The day I interviewed a former Secret Service agent
I was very fortunate to have the wonderful opportunity to interview a 27-year veteran of the United States Secret Service Agency. I thought it was really cool to talk to a man who once worked in the White House and still continues to serve our country in the Department of Homeland Security. The fact that I was actually able to sit down with him for an exclusive interview in my own backyard made it that more special!
My second cousin, Michael Prendergast, attended a family party that was held at my house. As guests started filing into my house, I was on the lookout for Michael. I had contacted him days prior to set up the interview. While I chatted with another cousin and was about to scoop another chip into my mouth, Michael walked through the door. I ran upstairs with my cousin to change into my Scholastic shirt and grabbed my notebook, press pass, and recorder.
After he mingled with other guests, I finally was able to corner Michael for the big story. I was very impressed at Michael’s detailed answers to the 10 questions I had about the Secret Service and how it works. Michael was very kind, and he answered all of them eagerly.
Michael had some really interesting facts to share. He told me there are approximately 6,000 agents throughout the force. He commented on his own personal experiences, too. Michael explained that with this job, you’re frequently on the go. The last trip that he went on while he was stationed at the White House was with President Bill Clinton.
Michael talked about the background checks that are a required step before you can become an agent. The process can take a very long time, 12 to 14 months or longer. Each potential candidate’s investigation can occur at a different pace.
Agents also have to train. One area they train in is technology. There are many high tech devices that they use in their jobs. During training, each individual in the Secret Service familiarizes themselves with the special equipment.
Michael said that the first priority of the agency is protecting the President and other federal officials. Next on the list is investigating and preventing federal criminal cases, especially the counterfeiting of United States currency.
We had a wonderful time at the party and I am very appreciative to Michael for allowing me to interview him. I can’t wait to see him again at the next family reunion!