The US Secret Service maintains a strong presence in Maine, not only because of the field office in Portland (207-780-3493), but because this New England state is home to the Bush Compound in Kennebunkport. Secret Service agents, as part of their protective mission (which involves providing security for all former presidents until their death), become a strong presence in this seaside southern Maine town whenever the Bush family visits.
Educational Requirements for Secret Service Agent Jobs
Individuals who want to become Secret Service agents in Maine may be able to meet the agency’s minimum requirements for employment, even if they do not possess any prior experience. Specifically, they can qualify by meeting the educational requirements, which minimally include a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, provided they can show proof of attaining superior academic achievement, which includes:
- Possessing a 3.0 GPA in the last two years of the program or a 3.0 GPA overall
- Possessing a 3.5 GPA in all courses related to the major
- Graduating in the top third of the graduating class
- Serving as a member of a recognized, national scholastic honor society
A popular option for individuals pursuing Secret Service agent jobs is a four-year degree in public safety administration. This type of degree is designed to provide students with an understanding of public administration through personnel management, administrative law, public relations, and intergovernmental relations.
Common coursework within a public safety administration bachelor’s program includes:
- Public Policy
- Foundations of Public Safety
- Public Finance
- Administrative Law
- Hazard Mitigation
- Conflict Resolution
- Concepts and Techniques in Organizational Behavior
- Issues in Disaster Response
- Business Ethics
- Catastrophic Event Response Planning
- Critical Infrastructure Protection
Candidates without a history of superior academic achievement at the undergraduate level may qualify for Secret Service agent jobs in Maine if they have completed at least one year of graduate-level education or if they can show proof that they have at least one year of specialized experience conducting investigations or undercover/surveillance operations equivalent to the GL-5 level.
Those candidates who meet the minimum requirements for employment must also successfully complete the agency’s pre-employment requirements. Therefore, candidates must be able to successfully pass a written examination, a physical assessment, and a top-level background investigation, which includes a credit check and a polygraph examination before they can be considered for a job with the Secret Service.
Secret Service agents are demanding, as these professionals are expected to work long hours, travel throughout the country (and sometimes the world), and participate in undercover work when necessary. All new agents are assigned to one of the Secret Service’s field offices upon completion of the agency’s mandatory training program.
Secret Service Training Requirements
Secret Service agents must possess a specific skillset, which is why training at this federal law enforcement agency is mandatory and continuous. New agents, for example, receive no less than 28 weeks of training, which is completed at both the Law Enforcement Training Center in Georgia and the Secret Service Training Center in Maryland, just beyond Washington D.C.
All Secret Service agents, regardless of their role within the agency, receive training in both investigative and protective policies and procedures. As such, new agents are required to learn everything from protective intelligence investigations to combatting terrorism.
Recent Secret Service Operations in Maine
The protective mission of Secret Service agents also includes the investigation of any threats against the President or Vice President of the United States. For example, a Maine man was questioned in August 2013 by the Secret Service for posting a racially charged threat against President Obama. Secret Service agents questioned the man at his local police department in Sabattus, Maine, about the threat.
In addition to exercising their protective duties, Secret Service agents in Maine are also heavily involved in the investigative mission of the agency, which includes everything from busting child pornography rings to locating the source of cyber-attacks against financial institutions in the state.