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October 17, 2021

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United States Secret Service

Supervisory Forensic Specialist D. Leben

What did you do before starting a career in federal law enforcement?

• I worked in retail, catering and hospitality type positions in the private sector. I have also been active in philanthropic activity since before elementary school.

Was there ever a time when you couldn’t have imagined yourself in law enforcement?

• No. In elementary school I was asked by my third grade teacher what I wanted to do when I was an adult and I stood in front of my class and said I wanted to be an FBI agent. My classmate remembered that at my 30th grade school reunion last month.

What attracted you to your current position?

• I always had an interest in public service, criminal investigations and courtroom dynamics. I have learned to provide quality service. To do it, you must create an environment for employees to develop personally and professionally and provide a system where they can respond to the public in a unified manner with quality, efficiency, and consistency as the end goal.

Do you have a family or interests outside of work and how is your career impacted?

• My greatest sense of achievement outside of work has been volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, House of Ruth and the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. The emotional experience has strengthened my interest in community service. I have taken on mentoring roles within social and professional organizations. In the professional arena, I realized that uncertainty exists between the forensic science taught in academia and the practitioner’s experiences in the field. To help develop future leaders, I have taken a lead in working with universities and encouraging onsite internships to facilitate interaction with investigators and scientists in the laboratory. The objective is to give students an opportunity to experience the nuances that occur within the forensic sciences and crime scene investigation so they can move forward with realistic expectations of a career in this field. Over the years, I have been fortunate to have incredible mentors, in addition to my family, who have imparted words of wisdom regarding consistency, professional outreach, and resource awareness. My goal is to pass on to others what I have learned.

What’s the most rewarding part of your position?

• Supporting employees and student interns in the crime laboratory, communicating and working towards a common objective, and instilling confidence within each person to take pride in the work accomplished. It’s all part of an ongoing effort to achieve the ultimate goal of serving the public with integrity.

Forensics Services Division Positions

The Forensics Services Division (FSD) plans, directs, and coordinates forensic science activities within the Secret Service. Expert examiners in FSD provide analysis for questioned documents, fingerprints, false identification, credit cards, and other related forensic science areas.

All positions in the Forensics Services Division require U.S. citizenship, a top secret clearance and drug testing prior to appointment. Some positions require a polygraph and/or medical examination.

Benefits include: low-cost life insurance and federal health benefit plans; annual leave of 13 to 26 days a year, based on length of employment and prior federal civilian or military; 13 days of sick leave per year; paid holidays; comprehensive retirement benefits through the Federal Employee Retirement System; and participation in the Flexible Spending Account Program.

Application Process: The Secret Service only accepts applications during current vacancy announcement periods.

To learn more and how to apply please visit: www.secretservice.gov/join.

Special Agent In Charge Paula Reid

Paula Reid is the Special Agent In Charge of the Protective Intelligence and Assessment Division. She began her career with the Secret Service in 1990 and has since been promoted many times. Currently, she oversees a staff of special agents, analysts and specialists who work on threats or inappropriate interest in officials who receive Secret Service protection. She is a member of Women in Federal Law Enforcement (WIFLE) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. In 2009 she received the Public Service award from WIFLE.

What did you do before starting a career in federal law enforcement?

• I’m from Calvert County, Md., and I received my Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Maryland in 1988. After graduation, I was an equal opportunity specialist at the U.S. Patent and Trade Office. When I was age 25 I attended the annual NAACP Conference and Career Fair where I met with recruiters from several federal law enforcement agencies. I didn’t know much about the Secret Service, but I knew that I wanted to be an investigator. Following the conference I applied to become a special agent.

Was there ever a time when you couldn’t have imagined yourself in law enforcement?

• I always wanted to be an investigator and although I considered becoming a lawyer, I can’t imagine not being in law enforcement.

What attracted you to your current position?

• I enjoy white collar investigations – particularly identity and credit card theft and counterfeiting.

