A former member of the Secret Service tells the story of how the morale of its 6,700 officers and agents is declining. That may be true; every man and woman has had an occasion to be unhappy at their place of work. If someone doesn’t like their job, and there appears to be no solution, they should quit; if not, then they are required to do the best they can all of the time. This is a job that does not have room for slackers. To the Secret Service; no whining.
Jonathan Wackrow, who worked for the service for 13 years, believes he knows the very day that morale began its decline. He claims it is the result of bureaucratic action.
The Secret Service was created in 1865. Its purpose was to fight counterfeiters. It was a division of the Treasury Department. Its first involvement in protecting the President began in 1901 following the assassination of President McKinley.
The attacks on September 11, 2001 changed the agency which controlled the Secret Service. They were now a branch of the new Department of Homeland Security; one of 22 agencies gathered together after the terrorist attack. Wackrow believes that change is the overriding reason for lower morale in the Service.
As with every other government agency there exists a continual fight for prestige and money. Money does not appear to be the issue; Wackrow claims that moving the Service to Homeland Security removed their reputation as ‘elite.’
It is more likely that incidents of drinking on duty, the use of prostitutes, and a lackadaisical attitude may be the actual reason for their fall from grace. Most Americans have always considered a career in the Secret Service and both courageous and admirable until they proved it was otherwise.
Together the last two directors, Sullivan and Pierson, lasted just 18 months, and that is probably a good thing. In both of their terms several incidents which could have been horrific occurred. Field agents obviously lack discipline and fail to follow protocol.
Joe Clancy will now be in charge of the men and women who have one of the most important jobs in the world. He retired in 2011 when he was head of the Presidential Protective Division. He is 58 years old and had been working as the head of security for Comcast.
Clancy has a far more difficult job than he did in 2011. He will literally be forced to make changes within the Service from top to bottom. However, it is unclear if he will need a whip or be prepared to give multiple ‘time-outs.’