Secret Service Officers Disciplined for Napping on the Job
The officers were found napping on post during an audit by Homeland Security.
One of the officers was working at the White House and the other was assigned to a protective detail with the Israeli embassy. The Inspector General has issued a management alert to the agency, citing scheduling and inadequate staffing as leading to fatigue among officers.
The Secret Service, according to a source familiar with the incidents, took swift disciplinary action against the officers.
Meanwhile, the agency disputes some of the IG’s findings that poor management was part of the problem and challenges some of the assertions made in the alert.
“Scheduling and staffing issues were not contributing factors to the misconduct by these officers, nor do they serve as an excuse for their behavior. In both instances, the officers had sufficient days off prior to the incident,” the agency said.
The IG found that one of the officers worked 60 hours of overtime in the pay period leading up to the incident. However, the report states the officer worked 24 hours of overtime in the 14 days prior to the napping incident and the officer had five days off during that period. Of the 60 hours, 36 were logged from overtime during a prior pay period, including a 23.5 hour shift which involved riding on the military transport aircraft which carried vehicles for the president’s trip to Kenya. That shift involved no active work, other than sitting and sleeping on the plane, according to sources familiar with the trip.
A second officer found napping on his post told investigators that he had taken cold medicine which made him drowsy.
The IG also stated that the officers did not have enough water available to them. Both incidents took place this summer, but according to Secret Service officials, there is plenty of water available in break rooms and drinking fountains and officers are permitted to bring water to their posts.
The Secret Service said it has been working to increase staffing, adding 151 officers in 2015 and agency officials said they expect to add an additional 340 officers over the next four years.