The Secret Service is one of the most important agencies to the life of our nation. And yet they find themselves stretched too thin, with not enough man power or resources to do their job at the level necessary to protect the viral interests of our nation.
Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) is the chariman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He expressed that our Secret Service Agents have been maxed out for a long time, “They are flat-out worn out,” he said. The committee’s top-ranking Democratic, Elijah Cummings (D-MD), described the situation for the agents “It’s like being on a bike that you never get off of.”
The New York Times wrote a damning story about the state of the Secret Service, in which the paint a grim picture:
The agency is down about 250 special agents and 350 administrative and technical staff members compared with its peak at the beginning of the Obama administration. Morale among employees has sunk to the lowest of any federal agency, according to government surveys. And efforts to rebuild the work force — which Mr. Chaffetz said was short by 1,000 positions — have improved, but the agency continues to struggle to keep up with attrition.
The Time explains that there are two large factors in play – the much larger pool of people for which the president has requested protection, and the fact that besides the typical locations, the Secret Service must now be responsible for Trump Tower and the posh, Palm Beach Mar-a-Lago, where the president has spent a whopping 1/5 of his time.
Couple that with the fact that the Secret Service now suffers from exceptionally low job morale, and you have the perfect firestorm for disaster.
According to the latest measurements, the Secret Service is in a miserable last place out of 305 total when it comes to key drivers as surveyed by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. The three questions they ask are:
- I recommend my organization as a good place to work.
- Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your job?
- Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your organization?
The New York Times explains: “Essentially the Secret Service is in a campaign mode all of the time right now,” said James F. Tomsheck, who left the agency in 2006 after 23 years. “It will greatly degrade the quality of life for most agents in the Secret Service, because of increased travel, protracted periods of time away from family.”
And the schedule is only a part of the larger problem. The agency is suffering also from a lack of necessary resources, so much so that well over 1,000 agents hit their salary cap, “meaning that in the campaign’s final months they were working overtime without pay. Congress stepped in to approve making up for some of those lost funds but has yet to appropriate the money.”