What do you think are the myths about women in law enforcement and what has your experience been?

• Are women capable of providing protection to protectees? Women would not be remotely considered if we couldn’t do it physically — and we can.

Do you have a family or interests outside of work and how is your career impacted?

• I am very close to my parents and siblings. I wish I had more time to volunteer outside of work.

What’s the most rewarding part of your position?

• The most gratifying part of my work is imparting to colleagues what I have learned over the years and being able to integrate my experiences to better manage the division. The general public is intrigued to see a black female in my position. They always need to confirm that I really am a special agent. I enjoy being a role model for women and minorities.

Special Agent Position

Steps to Becoming a U.S. Secret Service Special Agent:
• Be a U.S. Citizen between the ages of 21 and less than 37 at the time of appointment
• Have a current valid driver’s license
• Have visual acuity no worse than 20/60 uncorrected, correctable to 20/20 in each eye Note: Lasik, ALK, RK and PRK are acceptable corrective eye surgeries for special agent applicants. Applicants will be considered eligible for the special agent position provided specific visual tests are passed three months after Lasik surgery and one year after all other surgeries.
• (1) Bachelor’s degree; or (2) Three years of work experience in the criminal investigative or law enforcement fields that require knowledge and application of laws relating to criminal violations; or (3) An equivalent combination of education and related experience.
• Excellent health and physical condition required
• Applicants must pass the Treasury Enforcement Agent examination, a report writing test, a series of in-depth interviews, Top Secret clearance, a pre-employment polygraph examination, drug screening and extensive background investigation. Completion of a full investigation is required before appointment.

Benefits:

Federal employees are eligible to participate in the following benefits programs.
• Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB)
• Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI)
• Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP)
• Retirement
• Thrift Savings Plan
• Benevolent Fund
• Federal Holidays
• Annual and Sick Leave
• Federal Flexible Spending Account

To learn more about the Special Agent position and how to apply please visit: www.secretservice.gov/join

Inspector Beverly White

What did you do before starting a career in federal law enforcement?

• My father had been a drill sergeant and I was the second of seven children and the eldest daughter. I learned early on how to face fear and follow instruction. My father taught me to know that if I wanted to do something, I could do it. I had worked in clerical positions at the State Department, but I was looking for new challenges. I had majored in law enforcement in college and had relocated to the Washington DC area with my husband who was in the military. At the time I applied to the Secret Service I was 29. I saw an advertisement in the newspaper for the Uniformed Division and told myself: “I can do that.” During training I was the second oldest trainee in my 24-member recruit class and one of four females.

Was there ever a time when you couldn’t have imagined yourself in law enforcement?

• No. I always had an interest in joining law enforcement. Before finding the advertisement for the Uniformed Division, I had applied to several police departments in the Washington D.C. metro area.

What attracted you to your current position?

• I view myself as a natural leader but I credit both male and female supervisors for helping me with promotions along the way. They encouraged me and helped me with my studies. I now do the same for the people I supervise. I enjoy having people come to me for my knowledge of the job.

What do you think are the myths about women in law enforcement and what has your experience been?

• I think that all the myths about women in law enforcement are just that: myths. I wouldn’t accept anyone telling me that I did not belong in the Secret Service. I had to prove myself to peers in my early years. But that was then and this is now. I don’t think the old myths apply anymore.

Do you have a family or interests outside of work and how is your career impacted?

• I am married with children. One obstacle I faced early on was adjusting to working shifts; the key is to plan well. I have always gotten the utmost support from my family. When my husband was away on military duty, my colleagues on the job were always there to help me.

What’s the most rewarding part of your position?

• Going home safely at the end of shift — and being sought out for advice or guidance.

Uniformed Division Officer Position Description

Secret Service Uniformed Division officers protect the White House, the Vice President’s residence, the main Treasury Building and Annex, and foreign diplomatic missions and embassies in the Washington, D.C., area. Additionally, Uniformed Division officers travel on presidential, vice presidential, and foreign head of state government missions.

