Working as an agent in the United States Secret Service is an exciting and challenging endeavor, as these federal law enforcement professionals are responsible for protecting our nation’s President and Vice President, foreign dignitaries, and individuals on special missions for the United States. Secret Service agents are also often heavily involved in federal financial crimes involving U.S. securities, bonds, and currency, including counterfeit money.
The Secret Service has a presence throughout the United States and the world, with more than 150 field offices now in place from California to South Africa. Connecticut special agents work out of the New Haven field office (203-865-2449).
Secret Service Operations in Connecticut
The work of the Secret Service in Connecticut is highlighted through recent headlines:
December 2013: The United States Secret Service, with the help of Shelton police, caught a woman found to have embezzled more than $100,000 from a dental practice. Secret Service agents found that the woman stole insurance checks issues from victims and deposited them into her personal bank account.
December 2013: The president of a Southbury synagogue was sentenced in an embezzlement case involving the theft of more than $600,000 in funds from the synagogue. Secret Service agents discovered that the individual made unauthorized ATM withdrawals and over-the-counter withdrawals to pay for a new car, schooling for her children, and a horse, among other things.
How to Become a Secret Service Agent in Connecticut: Education and Experience Requirements
In addition to meeting a number of basic employment requirements, which include being a United States citizen, holding a valid driver’s license, and being between the ages of 21 and 36 the time of appointment, all candidates for these federal jobs must, at a minimum, meet the requirements at the GL-7, which include possessing one of the following:
- A four-year bachelor’s degree (with superior academic achievement)
- At least one year of graduate-level education
- One year of specialized experience at the GL-5 level
Specialized experience refers to work in investigations, undercover work, surveillance work, or evidence organization for prosecution professionals.
There are no specific degree program requirements for becoming a Secret Service agent in Connecticut, although many individuals in pursuit of a special agent job choose to complete a course of study in one of the following fields:
- Police science
- Criminal justice administration
- Forensic psychology
- Criminal justice
- Emergency management
- Homeland security
- Public safety administration
A four-year degree in Public Safety Administration, for example, generally includes a curriculum that is designed to provide students with the leadership abilities and management competencies required to enter a career in public safety. This type of program features topics in risk management, public policy, program development and implementation, and ethics, among others. As such, typical courses with a bachelor’s degree in Public Safety Administration include:
- Technology in Contemporary Society
- Technological Transformations
- Introduction to Public Safety Administration
- Media and Society
- Information Systems in Organizations
- Contemporary Public Safety Practices
- Public Safety Planning
- Public Safety Legal Issues and Political Policy
- Public Safety Administration Ethics
All Secret Service agents in Connecticut must be able to meet specific conditions of employment, which include carrying out assignments in protection and investigations. They are also required to work long hours, often in undesirable conditions, and they may need to work in undercover assignments.
Secret Service Jobs and Training Requirements
Upon being hired as a special agent with the Secret Service, new hires can expect to complete a rigorous course of training that can take up to seven months to complete. The first training period takes place in Glynco, Georgia, at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC). It is then followed by more in-depth training at the James J. Rowley Training Center (JJRTC), which sits on more than 500 acres of land and includes 31 buildings and more than 6 miles of roadways.
Training at the JJRTC provides new hires with the protective, investigative and specialized tactical skills they will need as special agent with the Secret Service. Advanced study in rescue, firearms marksmanship, water survival training, and use-of-force tactics are just a few of the focused topics during this period of intense training.