Last week, an MPD Special Operations Division police officer assigned to protect first lady Michelle Obama was alleged to have made a threatening remark about her. D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier accused the media of misrepresenting the incident, but there still remains concern regarding the caliber of those who are responsible for protecting President Barack Obama and his family.
In April, nearly a dozen Secret Service agents who represent the president's advance team were accused of bragging about protecting President Obama while partying in a brothel in Cartagena, Columbia. The agents reportedly consumed whiskey and employed the services of prostitutes days before the president's visit for the Summit of the Americas. And the threats don't just occur while the president is travelling. Last November, a man from Idaho was alleged to have shot a semiautomatic weapon at the White House and Secret Service officials reportedly found one bullet that actually hit the residence.
These are only the most recent reported incidents that call into question the effectiveness and commitment of those whose job it is to keep the president and his family safe, not only on the road, but in their official home.
For many Americans, the pain and sadness of losing President John F. Kennedy to an assassin's bullet is not a too distant memory; or the shock over the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan by John Hinckley who currently sits in St. Elizabeths mental hospital in Washington, D.C. This is to say that the Obama's, who have made themselves accessible to Americans across this country, are exposed to real threats that cannot be taken for granted.
The men and women who are trained to ensure the safety of the president and his family should be commended for performing a job that also places their lives in jeopardy. But it's extremely disturbing to know that some may not fully understand the inherent responsibilities that come with the job. Their continued service in this capacity is totally unacceptable.