To be considered you must:
• Be a U.S. citizen and between the ages of 21 and less than 40 at the time of appointment
• Have a current valid driver’s license
• Have visual acuity no worse than 20/60 uncorrected, correctable to 20/20 in each eye
• Be in excellent health and physical condition
• Pass the Police Officer Selection Test, in-depth interviews, a top-secret clearance, a pre-employment polygraph examination, drug screening and extensive background investigation.

To qualify at the entry level you must have a high school diploma or equivalent

Benefits:

Federal employees are eligible to participate in the following benefits programs.
• Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB)
• Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI)
• Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP)
• Retirement
• Thrift Savings Plan
• Benevolent Fund
• Federal Holidays
• Annual and Sick Leave
• Federal Flexible Spending Account

Starting salary for the Uniformed Division Officer position is $52,018.

To learn more about the Uniformed Division Officer position and how to apply please visit: www.secretservice.gov/join



United States Secret Service

We invite you to check out the career opportunities available for women at the U.S. Secret Service. See why these women chose to work in the following non-traditional roles and the benefits they’ve received working with this prestigious division of the U.S. government.

The Secret Service is a federal agency headquartered in Washington, D.C., with more than 150 offices throughout the United States and abroad. It is mandated by Congress to carry out dual missions: protection and criminal investigations. Its protective mission is to assure the safety of the President, Vice President, former presidents, visiting heads of state, and major presidential and vice presidential candidates. The investigative mission is to investigate counterfeiting, financial institution fraud, computer and telecommunications fraud, access device fraud, and money laundering violations.

Inspector Beverly White

Beverly White is an inspector at the White House Branch of the Secret Service. She’s been in the Uniformed Division since 1981. She says that working for the Secret Service is as exciting today as it was nearly three decades ago when she joined. She has had many assignments over her 29 years, including working in the Foreign Missions Branch, Travel Office, and Tours Section. She was the first female to serve as captain of the K-9 Unit. Today, as operational inspector, she oversees the daily activities of the Uniformed Division at the White House. She works with the presidential staff, White House pass holders and Uniformed Division officers.

Click here to learn more about Inspector Beverly White and Uniformed Division officer position requirements.

Supervisory Forensic Specialist D. Leben

D. Leben is the supervisory forensic specialist at the Secret Service. In grade school, her goal was to be an FBI agent: she cultivated an interest in fighting crime by watching cop shows like Adam 12, Quincy, and Hawaii Five-O. After graduating from John Carroll University in Ohio she got a Master’s degree in Forensic Science from George Washington University. Following graduation, she was hired as a fingerprint specialist with the Secret Service, responsible for evaluating laboratory evidence and testifying to her findings in court. In her 20-year career she says she has come to understand the connection between law, science, and technology. While at the Secret Service, she also completed a Master of Science in Technology Degree from George Mason University which enhanced her abilities to coordinate teams and undertake more technical projects. She has been in her current position for the past 1½ years and serves as director of the Forensic Services Division laboratory. She is responsible for managing and directing a full range of forensic services and makes major decisions relating to all laboratory programs. In addition to overall caseload management and technical direction, she represents the laboratory as a recognized forensic expert both within and outside the Secret Service.

Click here to learn more about Supervisory Forensic Specialist D. Leben and forensic services division positions.

Special Agent In Charge Paula Reid

Paula Reid is the Special Agent In Charge of the Protective Intelligence and Assessment Division. She began her career with the Secret Service in 1990 and has since been promoted many times. Currently, she oversees a staff of special agents, analysts and specialists who work on threats or inappropriate interest in officials who receive Secret Service protection. She is a member of Women in Federal Law Enforcement (WIFLE) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. In 2009 she received the Public Service award from WIFLE.

Click here to learn more about Special Agent In Charge Paula Reid and special agent positions.