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Protecting America's senior leaders is a zero fail mission for members of the U.S. Secret Service.

Our Protective Mission

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We play a critical role in protecting U.S. and visiting world leaders, safeguarding U.S. elections through protection of candidates and nominees, and ensuring the security of key facilities and major, national-level events.

Our protective mission dates back to 1901, after the assassination of President William McKinley. Following the tragedy the Secret Service was authorized to protect the President of the United States. In 1906, Congress passed legislation and funds for the Secret Service to provide presidential protection. Over the years the number of our protectees and the scope of the protective mission has expanded in response to the evolving threat environment.

As part of our mission of preventing an incident before it occurs, we rely on meticulous advance work and threat assessments to identify potential risks to protectees.

Advanced Countermeasures

Using advanced countermeasures, we deter, minimize and decisively respond to identified threats and vulnerabilities.

Our protection includes airspace security, counter-surveillance, medical emergency response, hazardous agent mitigation and magnetometer capabilities.

Total Environment

Our total protective environment includes airspace security, counter-surveillance, medical emergency response, hazardous agent mitigation and magnetometer capabilities.

Our protective mission demands we be ready to protect those entrusted in our care anytime, anywhere.

Specialized Resources

Our specialized resources provide protection from threats, including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials and explosive devices.

Our investigative and multi-media, 3-D modeling capability capability expertise supports our protective mission, as well as our mission to safeguard U.S. financial infrastructure.

Protective Intelligence

We rely on meticulous advance work and threat assessments to identify potential risks to protectees. Our protective work starts long before our physical presence.

Impact of Our Protective Mission


*For Fiscal Year 2020

41

 

Number of protectees, a historically high number

185

 

Number of foreign visits by protectees 

2.5M

 

Pieces of mail we screened at our White House Mail Screening Facility

Protecting Leaders

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Since our protective mission began in 1901, our jurisdiction has expanded to meet the needs of an evolving security environment. Learn who we protect.

Since our protective mission began in 1901, our jurisdiction has expanded to meet the needs of an evolving security environment.
We ensure the security of key facilities in support of our total protective mission, including locations where the nation's highest elected leaders live and work, as well as the foreign diplomatic missions around Washington, D.C.

Safeguarding Places

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We protect key locations where the nation's highest elected leaders live and work, as well as the foreign diplomatic missions located around Washington, D.C.

Securing Events

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We secure events of national security importance, such as the State of the Union address each year, or the presidential inauguration for each new presidential term.


We secure events of national security importance, such as the State of the Union address each year, or the presidential inauguration for each new presidential term.

Our Commitment
to Public Safety


We are uniquely positioned to share our protective expertise with law enforcement, community and school safety partners to help prevent targeted violence in public and in schools for a safer America.

National Threat Assessment Center Resources

Protecting America's Schools


U.S. Secret Service Analysis of Targeted School Violence

Mass Attacks in Public Spaces


U.S. Secret Service Risk Assessment Model for safety

Threat Assessment Resources


View all National Threat Assessment research for public safety.