Why Do Politicians Need Security Guards?
Politics have always been a touchy subject, but the political climate in the U.S. has perhaps never been more volatile than it is now.
With bipartisan tensions running high, the security industry is booming in the political sphere. Frequent organized protests flood the streets in Washington, D.C., and mixed crowds become volatile with support and opposition at political rallies. It’s a dangerous time to be a politician – even in your own home.
It’s critical in these times for our leaders to have professional, highly-trained security services. Not just for protection at events, but also for family protection at home.
Many politicians are actually served by federally organized security agencies. Read on to find out who’s protected by whom, and why hiring private security is still a good idea.
Which Politicians are Protected by the Secret Service?
The Secret Service has been tasked with protecting the President since 1901. Their scope of personal protective services now includes a list of high-profile elected leaders, as well as visiting dignitaries.
Persons eligible for protection by Secret Service agents are those of federal interest and significance, including:
- The President and Vice President of the United States
- The families of the President and Vice President
- Individuals in succession to Presidential and Vice Presidential offices
- Major Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security
- Former Presidents and First Ladies
- Visiting foreign Heads of state
- U.S. Representatives abroad
- Any individual specified for Secret Service protection by Presidential Executive Order
The Secret Service also serve as private investigators of financial crimes, including counterfeiting, forgery, theft and other financial crimes under federal jurisdiction. The general public perceives the Secret Service as elite protection agents. What many may not know is that the organization was created to identify and prevent this type of financial misconduct.
To learn more about the Secret Service, visit the official Department of Homeland Security website.
Which Politicians are Protected by the Capitol Police?
The U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) was established to protect members and officers of Congress, as well as their families and visitors. As such, this federal police force is one of the few responsible to the legislative branch, separating them from standard police departments as part of the executive branch of government.
Not all members of Congress have personal security details, though. USCP assigns personal details only to select constitutional officeholders:
- The Speaker of the House
- Majority and Minority House Leaders
- Majority and Minority Senate Leaders
- House and Senate Majority and Minority Whips
Capitol police also work to protect and secure events occurring on Capitol grounds, as well as delivering personal protection details to additional personnel when deemed necessary.
To learn more about the USCP, including how to become a USCP Officer, you can visit their website at uscp.gov.
Which Politicians are Protected by State Police?
State Police go by several names, depending on the state. Other names for State Police include Highway Patrol and the Department of Public Safety. In general, State Police operate in the expected functions of a law enforcement agency, with the additional duty to protect the state’s Governor and family.
While the responsibilities of State Police differ some by state, the majority of them carry the same responsibilities:
- Responding to traffic accidents
- Responding to crime
- Investigative responsibilities
- Providing security detail to the Governor and other dignitaries
Which Politicians Need Security Guards, and Why?
Who Needs Private Security
The short answer: any politician who feels they may be at high risk.
All politicians can choose to hire security officers from a private security firm. This can often be a wise choice, even for those who already have protection from a federal agency, delivering additional peace of mind and an added layer of safety.
While high-profile politicians at the federal level are often protected by the Secret Service, some choose to hire private security companies to supplement Secret Security services. In fact, President Trump has faced scrutiny in recent years for his choice to hire additional personal protection from private security firms.
“More than 40 countries – including the United States, China, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom – have more guards privately hired to protect certain people, places and things than police officers whose duty it is to protect the public.”
Private security outnumbers the police for a reason: Citizens – including politicians – need more protection than government agencies are able to provide.
The choice to hire executive protective officers often comes down to personal preference.
Why Hire Private Security Details or Additional Private Security Services
Politicians face a number of daily dangers, from the mundane risks of accidental physical harm and paparazzi to the more dramatic risks such as bomb threats and kidnapping.
The risks involved with being in the public eye are increased with increased public exposure. For politicians, this means election season is fraught with tension and risk.
Protective agents from private security firms are able to fill a number of security functions for those in state and federal offices. These include:
- Security risk assessment for events
- Crowd control for public events
- Personal protection at home and during travel
- Security for diplomatic functions and speaking engagements
The extra protection a private security service can provide is well worth the investment. And with the services of off-duty or retired law enforcement personnel, you can trust that you are getting the most professional level of security training available for the value.
Hire Security Services You Can Trust with SMART Security Pros
SMART Security Pros has been providing industry-leading security services in the Washington, D.C. area and beyond for years. Hiring only off-duty and prior police experienced agents, you can trust that a private security detail from SMART Security Pros understands the ins and outs of political security.
Don’t slack on security. Protect your family and your life with the best local private security firm. Our services include executive and dignitary protection and armed security guards for political conventions, as well as corporate security training and armed and unarmed security guards for special events and more.