Abstract The United States Secret Service was created in 1865 as a federal law enforcement agency within the Treasury Department. It derives its legal authority from Title 18, United States Code, and Section 3056. It was established for the express function of stopping counterfeiting operations which had spread out in our country following the introduction of paper currency during the Civil War.
The Secret Service maintains its role as guardian of the integrity of our currency, but at present also investigates crimes involving United States securities, coinage, other government issues, credit and debit card fraud, and electronic funds transfer fraud. The most obvious of its other activities is executive protection, which began after the assassination of President McKinley in 1901. Nowadays it forms part of The Homeland Security Department. What is the role of The United States Secret Service?
In the 1800s, our nation monetary system was very disordered. Bills and coins were issued by each state through individual banks, which created many types of legal currency. With such amount of different kinds of bills in movement, it was easy for people to counterfeit money. The Secret Service officially went to work on July 5, 1865. Its first chief was William Wood. Chief Wood, widely known for his heroism during the Civil War, was very successful in his first year, closing more than 200 counterfeiting plants.
This success helped prove the value of the Secret Service, and in 1866 the National Headquarters was established in the Department of the Treasury building in Washington, D. C. The same evening of the day President Lincoln established the Secret Service, he was assassinated at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D. C. , by John Wilkes Booth. It was the first time in our nation's history that a President had been assassinated and it was the reason that the Congress eventually, after two more presidential assassinations, added Presidential protection to the list of duties performed by the Secret Service.
Over the years, the Secret Service's functions have continued to change and grow. Its functions include: Protecting the President and Vice President and their families, candidates for those offices, former Presidents and their families, and visiting heads of foreign states and governments; Enforcing laws against counterfeiting currency, coins, or securities of the United.
States; Enforcing laws against fraud or forgery of Government checks or bonds, and other securities and obligations of the United States; Investigating credit and debit card fraud, computer fraud, and electronic fund transfer fraud; Furnishing physical security for the White House, the Main Treasury Building, and foreign embassies and missions in Washington, New York and other cities. In other words, The Secret Service is authorized by law to protect The President, the Vice President, and Secretary of State, President-elect and Vice President-elect and the immediate families of all of these.
Former Presidents and their spouses receive protection for 10 years after they leave office and the children until they are 16 years old. Former Vice Presidents and their family receive protection for six months after they leave office. Major presidential and vice presidential candidates and their families receive protection for 120 days after the election is over. Finally, the Secret Service can be order to protect anyone by an executive order of the President or the Secretary of Homeland Security.
As well as protecting all of these people, each year the Secret Service must investigate thousands of threats and attempts to hurt the President of the United States. The present president Obama and his family has been one of the more threatened presidential families in recent history. Most people associate the Secret Service with Presidential protection, but their original mandate was to investigate the counterfeiting of U. S. currency, which they still do. The Secret Service's primary investigative mission is to safeguard the payment and financial systems of the United States.
This has been traditionally practiced through the enforcement of the counterfeiting statutes to preserve the integrity of United States currency, coin and financial obligations. Since 1984, their investigative responsibilities have expanded to include crimes that involve 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 their core violations.
Three different divisions assist the Secret Service in accomplishing this investigative mission: The Special Agent Division, the Financial Crimes Division, and the Forensic Services Division. The Secret Service is significantly different today than it was years ago. This is mainly due to the events surrounding September 11, 2001. That morning, there were 4,600 employees of the Secret Service deployed around the world while a special contingent was with President George W.
Bush at an elementary school. In a matter of minutes, the Secret Service deployed armed agents into Lafayette Park to clear it and evacuated the Capitol and west wing of the White House. Four planes had been hijacked by terrorists, the World Trade Center was in ashes, the Pentagon had been hit, and the nation knew that it was at war. In January 2003, W. Ralph Basham was sworn in as the 21st Director of the United States Secret service.
Director Basham was charged with developing a post September 11th strategic plan that could meet the challenges the Secret Service face in their ever expanding mission after being realigned under the Department of Homeland Security. The United States Secret Service uses its web site to provide challenging exciting employment opportunities for interested people. This website has information explaining the details including the requirements and conditions for employment which vary according to the position an individual is interested in.
Special Agents must meet the following requirements: first of all the person must have U. S. citizen, at least 21 years of age and younger than 37 at time of appointment, must have a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university; or three years of work experience in the criminal investigative or law enforcement fields that require knowledge and application of laws relating to criminal violations; or an equivalent combination of education and related experience, excellent health and physical condition, etc.
But The United States Secret Service has opportunities also for individuals in non-law enforcement fields such as Professional, administrative, clerical, and technical positions. All Secret Service positions need peak secret security clearance. Applicants must have the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities of the respective position. There are other requirements that may also apply. Conclusion United States Secret Service today is a part of the Homeland Security Department, and its major mission is the protection of the President and other government officials as I explained previously.
The agency also provides security for designated national events and preserves the integrity of the nation's financial and critical information flow. However, with the new department of Homeland Security they are better organized with the added efficiency of access to DHS intelligence and analysis coordination with other key agencies. This agency is now communicating better with city, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.
The Secret Service uses prevention based instruction and methods to fight the cyber criminals and terrorists who attempt to use identity theft, telecommunications fraud and other technology based crimes to defraud and weaken American consumers and industry. However, The Secret Service remains committed to the duty of fighting counterfeiting by working closely with state and local law enforcement agencies, as well as foreign law enforcement agencies, to aggressively pursue counterfeiters. References Bush, G. W. (2001), Patriot Act. Retrieved from http://www. whitehouse. gov United States Secret Service.
Retrieved from http://www. treasury. gov/Pages/Search. aspx? k=secret+service&s=allsites United States Secret Service History. Retrieved, April 15, 2010 from http://www. secretservice. gov/history. shtml United States secret Service. Retrieved from http://www. secretservice. gov/join/careers. shtml Heath B. Grant, Karen J. Terry (2008) Law enforcement in the 21st century pp 19-21 CIO Magazine, FBI And Secret Service Announce New Cyber threat Reporting Guidelines For Businesses; Guidelines Mark First Standards Authorized by US Federal Law Enforcement (2002, Feb. 12), CIO Magazine,1.