Secret Service agents flank Obama as he crosses the tarmac to greet people who watched him arrive aboard Air Force One at the Oregon Air National Guard Base in Portland, Oregon

Exclusive: Scandal-tainted U.S. Secret Service to hire 1,100 staff – sources

Secret Service agents flank Obama as he crosses the tarmac to greet people who watched him arrive aboard Air Force One at the Oregon Air National Guard Base in Portland, OregonBy Julia Edwards and Jason Szep WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Facing accusations that it cannot adequately protect the White House, the U.S. Secret Service plans to hire 1,100 more officers and agents for an agency besieged by embarrassing scandals and security lapses, two law enforcement sources with direct knowledge of the plans said. The addition of 700 uniformed division officers and 400 agents over five years would expand its staff of 6,647 by nearly 17 percent, the biggest hiring increase in more than a decade at the 150-year-old agency whose job it is to protect the president, his family, and senior officials, along with fighting financial crime. The Secret Service is trying to rebound from a leadership crisis and mend a culture of covering up mistakes that some trace back 12 years to when it was pulled out of the Treasury Department and absorbed into the sprawling new Department of Homeland Security, where it had to compete for turf and money.

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