capable of meritorious actions or shameful behavior.
But because the Secret Service is responsible for safeguarding lives, property and critical information-as well as preserving the morale of the nation-mediocrity and distractions from duty can be devastating.
The Secret Service mission deserves world-class on-going training, certifications, critically discerning recruitment, performance reviews, and, when necessary counseling, reassignments, suspensions and terminations.
The mission of all law enforcement, especially one as critical as the Secret Service-responsible for protecting the president-cannot be undermined by mediocrity, superficiality, incompetence or apathy.
Honor, leadership, ethics, and character must be the hallmarks of the Secret Service and these virtues deserve unwavering perseverance.
Recent Secret Service Scandals-A Partial List
Renewal of the agency will take place when recent scandals including these published reports are honestly addressed and remedied:
June-Aug. 2011: Agents responsible for protecting the White House are pulled from their posts to protect the home of a friend of agency Director Mark Sullivan.
Nov. 2011: Several bullets hit the White House but an inferior Secret Service investigation fails to realize it until four days later when the marks were noticed by a housekeeper.
April 23, 2012: About a dozen agents are sent home from Columbia after a scandal of their involvement with prostitutes.
May 2013: An agency supervisor tires to re-enter a woman’s room after mistakenly leaving a bullet there.
March 23, 2014: After being found passed out by intoxication in a hotel hallway during a presidential trip, three agents are sent home from the Netherlands.
Sept. 16, 2014: an armed security guard violates the agency protocol by being in the same elevator with the president.
Oct. 29, 2014: the agency’s investigator of the Columbia prostitution scandal is forced to resign after his arrest regarding prostitution in Florida.
June 13, 2015: Four assistant agency directors were fired, with the option of retiring or reassignment.
March 4, 2015: After drinking at a party, two senior agents run into a White House security barrier, passing through security tape of an active bomb investigation.
Renewal Without Excuses
Dysfunctional alcohol, prostitution, incompetence, or apathy issues deserve swift accountability and cover-ups, excuses, or enabling is unacceptable.
In my many keynotes for the FBI and law enforcement officials, the human deficiencies that can distract us from our mission are honestly addressed. As counterpoint to these weaknesses, character, ethics, leadership, and moral courage are always stressed as the pillars of patriotic and personal responsibility.
The good name of the Secret Service can be restored when leadership is the foundation and this must begin immediately, as it is critical, not only to their vision and mission, but to America.
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As authored for Vincent’s weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times, 35 countries, 21 languages and growing.
1. Secret Service agent (Courtesy U.S. Secret Service)
2. Secret Service agents providing motorcade protection (Courtesy U.S. Secret Service)
3. Secret Service Canine Explosives Detection Unit screens vehicles and event sites for explosives (Courtesy U.S. Secret Service)