The investigative mission of the Secret Service includes combatting identity theft, credit and debit card theft, counterfeiting, Internet crimes, and cyber terrorism, among others. Similar to other states throughout the country, the Secret Service has a complex investigation structure in Missouri that supports jobs in three different field offices:
- Kansas City: 816-460-0600
- Springfield: 417-864-8340
- St. Louis: 314-539-2238
Secret Service Careers in Missouri: How to Become a Secret Service Agent
There are a number of ways individuals who want to learn how to become a Secret Service agent in Missouri can meet the agency’s minimum requirements for employment. This includes:
- Being a United States citizen
- Being between the ages of 21 and 36 (at the time of appointment)
- Possessing a valid and current driver’s license
- Being in excellent physical health
Individuals must also meet specific education/experience requirements. Individuals who do not possess a bachelor’s or graduate degree must possess at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GL-5 level. Specialized experience includes work in investigations, surveillance, or evidence organization for prosecutors.
For individuals with little to no prior experience, the most logical way to meet the minimum requirements for Secret Service jobs is to earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, provided they can show a history of academic excellence. Candidates may also qualify if they have completed at least one year of graduate work.
There are many degree programs that are ideal for individuals seeking to pursue Secret Service jobs, such as a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a specialization in criminal psychology. A criminal justice-criminal psychology bachelor’s program is designed to provide students with a foundational knowledge in both mental health and the behavior of criminals. This type of program teaches students how to assess and counsel individuals within the justice system, and the coursework allows them to strengthen their investigative and cognitive skills while learning to understand the thoughts and intentions of the criminal mind.
Core coursework in a criminal justice-criminal psychology degree program includes:
- Judicial process
- Administration of justice organizations
- Investigative studies
- Criminal justice ethics
- American government
- Social problems
- Crisis intervention
- Behavior management
- Psychology of criminal behavior
As with the majority of federal agencies, new Secret Service agents in Missouri must successfully complete a training program that must be completed before receiving a field office assignment. The initial training involves 10 weeks in the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) and another 17 weeks of advanced training at the Secret Service training center called the James J. Rowley Training Center.
New Secret Service agents in Missouri must be firearms proficient. Individuals who cannot complete the training programs or firearms proficiency training will be immediately relieved from their position as a Secret Service agent.
Major Operations to Take Place in 2013
In states like Missouri where the agency’s protective mission may not be as extensive as other states, the investigative mission becomes easily observable, particularly when examining recent headlines:
- October 2013: Four individuals pled guilty to their involvement in the theft of stolen vehicles, ID theft and fraud conspiracy, which totaled more than $400,000. The individuals were from Blue Springs, Arnold, Raytown and Kansas City. The Missouri Secret Service was involved in the identity theft investigation.
- June 2013: A Joplin woman was indicted for embezzling more than $88,000 from her employer. She was charged with 10 counts of wire fraud in the indictment. The Secret Service and the Joplin, Missouri Police Department investigated the case.
- September 2013: A St. Louis man pled guilty to wire fraud charges that included a scheme to embezzle money from a condominium association. A Secret Service investigation found that he made unauthorized electronic transfers to his personal bank account totaling more than $70,000. The Secret Service was assisted by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department in its investigation.
- August 2013: A Virginia woman was found guilty for her role in a credit card skimming operation that involved traveling from Baltimore, Maryland to Missouri for the purpose of purchasing cigarettes with counterfeit credit cards. The United States Secret Service and the Perryville, Missouri Police Department worked together on the investigation.