Secret Service agents in Arizona are responsible for the investigative missions the agency is often called upon to handle related to U.S. currency counterfeiting and issues involving the security of our nation’s financial systems. This has become a pervasive problem in the Western state. In a recent incident, a counterfeit money operation in Valdosta, Arizona was discovered in October 2012. Secret Service agents worked with local investigators to successfully bring three people to justice.
Secret Service agent jobs are found in agency field offices around the world, including two in Arizona:
- Phoenix (602-640-5580)
- Tucson (520-622-6822)
Preparing for a Career as a Secret Service Agent: How to Become a Secret Service Agent in Arizona
Individuals may qualify for a Secret Service job in Arizona if they possess a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Although the agency does not demand any specific degree from candidates, it does recognize academic excellence, as jobs in this federal law enforcement agency tend to be highly competitive. Academic excellence means achieving, at a minimum, a 3.5 GPA in all courses related to their major and a 3.0 GPA overall.
A four-year degree in forensic psychology, for example, is designed to help students gain an understanding of human thought and behavioral concepts, learn about trends and ethical issues, and develop an insight into behaviors and mental processes, all the while applying effective management and research methods.
Some of the core topics covered in a forensic psychology bachelor’s degree includes:
- Introduction to Criminal Justice
- Law, Justice and Family
- Forensic Law
- American Politics
- The American Legal Tradition
- Sociology of Social Problems
- Sociology of Deviant Behavior
Candidates without a formal college education may also qualify for Secret Service agent jobs in Arizona if they have at least one year of specialized experience at the GL-5 level, which includes assisting in investigations and undercover operations, organizing evidence for prosecutors, or conducting surveillance activities. Further, candidates with at least one year of graduate study may qualify without superior academic achievement at the undergraduate level.
Other requirements for employment as a Secret Service agent include being able to successfully obtain a top-secret clearance, pass a number of in-depth interviews, and successfully complete the extensive training program at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.
Pre-Employment and Training Requirements for Secret Service Agents in Arizona
Candidates who are chosen by the Secret Service can expect to complete a number of intensive pre-employment procedures, including a physical assessment test, a written examination, a polygraph examination, a comprehensive background investigation and credit check, a thorough medical examination, and a structured panel interview.
Upon being selected by the Secret Service, all new agents must complete a standard and mandatory course of training, which involves an initial 11 weeks at the Glynco, Georgia, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, followed by another 16 weeks of agent-specific training at the James J. Rowley Training Center in Washington D.C.
Training at the JJRT involves the advanced application of combating counterfeiting and financial crimes, conducting protective intelligence investigations, and achieving extensive training, marksmanship, and control tactics, just to name a few.
Combating Cyber Attacks in Arizona
The Secret Service recently formed an Electronic Crimes Task Force in Phoenix. The special agents of this task force are called upon to collaborate with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to identify and address cyber weaknesses in U.S. companies and financial institutions and address them before they become victims of cyber-attacks.
A known cyber terrorism group compromised the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s email system, just a few months prior. Secret Service agents responded swiftly and decisively, resulting in the perpetrators being imprisoned quickly where they are currently awaiting trial.
In February 2013, authorities in Pinal County were alerted to hundreds of reports of fraudulent credit and debit card transactions, which were later discovered to be part of a cyber-attack on a chain of grocery stores involving a number of other states, as well, including Texas, Illinois, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, and North Carolina, among others.