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Tag: julia pierson

Congressional Watchdogs Consider Removing Secret Service from Homeland Security Department

secret service photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hoping to address low morale and security blunders at the Secret Service, some congressional watchdogs are proposing to limit the agency’s role of protecting the president, Time reports.

Perhaps most important, the proposal includes removing Secret Service from the Department of Homeland Security, which has struggled as a giant bureaucracy.

“Long-term, the 60,000 foot view, there are some who are very critical of the switch that the Secret Service went through after 9/11,” says Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a top member of the House Oversight Committee. “That seems to have changed the dynamic and made it much more political as opposed to security-driven. And I think long-term that’s something we might explore is the structure of having it within Homeland Security.”

The discussions come after the resignation of Director Julia Pierson and the release of a study that showed Homeland Security employees had the lowest morale of all 19 large agencies surveyed.

“I think the counterfeiting role really probably belongs in Treasury,” says Connolly. “The protection and investigation role I think might make sense in DHS but I do think we have to have a thorough review about the missions and whether they continue to make sense. Are they compatible? Do they detract from one another?”

More mild reforms call for increasing funding and the number of employees.

“I don’t know if moving it out of DHS [would work],” says Mickey Nelson, a 28 year-veteran of the Secret Service who retired in 2012. “Then where would you move it, logically speaking? But I think that should be part of the review.”

Terrorists Have Probably Given Secret Service More Credit Than It Deserves

Director Julia Pierson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

I think the American public in general has been blown away by recent news of the lapses in Secret Service security involving the President.

I have to think, had terrorists any clue that it was so easy to breach security and get into the White House, they would have tried something long ago.

Thank goodness that the perception of a secure White House has trumped the reality. How any one could make it so far into the White House is mind boggling. 

Of the many times I passed the White House, I never once thought it would be easy to get in.  It looked so daunting. So secure. Apparently, not so.

 I’ve known a lot of outstanding Secret Service agents over the years, and I have to believe there’s a collective feeling of shame for the agency.  

Should Secret Service Director Julia Pierson have been fired?

Well, under the circumstances there seemed to be no other choice.  

There had to be an expression of outrage that came from the Hill as well as the White House, not to mention the public.

So, yes, the coach had to be fired when the team performed so poorly. In this case, it’s not a game.  

Now, we have to bring some of the top security experts in the world to evaluate the weak points in the presidential security details, both on the road and at the White House. It wouldn’t hurt to bring someone from Israel, a nation obsessed with security.

 We in America need so be obsessed about this issue. 

 

 

Resignation of Secret Service Director Julia Pierson Won’t Fix Troubled Agency

By Boston Globe
Editorial Board

For the federal agency tasked with protecting the president, it’s embarrassing enough that a man could scale the White House fence and make it well into the executive mansion before being apprehended. But the Secret Service’s defensive response to the incident, including withholding key information about the breach, is a sign of deeper trouble within the agency. The announcement Wednesday that Secret Service Director Julia Pierson had resigned her post and that the Department of Homeland Security will conduct an investigation of the service shows that problems within the agency are being taken seriously. But the review shouldn’t just result in further layers of security around the White House. What’s needed is a reexamination of an internal culture that permitted serious security breaches and a failure of communication with the members of Congress who are supposed to oversee the agency.

On Sept. 19, Omar Gonzalez, a war veteran who is believed to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, hopped the fence and ran through the unlocked front door into the first floor of the White House. It wasn’t until Gonzalez was in the East Room, well within the building, that an off-duty Secret Service officer was able to tackle him. But that was not the version of events made available to members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform before their Sept. 30 hearing with Pierson. According to a press release, Gonzalez was apprehended “after entering the White House North Portico doors.” Neither the White House nor the service clarified that statement. The service also said that Gonzalez was unarmed; in fact, he had a knife. According to Representative Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts, who sits on the panel, the committee was unaware of both of those details before they were reported in The Washington Post.

