Secret Service needs more women, two lawmakers say
April 22nd, 2012
02:04 PM ET
11 years ago

Secret Service needs more women, two lawmakers say

(CNN) - Two members of Congress on Sunday questioned the gender makeup of the Secret Service, speculating whether the recent scandal in Colombia could have been avoided if the agency had more women on its payroll.

“I can't help but wonder if there'd been more women as part of that detail, if this ever would have happened,” Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said on ABC’s “This Week.”

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A ranking member on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Collins has been at the forefront of calling for further investigations into the recent controversy, in which Secret Service members allegedly brought back several prostitutes to a hotel in Cartagena, Colombia, while they were on a security detail in advance of President Barack Obama's trip there for the Summit of the Americas.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York, who sits on the House Oversight Committee, echoed the sentiments of her colleague on Sunday, saying she spoke with Secret Service director Mark Sullivan about the agency’s diversity. He noted that 11% of agents are women, she said, although the agency did not immediately confirm the statistic to CNN on Sunday.

According to the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission report, women made up about a quarter of the Secret Service's 6,913 employees in 2010.

“I can't help but keep asking this question, where are the women? We probably need to diversify the Secret Service and have more minorities and more women,” Maloney, a Democrat, said.

The agency says 12 of its members have been implicated in the incident so far. One employee "has been cleared of serious misconduct, but will face administrative action," while five employees are on administrative leave, the Secret Service said.

The Senate Homeland Security Committee will continue its probe this week, seeking more answers on whether the scandal in Colombia marked an isolated incident or represented a wider culture of misconduct within the agency.

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Filed under: Carolyn Maloney • House • Senate • Susan Collins
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Katy

    That was my first response...

    April 22, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  2. mk1

    Politics needs more women too. Maybe the men will stop these attacks on women if there are more women in the decision making process. Women make up over half the population and voting public thus a more equal representation would do the country good.

    April 22, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    DC needs more women, as well. Just not the cray Bachmann types.

    April 22, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  4. Reagan80

    The Secret Service needs more women? Isn't that the idea that just got them into trouble?

    April 22, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  5. The Real Truth and Nothing But the Real Truth

    Yes, we need to enforce more quotas. That is the real problem. Not qualifications and skill. MOre PC valuing diversity BS.

    April 22, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  6. Of course ....

    Of course NOT! Women are the reason these men are in trbuble now. Why bring them closer?

    April 22, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. Dan

    Well, considering that 12% of law enforcement jobs across the nation are held by women, I'd say the number looks to be on par. These lawmakers are stirring the pot for the sake of stirring the pot...

    April 22, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  8. John MacPherson

    “I can't help but wonder if there'd been more gays as part of that detail, if this ever would have happened,”
    “I can't help but wonder if there'd been more trannies as part of that detail, if this ever would have happened,”
    “I can't help but wonder if there'd been more eunuchs as part of that detail, if this ever would have happened,”
    God save us from the politicians and the 'wonders'!

    April 22, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  9. jb

    Secret Service needs more women? LOL, maybe they can recruit in Colombia.

    April 22, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  10. Ryan

    Ummm, how about "if the person is best qualified, he/she gets the job"? It's getting ridiculous with all of these government programs and politicians being hell-bent on getting more women and more minorities. It's happening in the military branches too....some moron on an agenda. Ridiculous.

    April 22, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  11. Really

    What does gender and race have to do with making bad decisions?? People of all genders and race make bad decisions. Hold them accountable for them, and move on. Have a standard that is realistic for the job, not to be "More inclusive", and hire the best qualified.

    April 22, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  12. Steve

    Can women carry a 250lb man out of the line of fire? I doubt it. Is the Government going to spend a million dollars on training...then the woman get pregnant and never "deploys" on details..probably. There are many things women can do and some they cant, just like there are many things men can do and some they cant. Live with it and move on.

    April 22, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  13. Martin Walters Seattle

    Maybe only eunuchs apply? That would be the real outcome these lawmakers would like to see.

    April 22, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. Logic

    Confirmed. Nothing But White Guys. She said it. More Minorities. I am sick of the Good Ole Boy organization screwing up the Country. This Country has more Minorities in it, than Whites. Diversify the nations organizations. You have military flight schools with the same problem. Nothing But White Guys. No Black Pilots. The Racism and systemic Methods are alive and well. These White Men get all of the jobs, rank and Pay, and its time to revamp the Nations Department of Defense and Government Jobs in General.

    April 22, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  15. Natasmai

    What happened to recruiting based on merit and skill? I wouldn't put my trust in SS Agents recruited solely based on gender/ethnicity. These old women in the House/senate have never seen combat, never been shot at or risked their lives. Who are they to decide anything about our nation's security?

    April 22, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  16. sparks2000

    Where are the women?Does the Secret Service discourage female enrollment?Not from what I've heard.If they want more women to do SS details,then they should encourage more women to sign up......nobody's stopping them.every woman can do what men do in the gov't if they want and indeed there are many women in politics.Nobody's stopping them,so please Senator's stop your boo-hooing-we all know its election year and you are catering to female voters.(lol)

    April 22, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  17. Claudius

    A typical response that totally ignores the realities of life, let alone that secret service Agents, like any other profession, should recruit on the basis of skill, competence, and merit. Also, let's not forget that the scandal involved women as well, namely those who offered their services for money. There's your diversity!

    April 22, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  18. mikrik13

    They better be six feet tall and mean as a snake.

    April 22, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  19. dreamer96

    More women in the Secret Service,.. does that mean starting friends with benefits clubs in the Secret Service??...

    April 22, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  20. sameeker

    The questions should be:

    Does congress need more common, working class people?
    Should the party system be eliminated?
    Should the penalty for giving or taking a bribe in any form be mandatory life in prison and forfeiture of all family assets?
    Should the GSA and their contractors be held to the same level of scrutiny and outrage?

    April 22, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  21. gmb

    really ? i thought that was what got them in the dog house.

    April 22, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  22. Thinks2010

    @Natasmal–The vast majority of the male members of the House and Senate "have never seen combat, never been shot at or risked their lives" either. One could just as easily ask "Who are they to decide anything about our nation's security?" To be secure, a nation needs a healthy mix of peace makers and warriors, brains and brawn. None of those attributes is exclusive to either gender and today's technology and smarts go a long way to make up for the difference between male and female brawn.

    April 22, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  23. yhgfhfjyg

    This type of "wondering" represents our best thinkers? Our best leaders? What a pathetic mess we have.

    April 22, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |