Secret Service director Joseph P. Clancy is leaving his position just after two years, after being appointed by former President Barack Obama.

Obama had selected Clancy, who was his detail leader after he started to work in the private sector. Apparently, it was for him to deal with internal security breaches and misconduct investigations.

Secret Service director Joseph P. Clancy
Secret Service director Joseph P. Clancy. Image credit: Reuters.

“Congratulations Dir Clancy on your retirement! The men & women of the @SecretService are grateful for your 29 years of service & leadership,” announced the U.S. Secret Service Twitter account early on Tuesday.

A change in the government’s committee on personnel security

Joseph Clancy joined the Secret Service in 1984 to finally become the agency’s director during its period with the lowest number of employees in the last ten years, going to an all-time low of 500, which is lower than what the agency is expected to employ at the same time.

Apparently, Clancy allowed the Secret Service to regain discipline as it watched over the 2016 presidential election campaign, which featured many potentially violent scenarios concerning enraged protesters.

Obama, Secret Service director Joseph P. Clancy
Joseph P. Clancy shakes President Obama’s hand at the Department of Homeland Security on Feb. 2, 2015. Image credit: Evan Vucci/AP.

The soon-to-retire Secret Service director had stated that he was at his proudest in 2015 when his team was commissioned to protect Pope Francis as he visited the United States. They also worked alongside Homeland Security to oversee 170 foreign diplomats at the U.N. General Assembly while in New York.

His colleagues refer to Clancy as professional and calm as he closes in on serious problems that require being solved.

The Washington Post reports that there are potential candidates for replacing Clancy, including Deputy Director William Callahan, COO George Mulligan, and former assistant director Mickey Nelson.

Some of the challenges that Clancy had to face as he was appointed was securing the perimeter of the White House after an intruder made it through security barriers and a drone landed on the residence’s lawn in January of 2015.

He had worked with then-President Obama as his first protective-detail leader from 2009 until his retirement in 2011. Clancy then started to work for Comcast as he resided in Philadelphia.

Changes in management

The selection of the director of the Secret Service does not have to pass through Congress, although Homeland Security tends to advise the president on who to pick. The rule during Clancy’s selection was to pick an outsider for the job, a recommendation that clearly wasn’t followed.

According to the Washington Post, security lapses that occurred before Clancy was appointed include a failed investigation of someone firing a gun at the White House in 2011 and an occasion where a private security officer had a concealed handgun while on an elevator with then-President Obama.

“The problems exposed by recent events go deeper than a new fence can fix. We believe that at this time in the agency’s history, the need for Service experience is outweighed by what the Service needs today: dynamic leadership that can move the Service forward into a new era and drive change in the organization,” reads the report submitted by an independent panel on behalf of the Secret Service, leading Obama to select Clancy as director.

Presidential candidates are forced to travel with an official Secret Service detail to abide a law passed the day Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1968. President Trump has challenged the law by including his security team, which is headed by former New York City policeman Keith Schiller.

Donald Trump
The Secret Service evaluated Schiller’s performance and deemed him too slow to react when a man rushed the stage Trump was standing on in Dayton, Ohio. Image credit: Reuters.

Concerning Clancy’s retirement, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz and Republican representative for Utah stated that “a fresh set of eyes and new perspective is needed to restore the prestige and status expected of such an elite agency.”

Clancy had to deal with a significant set of scandals, as reported by The Washington Post. Apparently, in March of 2015, one of the top agents in Obama’s detail drove to the White House drunk in a government vehicle. Also, an active bomb threat was not fully reported to Clancy, and more recently, there was a Secret Service supervisor who publicly stated that she was not sure she would not take a bullet for President Trump.

What’s more is that the Secret Service ranked 305 out of 305 in the list of employee satisfaction among all federal agencies. Employees retired profusely in the past two years, with too few new hirings to make up for the loss of personnel.

“I had to acknowledge our past but try to convince our workforce that our body of work over 150 years was too great to simply ignore. I had to get up to speed quickly on the work of each of the directorates. What were their goals and their needs? How could I help them? I had a lot to learn,” stated Clancy.

Source: The Washington Post