The Secret Service or the United States Secret Service is a federal law enforcement agency within the Department of Homeland Security responsible for conducting criminal investigations and protecting US political leaders. Prior to 2003, the Secret Service department was a part of the U.S Department of Treasury. The Headquarters of the Secret Service is in Washington D.C.

Early History:-

The Secret Service Division was established as part of the Department of the Treasury on July 5, 1865. Secretary of the Treasury Hugh McCulloch swore in Chief William( now known as ‘director’). The Secret Service moved its headquarters from Washington, D.C. to New York City. 

Initially, the  Secret Service’s responsibilities were expanded to include ‘detecting individuals who commit fraud against the government,’ but following President William McKinley’s assassination in 1901, Congress formally requested that the Secret Service provide presidential protection, as well. 

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Current Hierarchy:- 

As of 2022, James M. Murray is serving as the 26th Director of the United States Secret Service( USSS). It has around 7000 members under its wing and the authority’s last known annual budget was approximately $2.23 Billion Dollars. 

Types of Mission:-

The United States Secret Service functions mainly with 3 types of missions. They are Protective Missions, Investigative Missions, and Dual Objective Mission.

The Protective missions are the ones that ensure protecting ‘the safety of the President, the Vice President, and their immediate families; former presidents, their spouses, and minor children under the age of 16; major presidential and vice-presidential candidates and their spouses; and visiting foreign heads of state and governments.

The Investigative Missions is given the responsibility of protecting the United States’ payment and financial systems and preventing cybercrimes.

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Dual Objective Missions included the partnerships formed between field offices and local law enforcement during investigations that are used to gather protective intelligence as well as to coordinate protection events. 

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In Rome, Italy, the Secret Service established its first overseas Electronic Crimes Task Force (ECTF), in 2009.


Special agents of the USSS are trained in two locations over the course of 31 weeks. The first phase, the Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP), is held at the US Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) in Glynco, Georgia, and lasts approximately 13 weeks, while the second phase, a Special Agent Training Course (SATC), is held at the Secret Service Academy, James J. Rowley Training Center (JJRTC), just outside Washington, D.C., in Laurel, Maryland, and lasts approximately 18 weeks.

Field Offices:-

The Secret Service has currently 136 field offices and field agencies with headquarters being in Washington D.C