New York has eight secret service field offices, all with the dual mission of protecting national and visiting foreign leaders and investigating crimes related to our national financial infrastructure.
A joint press release issued by the US Department of Justice and Steven Hughes, special agent-in-charge of the New York City Secret Service field office, announced the indictment in Manhattan Federal Court of 23 individuals charged with participating in an extensive counterfeit credit card scheme. The arrests were the result of an intense investigation by the US Secret Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Homeland Security and the US Attorney’s Office. Agent Hughes remarked that the US Secret Service has “implemented a variety of innovative, operational capabilities” aimed at combating the increase in cyber threats.
Requirements for Becoming a Secret Service Agent in New York State
The following are basic requirements for Secret Service agent jobs:
- Between 21-37 years of age
- Citizen of the United States
- Excellent health and physical condition
- Four-year degree from an accredited college or university
- Three years criminal investigation or law enforcement experience
- Able to qualify for a top secret clearance
The state of New York has 307 accredited, degree-granting colleges/universities. New Yorkers seeking a degree in Criminal Justice or another relevant field are fortunate to have such a wide choice of public and private educational institutions located throughout the Empire State.
Hiring information and all necessary forms can be found at the US Secret Service employment website.
New York Electronic Crimes Task Forces
In 1995, the US Secret Service created its first electronic crimes task force. The New York Electronic Crimes Task Force (NYECTF) brought a team of US Secret Service special agents in New York City together with state and local law enforcement groups in order to better combat the increasing proliferation of electronic crimes. There are now 135 of these task forces across the country. In 2006 the NYECTF merged with the Newark, New Jersey electronic crimes task force to better combat electronic crimes in the entire Greater New York Metropolitan Area.
The Upstate New York Electronic Task Force is a partnership of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, private sector companies and academia. They combine resources in order to “prevent, detect and investigate technology-based criminal activity in four upstate New York geographic areas (Albany, Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse). The centralized investigative unit is administered by the US Secret Service with headquarters in the Buffalo field office.
The kinds of crimes that are the focus of these task forces include:
- Computer-generated counterfeit currency
- Bank fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Counterfeit checks
- Virus and worm proliferation
- Access device fraud
- Telecommunications fraud
- Internet threats
- Cyber attacks
- Identity theft
US Secret Service New York Field Office Operations
Agents based in these field offices conduct all US Secret Service operations in New York:
- Albany; state capital, 150 miles north of NYC, 518-436-9600
- Buffalo, second largest city, western NY, 716-6551-4401
- Jamaica, neighborhood in the NYC borough of Queens, 718-553-0911
- Melville, on Long Island, 631-293-4028
- New York City, most populous city in the U.S., 718-845-1000
- Rochester, on Lake Ontario’s southern shore, 585-263-6830
- Syracuse, in center of state, 315-448-0304
- White Plains, just north of NYC in Westchester County, 914-682-6300
Albany – Computer crimes are also a major focus of secret service investigations in Albany. Bill Leege, special-agent-in-charge in Albany, recently gave a rare television interview in which he emphasized the dramatic increase in the production of false credit cards. It was mentioned that a recent survey by the National Cyber Security Alliance found that over one-quarter of all Americans have been potential victims of computer fraud. Leege allowed cameras into a very secure room in Albany where a computer crime response team works diligently to identify and catch hackers.
It is noted that although Albany is the state capital, New York’s governor, like all US governors, is protected by the state police. Secret Service members of the protection unit provide security and protection only to visiting national or foreign leaders.
Syracuse – Special agents in the Syracuse office were involved in the joint investigation by federal law enforcement agencies of sexual abuse accusations against Syracuse University head basketball coach Bernie Fine. Accusations included the long-ago abuse of children in other states which made it a federal matter. The case was a major national news story.
White Plains – A joint investigation by US Secret Service and FBI agents resulted in the May, 2013 indictment of Laurence Mulgreen for making threats against government officials. Mulgreen’s Facebook page expressed his desire to kill members of the US Congress and other state and local officials. He pled guilty in White Plains federal Court.