WASHINGTON, D.C. -- On Wednesday, April 30, United States Secret Service Director Ralph Basham issued the following statement on the signing of the Prosecutorial
Remedies and Tools Against the Exploitation of Children Today Act of 2003 (PROTECT Act).
"We are extremely pleased that our nations leaders recognize the important contributions that the United States Secret Service provides in investigations
involving missing and exploited children. With the passage and implementation of this bill, the Secret Service now has statutory jurisdiction to provide forensic
and investigative support upon request to both the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and local law enforcement.
For 138 years, the Secret Service has been charged with protecting the integrity of the nation's financial systems. Since 1901, the agency has protected our nation's leaders. As of March 1, our move to the new Department of Homeland Security allows us to continue and enhance our contribution to the protection of our homeland. Now, with the PROTECT Act, Congress and the President have recognized our efforts to safeguard another valuable resource -- our nation's children."