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.
The places we protect include the White House and grounds; any building in which Presidential offices are located; the Treasury Building and grounds; the residence and grounds of the Vice President and foreign diplomatic missions located within the proximity of the District of Columbia and Maryland; and any event designated as a National Special Security Event.
Our Uniformed Division members are instrumental in our mission to safeguard key locations, and are primarily assigned to one of four distinct protective operation branches: White House Branch, Foreign Missions Branch, Vice President Residence and the Special Operations Branch. They accomplish their mission via police cruiser, motorcycle, bicycle, foot patrols, tactical and other law enforcement practices.
The Uniformed Division officers assigned to the White House Branch provide protection and law enforcement functions for the White House, Eisenhower Executive Office Building, New Executive Office Building, the Treasury Building and grounds to include the Treasury Annex, and other Presidential offices located in the immediate area. Additionally, the White House Branch provides protection for visiting heads of state whom temporarily reside at the Blair House.
The Uniformed Division officers assigned to the Foreign Missions Branch protect more than 500 foreign diplomatic missions in the Washington Metropolitan Area. They respond to complaints and calls for assistance primarily from foreign embassy personnel, but assist the general public as well. Officers also handle demonstrations at diplomatic locations, assist in motorcade movements, man fixed protective posts, investigate and process crime scenes, and consult with diplomatic officials regarding protection and law enforcement matters related to their embassies, chanceries and personnel. This branch contains the Crime Scene Search Unit and Motorcade Support Unit.
The Special Operations Division is composed of five elite Uniformed Division Units: the Counter Sniper Team, Emergency Response Team (which includes the Specialized Rifle Unit), Canine Explosive Detection Unit, Airspace Security Branch, and Hazardous Agent Mitigation Medical Emergency Response (HAMMER).
The Counter Sniper Team comprises highly qualified marksmen responsible for securing an area around the protectee from a long-range single threat or a coordinated assault. They are responsible for providing observation and real-time intelligence to protective details and other law enforcement personnel.
Emergency Response Team provides the White House and other authorized locations with advanced tactical response when necessary. Technicians are responsible for conducting security sweeps of the grounds, responding to and neutralizing threats from organized groups or individuals. The Emergency Response Team currently includes a canine team to assist team members in conducting sweeps and aiding in suspect apprehension in the event of a breach.
Our Canine Explosive Detection Unit provides a safe and secure environment for individuals and locations protected by the Secret Service. This coverage includes security sweeps, bomb threats and suspicious packages, as well as vehicle and other material examinations. The canine team provides this coverage twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, throughout the White House complex, around Foreign Missions, and at the Vice President's Residence. Our canine team also travels in support of Secret Service protective details worldwide and supports our law enforcement partners on a case-by-case basis.
The Airspace Security Branch (ASB) develops and implements security plans to monitor and control the airspace surrounding locations visited by the president and vice president of the United States, National Special Security Events and other designated major events. ASB members work with a variety of technologies and government agencies to monitor air traffic and coordinate defensive responses in the event of an intrusion.
Our Hazardous Agent Mitigation Medical Emergency Response Team (HAMMER) supports the agency’s protective mission through chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) detection and intervention, emergency medical support and rescue/extrication capabilities. HAMMER members receive extensive training in emergency medicine and CBRN hazards. To accomplish their mission, HAMMER personnel utilize the latest technology to monitor for potential threats.
The members of this unit support our investigative and protective mission through specialized training in multiple types of evidence gathering and recovery. These technicians are trained to process crime scenes, conduct gunshot residue tests, examine handwriting samples, restore serial numbers on weapons and to perform shoe, tire and tool mark impressions. In addition, they can determine ballistic trajectory, blood splatter and have the ability to lift and develop latent fingerprints.