The United States Secret Service was originally formed in 1865 to combat counterfeiting. Although this federal law enforcement agency has since expanded its efforts in a number of areas, including its protective mission, the investigative mission of the agency is still a crucial one, as advanced technology has brought about a whole new breed of counterfeiters, even in the country’s heartland.
Counterfeiting and the distribution of counterfeit currency and U.S. checks, bond and other securities is a prevalent problem in Kansas, as is evident from recent headlines. For example, in December 2013, the Secret Service in Olathe, Kansas, began warning local businesses to the circulation of counterfeit currency. In 2013 the Secret Service said they worked on 56 counterfeit cases in Kansas City alone. The agency also reported that, in the last two month of 2013, more than $60,000 in fake currency passed through the hands of Kansas City businesses.
Another principal mission of Secret Service agents in Kansas includes the investigation of cyber-attacks. The Secret Service said that they deal with about three cyber-security breaches each month in the Overland Park, Kansas, area alone. Many of the breaches occurring in Kansas are a result of criminals across the world hacking in remotely to local business computer terminals, which makes the process of detecting and investigating these crimes particularly difficult.
There are about more than 100 Secret Service field offices throughout the world, including one located in Wichita, Kansas (316-267-1452).
Meeting Education Requirements
Kansas residents who want to meet the Secret Service job requirements at the GL-7 level can do so by achieving a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a history of superior academic achievement. Because the Secret Service does not specify an area of study needed to meet requirements for Secret Service agent jobs, many individuals choose to pursue a degree related to the field of federal law enforcement.
For example, a four-year bachelor’s degree in public safety administration, emergency management, criminal justice or homeland security allows students to fine-tune operational and strategic plans, develop and evaluate programs, address organizational issues, and enhance productivity.
Just a few of the typical courses within a public safety administration degree program include:
- Public personnel management
- Program planning and evaluation
- Foundations of public safety administration
- Community relations theory and practice
- Managing conflict in public organizations
- Administrative law
- Management information systems
- Applied organizational behavior
Candidates who are unable to meet the requirement of superior academic achievement, which includes graduating in the upper third of their graduating class and possessing a minimum GPA of 3.5 in courses related to their major and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all other courses, may qualify if they have completed at least one year of graduate-level study beyond their bachelor’s degree.
Candidates without a formal bachelor’s degree may also qualify if they have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GL-5 level.
Other pre-employment qualifications include being able to pass:
- A physical fitness test
- A written exam and a report writing exam
- A background investigation
- A polygraph examination
- A drug screening
- Numerous structured interviews
Training Requirements for Secret Service Agents
The first step in any Secret Service agent career is comprehensive training, which includes an initial 10 weeks at Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, Georgia, followed by another 17 weeks special agent training at the James J. Rowley Training Center near Washington D.C., where they engage in advanced application training in a number of areas, such as access device fraud and financial criminal activity.
Secret Service agent jobs require ongoing, annual training, as well, such as regular firearms and emergency medical requalification.