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January 2022


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Tag: anniversary

Homeland Security Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Hiring First Female Secret Service Agents

Swearing-in ceremony for the Secret Service’s first female special agents on Dec. 15, 1971.

By Steve Neavling

Wednesday marked the 50th anniversary of women joining the ranks of the Secret Service.

Five women were appointed to become the agency’s first female special agents on Dec. 15, 1971. 

“We didn’t have an alternative other than to do it; to do it right, to jump a little higher, to try a little harder to shoot a little straighter,” Kathryn (Clark) Childers, one of the first five women sworn in, said, WDVM reports. “I am pleased and proud of the Secret Service for making gender a non-issue.”

Childers was joined by Laurie Anderson, Sue Ann Baker, Holly Hufschmidt and Phyllis Shantz, all of whom served in the Executive Protective Service, now called the Uniformed Division. 

Since then, virtually ever leadership position in the agency has been held by a woman. Some of the top leaders were Director Julia Pierson, Deputy Director Barbara Riggs, and Assistant Director for the Office of Protective Operations Kimberly Cheatle. 

Today, women make up 24% of the Secret Service. 

“What I am hoping for is that we continue the momentum of recruiting, hiring and retaining and advancing women in the Secret Service,” first Latina Deputy Assistant Director Darnelly DeJesus said. 

Watch the ceremony celebrating the 50th anniversary.

Whitey Bulger’s Death Remains a Mystery Three Years Later

Whitey Bulger

By Steve Neavling

It has been three years since notorious Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger was beaten to death inside his jail cell, and many questions are still unanswered about his murder. 

Bulger, who was 89 and wheelchair bound, was found beaten to death inside his cell on Oct. 30, 2018, just hours after he was transferred to a West Virginia prison nicknamed “Misery Mountain.” The transfer came after the wheelchair-bound ex-mob boss threatened a Florida prison nurse who suggested he see an outside heart doctor.

No one has been charged in his death. 

It also remains unclear why Bulger “was put in the troubled lockup’s general population alongside other New England gangsters — instead of more protective housing,” The Los Angeles Times reports.

Without any explanations – other than that his death is still under investigation – his family believes he was “deliberately sent to his death.” 

“This was really a dereliction of duty,” said Joe Rojas, a union representative for the correctional staff at the Florida prison where Bulger was previously held in Bruceton Mills, W.V. “There’s no way he should have been put in that institution.” 

Bulger was convicted in 2013 of participating in 11 murders and sentenced two life behind bars. 

Retired FBI Agent Revisits Arrest of ‘Whitey’ Bulger on 10th Anniversary of His Arrest

James “Whitey” Bulger. Photo: The Boston Police Department.

By Steve Neavling

Retired FBI Supervisory Special Agent Rich Teahan will never forget the day James “Whitey” Bulger was arrested. 

As head of the Bulger Fugitive Task Force, Teahan spent years trying to track down the notorious Boston mobster, who was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List for his alleged involvement in 19 murders. 

”I know it sounds corny. I just jumped in the air. Finally we got this guy and we did it our own way,” Teahan told Boston 25 News for a segment that ran Tuesday, the 10th anniversary of Bulger’s arrest. 

Bulger was captured after Teahan’s task force created a publicity campaign that focused not only Bulger, but his girlfriend Catherine Greig. 

Bulger and Greig were arrested at a California apartment following a tip. 

”The tip basically said, ‘The people living at the Princess Eugenia Apartments, in Unit 303, Charlie and Carol Gasko, are actually Jim Bulger and Catherine Greig,” Teahan said.

Bulger was eventually sentenced to two life sentences before he was beat to death inside his prison cell in 2018. 

Merrick Garland Remembers Oklahoma City Bombing on 26th Anniversary

Attorney General Merrick Garland. (Photo: DOJ)

Attorney General Merrick Garland pledged to crack down on domestic violent extremists in a speech commemorating the 26th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people. 

Garland, who led the prosecution of bomber Timothy McVeigh and his accomplice Terry Nichols, said the same brand of domestic extremism still exists. 

“Although many years have passed, the terror perpetrated by people like Timothy McVeigh is still with us,” Garland said at the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. “The Department of Justice is pouring its resources into stopping domestic violent extremists before they can attack, prosecuting those who do, and battling the spread of the kind of hate that leads to tragedies like the one we mark here today.”

Garland spoke about white supremacy during his confirmation hearing earlier this year, citing the Oklahoma City bombing. 

“I supervised the prosecution of the perpetrators of the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building, who sought to spark a revolution that would topple the Federal Government,” Garland told lawmakers in February. “If confirmed, I will supervise the prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy, the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government.”

Read Garland’s full speech here.

Today Marks 40th Anniversary of Hinkley’s Failed Assassination Attempt of Reagan

President Reagan assassination attempt, via Wikipedia.

Tuesday is the 40th anniversary of the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan.

Reagan had just finished speaking to AFL-CIO leaders when he stepped out of the Washington D.C. Hilton and was struck by a bullet. 

John Hinkley Jr. said he opened fire to impress actress Jodie Foster. He shot press secretary James Brady, police officer Thomas Delahanty, and Secret Service Agent Tim McCarthy. 

Secret Service Agent Jerry Carr whisked Reagan into the backseat of an armored limo and ordered the driver to a nearby hospital. 

Carr was credited with saving the president’s life. 

Watch Border Patrol Celebrate Its 96th Birthday

By Steve Neavling

Border Patrol is inviting the public to watch a ceremony celebrating its 96th birthday.

The one-hour event was live-streamed Thursday and is available to watch below.

Border Patrol said the ceremony “is a time-honored tradition that highlights the Agency’s core values: Honor, Integrity, and Service to Country.”

16 Years Ago Today: Department of Homeland Security Began Operations in Response to 9/11

By Steve Neavling

Today is the 16th anniversary of the Department of Homeland Security beginning operations in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The 22-agency department was established by President George W. Bush and was the largest reorganization of the federal government since the Department of Defense was created following World War II.

Bush tapped Tom Ridge, a former Republican governor of Pennsylvania, to lead an agency whose mission was to coordinate all “homeland security” efforts.

Official operations began on Jan. 24, 2003.

The department absorbed border protection, cybersecurity, immigration, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Secret Service.

The Department of Homeland Security operates with a $40.6 million budget and has 240,000 employees.

President Trump Congratulates Secret Service on its 152nd anniversary

Photo via Secret Service.

Photo via Secret Service.

By Steve Neavling

President Trump congratulated the Secret Service on its 152nd anniversary.

Here is the president’s statement:

My family and I send our congratulations to the dedicated professionals of the United States Secret Service as it proudly celebrates its 152nd anniversary.

The Secret Service, most renowned for ensuring the personal protection of our Nation’s top officials and their families, began protecting the President in 1901, following President McKinley’s assassination. Every day, the elite Federal law enforcement officials of the Secret Service willingly put their lives on the line to ensure the security of the President, the Vice President, our former Presidents, the heads of visiting foreign governments, and many others.

As President of the United States, I am honored to recognize the men and women of the Secret Service for their hard work and dedication. Melania and I are especially thankful for those who selflessly stand by our side to safeguard our family every day.  We are privileged to benefit from the unfailing professionalism and skill of these extraordinary men and women.

Together, we send our very best wishes for success to Director Randolph “Tex” Alles and we pray for the continued safety of the entire United States Secret Service family.

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