Secret Service prepares for ‘potential critical incidents’

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In the wake of bad press coverage surrounding a number of high-profile incidents, including a White House fence-jumper who was on the ground for 15 minutes in March, the Secret Service has put out a press release that details its latest training exercises.

Secret Service agents conducted a training exercise on the White House grounds Friday, in which agents practiced responding to “potential critical incidents” on the facility’s grounds, according to the release. The early-morning drill was described as a “dynamic training exercise.”

“Today’s training exercise offered participants the opportunity to deal with potential critical incidents they could encounter at the White House and how to respond accordingly,” according to the agency. “During the exercise, the Secret Service reviewed command, control and communication procedures, response force coordination and effectiveness and other security measures.”

Secret Service Director Randolph Alles explained that the training helps agents keep up with evolving tactics and technology.

“The Secret Service is bound to the unique no-fail mission of protecting the White House,” said Alles. “The worldwide threat environment is real. These threats require us to constantly train so that we can evolve with the trends and tactics of our adversaries.”

Funding for the agency has been strained, according to news reports that claim protecting President Trump has caused the agency to reach the federally mandated limits for salary and overtime.

Earlier this month, House lawmakers passed legislation to ensure that Secret Service agents are paid for overtime work incurred past the agency’s spending limit, according to a report in The Hill.

Under the legislation, the Secret Service could raise agents’ maximum salary and overtime to $187,000, up from $161,900, for this year and in 2018.

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