Ohio is home to four US Secret Service field offices that have both protective and investigative missions that involve protecting visiting national or foreign leaders and special security events; as well as safeguarding the financial infrastructure by investigating financial crimes.
- Cincinnati – across the Ohio River from Kentucky; 513-684-3585
- Cleveland – borders Lake Erie in the northeast; 216-706-4365
- Columbus – state capital and largest city; 614-469-7370
- Dayton – in southwestern Ohio; 937-222-2013
- Toledo – borders Lake Erie in the northwest; 419-259-6434
How to Become a Secret Service Agent in Ohio
The basic requirement for a Secret Service career is a bachelor’s (or better) degree with a major in a relevant subject such as criminal justice, criminology, homeland security, law enforcement, finance/accounting, information technology or public safety. Since the Secret Service investigates financial crimes, knowledge of economics, the banking system and payment systems is extremely useful. Ohio has 194 colleges/universities, making it the state with the fifth most degree-granting schools; approximate 95 of these schools offer criminal justice programs. Ohioans need not look beyond their state for the right school to prepare for a career in the Secret Service.
Preference is given to Ohio residents who have a few years experience in law enforcement or criminal investigations. In addition, candidates for special agent jobs must be U.S, citizens, age 21-27, in excellent health/physical condition, able to qualify for a top secret clearance and pass an intense background investigation.
Detailed information about how to become a US Secret Service agent by completing the hiring process, a list of current openings, and online applications forms can be found at the Secret Service employment website. Interested persons can also call the closest Ohio field office for information about local openings and upcoming career fairs.
Cleveland Electronic Crimes Task Force
Cleveland may be better known for its Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but it also houses the Secret Service-led electronic crimes task force (CECTF) made up of members of federal and local law enforcement agencies, manufacturing/critical infrastructure industries, academic institutions and enforcement bureaus. The task force investigates serious electronic crimes in northern Ohio and is responsible for safeguarding financial data, proprietary information and intellectual property. Task force members are also developing ideal information technology security models.
The US Secret Service at Work in Ohio
The Columbus office oversees all Secret Service operations in central Ohio. In addition to protecting visiting national and foreign leaders to Ohio’s capital city, Columbus Secret Service agents are constantly combating financial crimes. A typical case was the September, 2013 indictment and guilty plea of a Columbus man who had been busy manufacturing $100 bills in his private mint. He now faces up to 20 years helping to manufacture license plates in prison.
It is noted that Mark J. Sullivan served as special agent-in-charge of the Columbus field office from 1997 to 1999. He was transferred to D.C. and was appointed Deputy Director of the US Secret Service on May 31, 2006. He headed the Secret Service’s 12 divisions and 2,300 employees until his retirement on February 22, 2013 when President Obama appointed Judith A. Pierson to take his place. She is the first woman to head the prestigious agency.
Agents from the Dayton field office participated in a multi-agency investigation that resulted in the F3bruary 16, 2012 grand jury indictment of three owners of the Main Express Food Mart in Fairborn, Ohio for conspiring to commit food stamp fraud. A later investigation led to the arrest of three family members on charges of wire fraud and possession of a firearm by a person living illegally in the United States.
In 2012 Dayton special agents assisted the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation unit in a case that resulted in the arrest of three women who allegedly defrauded the IRS by using the stolen identities of mentally disabled adults to obtain approximately $170,000 in fraudulent income tax refunds.
A Cincinnati Youth Learns a Valuable Lesson from the US Secret Service
A teenage girl in Cincinnati recently found out that it’s important to be careful about what you say on social media networks! She and her family were unpleasantly surprised when Secret Service agents appeared at the family’s front door ready to take the girl into custody on charges of threatening the president. The girl owned up to her tweet saying, “Someone needs to assassinate Obama…like ASAP.” Although it is likely to be determined that the girl in this instance does not represent a legitimate threat to the president’s life, the Secret Service emphasizes that today’s young people need to understand the consequences of their actions, especially the reality that once a comment is made on twitter, the originator loses control of it as it flies into the twitter universe.