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How to improve the Secret Service

Caricature of Steve

In the aftermath of recent embarrassing Secret Service bungles, there are calls for an examination of the agency’s policies and procedures.

Why? There should be only one policy—to protect the President of the United States and the First Family. And to use all means necessary.

White House Security

A knife-wielding intruder jumps over the fence surrounding the White House and actually enters the presidential home before he is finally subdued. Here’s the solution.

1—An interior, invisible electric fence should be erected 20 feet away from the current fence. That distance would be virtually impossible to clear by anyone jumping from the exterior public fence. An intruder who jumped the outside fence, landing between the two fences, would activate sensors buried in the ground that would electrify the invisible barricade.

2—These same sensors in the 20 feet between these two fences would be programmed to set off intruder alerts and automatically lock all doors and fortify all windows to the White House should assailants manage to breach both structures.

3—Any and all possible security tools at the White House should be functioning properly at all times despite any personal inconvenience they may cause to staff and residents.

Every and all exits including windows should be closed and locked—always. Access to the White House through any entry would be controlled by a Secret Service agent working from a safe room within the building. Every person with official permission to be in the White House—including the First Family–must be registered through both fingerprint and optical identification.

4—There should be periodic, unannounced tests of White House security and evaluation of the measures and Secret Service agents in place. Appropriate improvements and penalties should be enacted immediately.

5—No person should be permitted near the President or First Family who has not been properly screened.

Travel Security

A contractor with a criminal record and carrying a gun is able to get onto the same elevator with the president. And agents have been caught drinking and carousing with prostitutes while on assignment. Here’s the solution.

1—Secret Security agents must have adequate time to secure every stage of the President and First Family’s itinerary. However, the time agents are on the ground should never extend beyond the necessary period to assess, establish and assure security.

Use of all alcohol and non-prescription drugs during such trips should be strictly banned and no contact with locals unless such persons will be encountered by the President and First Family. Such contact should be only for vetting as part of established security protocol.

2—During the actual presidential trip, no one should accompany the President unless he/she has been screened in advance.

Agents should know or have a record of every individual prior to contact. Such persons shall carry no electronic equipment unless thoroughly examined by the agency.

No one except Secret Service personnel shall have guns, knives or any other potential weapon when in the presence of the President and First Family.

3—Any person unknown either by the Secret Service or the official Presidential party, who attempts to approach the Commander in Chief, should be arrested and detained.

4—The President’s travel route, housing, and work schedule should be arranged for the sole purpose of security. Measures that provide the highest level of security must be taken even if they may evoke complaints or cause local inconvenience.

By any means necessary

Recent lapses in Secret Service readiness, preparedness and responsiveness, have demonstrated that the agency no longer is the elite security force of previous decades. Such failures put the President and nation at risk. Such risk is unacceptable.

The Secret Service has one job—to protect the President of the United States and the First Family. To accomplish this mission means the agency should take every step imaginable, employ every tool available, and use any means necessary.

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