Tags: Barack Obama | White House | Secret Service | Oliver H. Gonzalez | agents

Report: Less Qualified Agents Were Guarding White House

By    |   Tuesday, 07 October 2014 06:22 PM


When knife-packing Oliver H. Gonzalez leaped over a White House fence on Sept. 19, ran through the unlocked front door of the president's home and almost made it into the Green Room before being tackled and subdued, the classic tough, no-nonsense Secret Service agents of movie fame were not the ones who dropped the ball.

Instead, The New York Times reports, the White House was being guarded at that time not by the burly, mature, hyper-alert Secret Service agents usually seen surrounding the president but, instead, by members of the Uniformed Division, who are basically lower-qualified, lower-paid security cops.

Obama was gone at the time, and so was the phalanx of praetorian guards whose job it is to keep the bad guys from killing the president.

Gonzalez bulled his way through several of the Uniformed Division guards, knocking one female guard sprawling, before he was tackled outside the door of the Green Room.

"There's a disparity between agents and officers," Manuel Ovalle, longtime member of the Uniformed Division and now its ombudsman, told the Times.

While there are 3,200 Secret Service agents and just 1,300 Uniformed Division officers, agents are required to have a bachelor's degree with "superior academic achievement," and most have other police or military experience, while the younger inexperienced Uniformed Division guards are required to have only a high school diploma and a stint in the training academy.

"These young kids come in all excited. They've come through training and shot their weapons. And then, they're just standing. They're just standing here for long hours," Ovalle said.

Uniformed Division officers receive a little more than the starting salary for an agent, around $56,000 annually, but with no guaranteed overtime or higher pay for extra qualifications, in a service which is essentially an "agent run organization," Ovalle said.
The Gonzalez incident resulted in the resignation of Secret Service director Julia Pierson, after she was grilled by Congress.

Dan Bongino, former Secret Service agent and instructor, said the lowering of physical standards to allow female agents to be hired, for reasons of political correctness, is partly to blame for Gonzalez' frighteningly easy success in breaching White House security.
Bongino told WND, "That happens throughout the government: The physical fitness requirements, they’re scaled for sex and age.

"There should be one set of requirements — physical standards that have to be met to stop and mitigate an attacker, and that’s it.

"Why the Secret Service feels the need to do otherwise, my guess is that they’re afraid of lawsuits. It's just silly to scale this stuff, and you’re inviting disaster for the president.”

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, said, “One, two, three, four, five, six uniformed officers — I wonder if there is a fitness problem here — chasing this gentleman who could not capture him.”

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said of the two services, "I don’t see a lot of competitive tension between the two. What I do see is a lack of communication."

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When an intruder leaped over a White House fence Sept. 19, ran through the unlocked front door and almost made it into the Green Room, the classic tough, no-nonsense Secret Service agents of agents of movie fame were not the ones who dropped the ball.
White House, Secret Service, Oliver H. Gonzalez, agents
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2014-22-07
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 06:22 PM
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