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Warren Commission Report: Page 460« Previous | Next »

(CHAPTER VIII - The Protection of the President)

that the facts of the assassination of President Kennedy point to certain measures which, while assuming no radical relocation of responsibilities, can and should be recommended by this Commission in the interest of the more efficient protection of the President. These, recommendations are reviewed below.

General Supervision of the Secret Service

The intimacy of the Secret Service's relationship to the White House and the dissimilarity of its protective functions to most activities of the Department of the Treasury have made it difficult for the Treasury to maintain close and continuing supervision. The Commission believes that the recommended Cabinet-level committee will help to correct many of the major deficiencies of supervision disclosed by the Commission's investigation. Other measures should be taken as well to improve the overall operation of the Secret Service.


Daily supervision of the operations of the Secret Service within the Department of the Treasury should be improved. The Chief of the Service now reports to the Secretary of the Treasury through an Assistant Secretary whose duties also include the direct supervision of the Bureau of the Mint and the Department's Employment Policy Program, and who also represents the Secretary of the Treasury on various committees and groups.232 The incumbent has no technical qualifications in the area of Presidential protection.233 The Commission recommends that the Secretary of the Treasury appoint a special assistant with the responsibility of supervising the Service. This special assistant should be required to have sufficient stature and experience in law enforcement, intelligence, or allied fields to be able to provide effective continuing supervision, and to keep the Secretary fully informed regarding all significant developments relating to Presidential protection.


This report has already pointed out several respects in which the Commission believes that the Secret Service has operated with insufficient planning or control. Actions by the Service since the assassination indicate its awareness of the necessity for substantial improvement in its administration. A formal and thorough description of the responsibilities of the advance agent is now in preparation by the Service.234 Work is going forward toward the preparation of formal understandings of the respective roles of the Secret Service and other agencies with which it collaborates or from which it derives assistance and support. The Commission urges that the Service continue this effort to overhaul and define its procedures. While manuals and memoranda are no guarantee of effective operations, no sizable organization can achieve efficiency without the careful analysis and demarcation of responsibility that is reflected in definite and comprehensive operating procedures.


The Commission also recommends that the Secret Service consciously set about the task of inculcating and maintaining the highest standard of excellence and esprit, for all of its personnel. This

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