Is the Secret Service in Turmoil?


Among the many issues facing the president's protective arm: Unprecedented spending, diminishing funds, and an "outsider" coming in to run the show.

A FORMER SECRET SERVICE AGENT'S PERSPECTIVE

"There are two ways you can look at this," says Christopher Falkenberg, who founded Insite Security after serving in the Secret Service for President Clinton, and attending Columbia Law School. "One is what the proper staffing of the Secret Service should be. Number two is what changes, if any, need to be made to the organization now that we're long past 9/11 and decades into the global War on Terror."

Falkenberg says he's optimistic that Alles will be an effective director: "Although many agents, I believe, would prefer to have the agency led by one of their own, Director Alles will hopefully import some of the practices he learned in the military to improve morale and efficiency," the former agent says.

The issues facing the Secret Service today, he says, predate protection for the Trump family: "The agency has grown significantly over the past 15 years, as have its challenges. There was stress on the agency and on staffing before [Trump took office], and I think one thing that gets lost is how very hard this job is. Agents are expected to be alert and attentive to a very broad range of threats all the time and there are really significant expectations put upon the men and women of the Secret Service."

And, unlike other service organizations, he says, the agency "is not in a position to say, we're just not going to service you."

Published in Town & Country. Click here for the full article.

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