Counterfeiting in the United States is a prevalent and persistent problem. And, given advances in technology, identifying and combating counterfeiting has become all the more complex. The agents of the Secret Service’s investigative division work diligently in a number of areas, including cyber investigations, financial systems investigations and, of course, investigations in counterfeit currency and U.S. securities, including checks and bonds.
The story is no different in Kentucky, where Secret Service agents are called upon to investigate any number of counterfeit money cases that occur throughout the state. In December 2013, for example, a number of cases were brought to the attention of Kentucky’s Secret Service agents.
Secret Service operations in Kentucky are carried out through the state’s two field offices:
- Lexington: 859-223-2358
- Louisville: 502-582-5171
Individuals who are interested in learning how to become a Secret Service agent in Kentucky can meet the GL-7 federal level requirements by possessing a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, provided they can show proof of superior academic achievement. This means possessing at least a 3.0 GPA overall and at least a 3.5 GPA in classes related to their major.
If they cannot meet the requirements of superior academic achievement, they may meet minimum requirements if they possess at least one year of graduate-level study or if they have at least one year of specialized experience at the GL-5 level.
There are a number of bachelor degree programs available in Kentucky that candidates for Secret Service jobs may pursue. For example, a four-year degree in emergency and disaster management provides students with study in disasters and large-scale catastrophic events, while at the same time providing them with the background and education needed to deal with these events. These degree programs most often deal with an all-hazards approach, which includes addressing emergency and disaster management phases, risk assessment, consequence management, mitigation, and recovery.
Other steps in the pre-employment process for Secret Service agents in Kentucky include the successful completion of a number of interviews, a Secret Service exam, a report writing exam, a complete medical exam, and a physical fitness test. New agents must be able to obtain and maintain and top-secret security clearance and maintain firearms proficiency throughout their careers.
The Training Process
Upon being hired as a Secret Service agent in Kentucky, new hires can expect to immediately begin a two-part training program that totals 28 weeks.
The first part of the training program, called the Criminal Investigator Training Program, is designed to provide training to new agents in investigative techniques and criminal law.
The second part of the training program, called the Special Agent Training Course, is designed focus on issues related to both the investigative and protection missions of the Secret Service.
High Profile Cases in Kentucky
The search of a Nortonville, Kentucky residence yielded nearly $1,000 in fake currency, while in Lexington it was discovered that a number of $20 fake bills was being circulated throughout town. Another case in Lexington involved more than a dozen fake $100 bills being circulated throughout the city during the Black Friday weekend.
Another case was recently brought to light through a joint press conference delivered by the U.S. Secret Service and the Louisville Metro Police. The press conference announced the “black money” scam, which involves people tricking victims into thinking they are in possession of genuine African Reserve notes from WWII that require a special chemical to clean them of their blank ink. The perpetrators of the scam convince people they need to help them pay for the expensive chemicals to clean the money, and in return they will split the proceeds of the notes.