According to CNN, two Secret Service officers were recently caught snoozing on the job — putting the spotlight on working conditions at that agency
A stern “management alert” was sent to Secret Service Director Joe Clancy this week by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General. The warning states that officers are grossly overworked, thus creating a security risk for the Leader of the Free World.
The problem was unearthed after officials from the inspector’s general office were perusing the White House to observe Secret Service radio communications. As luck would have it, they stumbled upon two sleeping officers during their tour, both of whom were reprimanded.
One would assume that Secret Service agents would be encouraged to sleep more due to the important nature of their work, but apparently this is not the case. While about 40% of Americans get less than the recommended amount of nightly sleep, this number is much lower among Secret Service employees, who regularly work 12 or more hours a day.
According to the Conservative Tribune, Secret Service members have a history of being dismissed and disrespected in the White House. A former agent told political author Kate Anderson Bower that Bill and Hillary Clinton used to refer to them as “the pigs,” which was revealed to him by their daughter, Chelsea.
The alert sent to the Secret Service director noted that one of the officers caught sleeping reportedly worked more than 60 hours of overtime within a two-week span leading up to the incident, which fellow employees describe as “minimal” compared to the schedules of some of their coworkers.
“Fatigue from travel, overtime shifts and long hours contributed to these incidents,” the alert said. It refers to a prior report of White House employees being described as “overstretched” and “exhausted” with “low morale.
Joe Clancy, who was appointed Secret Service director in February, has vowed to correct these fatal flaws in his agency’s system. He has already begun actively recruiting new officers that will create strategies intended to limit the amount of consecutive hours that agents are required to work.