As a former instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, who trained Secret Service officers, among others, in police tactics, here is my take on the media-promoted “incident” involving the men and women of the U.S. Secret Service in Colombia.
Although I never trained agents, many of my former students have gone on to become agents. Most of them, however, are still uniformed officers of the Secret Service.
I remember the classes well. They were made up of outstanding young people. I always remarked on how amazing it is that the Secret Service can recruit such exceptional people. They were, as a whole, intelligent, personable young people who were there to learn and to serve their country.
Were there students who did not belong in law enforcement? Of course. But that is the way with every agency – or business, for that matter. There are people who just don’t belong in certain environments.
I would say that I had fewer problems with the students of the Secret Service than with any other agency I taught. They were, in my opinion, the “cream of the crop.” They were hardworking, attentive and responsible young people who were in the agency to make a difference.
Like all things media, this story has been pumped up to sell. No media story is necessarily exactly what actually happened, but rather negative takes on anything they can create to make the “story” more melodramatic, scandalous or exaggerated. This is, in my opinion, one of those stories.
I am not, however, suggesting that some officers were not possibly guilty of infractions, maybe some severe. I am merely stating that the agency should not automatically be condemned, nor should all its officers. An investigation will be done thoroughly. And, the officers who are found to have done wrong will be punished or fired.
If the officers are guilty, they should be punished.
However, to place a “cloud” over the entire Secret Service is a travesty. Most are exceptional young men and women. They preform tasks that are incredibly difficult. They work incredibly long, arduous hours 365 days a year, sacrificing personal and family needs. Their work ethics are the highest of any federal law enforcement agency.
I still correspond with many of my former students and have nothing but praise for them as officers and people. They are dedicated professionals. And they are also unwavering family men and women.
Most presidents would have – or should have – first praised the Secret Service because, even if this story is true, it involves only a few of the hundreds of officers who make up the Secret Service. And then they would simply have said they had no comment pending a full investigation.
Not President Obama. He just gets upset because the limelight is taken from him. …
People have no idea how difficult it must be to protect him, as an American president, with all the radical hate groups we have in this country and around the world. He owes the Secret Service better than his comments, because they have done a monumental task keeping him safe. And they will continue to do so.