That incident came on the heels of another security failure, in which an armed private security contractor with three prior assault and battery convictions was allowed to ride in an elevator with President Obama during his Sept. 16 visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Allowing someone with a criminal record, let alone someone who is armed, within arm’s reach of the president is a direct breach of Secret Service protocol. But according to the Post, Obama was not briefed on the incident.

To read more click here.

Secret Service Director Defends Subordinates on Capitol Hill Following High Profile Mishaps

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service’s first female director was on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to discuss the misbehavior of her male subordinates.

CNN reports that Secret Service Director Julia Pierson brushed off allegations of widespread problems among employees, saying  recent highly publicized allegations were unusual.

“These are isolated incidents of misconduct and we’re working every day to correct our behavior,” Pierson told reporters Tuesday after leaving a closed meeting with top senators on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Three agents were recently sent home after they were found drunk at a hotel in the Netherlands.

“We’re human and we make mistakes,” Pierson said when asked why the agency continues to be plagued by such problems.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST


Meet the New Secret Service Director Julia A. Pierson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

 It created a buzz in D.C. before the announcement.

President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced his intention to name Julia A. Pierson as the 23rd Director of the U.S. Secret Service and the first woman to head the agency.

The following is a press release that was posted on the Secret Service website:

President Barack Obama has announced his intention to name Julia A. Pierson as the 23rd Director of the United States Secret Service.

Julia Pierson is a career law enforcement executive with more than 30 years of experience with the United States Secret Service. Ms. Pierson’s extensive knowledge of agency stems from her leadership of high impact initiatives in both aspects of its core mission of protection and investigations along with her skills in strategic planning, risk management, human capital management, program management and budget development and execution. Over the past year, Ms. Pierson led the organization’s efforts to enhance professionalism throughout the workforce by representing the Secret Service on a working group of senior level executives. Since assuming the role of Chief of Staff in 2008, her responsibilities included overseeing the Secret Service’s complex information technology and business process modernization efforts.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Pierson served as the Assistant Director of the Office of Human Resources and Training (HRT). In that position, Ms. Pierson was responsible for overseeing all human resource and training programs for the Secret Service. Ms. Pierson oversaw organizational policy development and strategic management of the agency’s Workforce Planning Programs, Personnel Division, Security Clearance Division and the James J. Rowley Training Center basic and operational training programs.

Ms. Pierson also served as Deputy Assistant Director in the Office of Protective Operations, where she was responsible for daily security operations, workforce readiness and strategic planning to support the Presidential and Vice Presidential Protective Divisions, Dignitary Protective Division, as well as National Special Security Events and Presidential Campaign activities. Beyond her operational experience, Ms. Pierson served as the Deputy Assistant Director in the Office of Administration, where she oversaw the agency’s budget and all administrative operations including strategic planning, budgeting, finance, procurement, and property management activities.

Ms. Pierson served as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge in the Tampa Field Office and was responsible for directing Secret Service investigative and protective activities in western Florida. Ms. Pierson established an Electronic Crimes Task Force to investigate cyber crimes in the Tampa Bay area.

Ms. Pierson is a graduate of the University of Central Florida and has completed graduate course studies in public policy at The George Washington University. She has been a member of the federal Senior Executive Service (SES) since 2003 and was the recipient of an SES Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award in 2008. A long time proponent of law enforcement officers and their families, Ms. Pierson has been actively involved in supporting the National Law Enforcement Memorial and Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS). A native of Orlando, Florida, Ms. Pierson began her career in the Secret Service as a special agent assigned to the Miami and Orlando field offices. Prior to joining the Secret Service, Ms. Pierson served as a police officer in Orlando, Florida.

President Obama to Name First Female Secret Service Director

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

President Obama will name Julia Pierson as director of the U.S. Secret Service, the first female to head that agency, USA Today reported.

An official announcement is expected Tuesday afternoon.

Pierson, 53, now serves as the service’s chief of staff, USA Today reports.

Other women who head law enforcement agencies include Janet Napolitano, head of the Department of Homeland Security and Michele Leonhart, who heads the DEA.

To read more click here.