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Review finds Secret Service needs an ‘overhaul’

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Zach McAuliffe is a University of Dayton alumni with degrees in journalism and English. He wants to present people with all the facts they need to make informed decisions on the world around them. He also enjoys Shakespeare and long walks on the beach with his puppy Lily.

The Secret Service has faced a lot of scrutiny recently after allowing multiple people to breach the perimeter of the White House and approach the president unhindered.  Now, a review panel released a report of the agency responsible for protecting the president, and is calling for a major overhaul of the agency.

The panel heard one common critique from those inside and outside the Service: The Service is too insular,” reads the summary of the report.  The report also says the Secret Service is “starved for leadership that rewards innovation and excellence.”

The report outlined a few recommendations for ways to help the Secret Service, the first of which, according to Reuters, is to simply build a higher fence around the White House.  The new fence would be “4 to 5 feet higher” than the current fence and the top of which would curve outwards.

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Another recommendation was also hiring more agents.  “The Secret Service is stretched to and, in many cases, beyond its limits,” said the report.  The addition of close to 300 new agents, the report found, would shorten the long hours the agents currently work and allow more needed rest for agents.  

Finally, the report suggests the need for a non-Secret Service person to be selected for the position of leader within the agency.  This goes against the long-standing practice of choosing a Secret Service member as the leader, but it would also bring a fresh view of the agency from the outside.  This, the report claims, would bring more accountability to the agency.

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson weighed in on the review, saying, according to CBS News, the panel findings were “astute, thorough and fair.”

“It is now up to the leadership of the Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that all the recommendations are carefully considered,” said Johnson.  “In fact, some of the panel’s recommendations are similar to others made in past agency reviews… The Secret Service itself must commit to change.”

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