The Secret Service Uniformed Division, initially a force comprised of a few members
of the military and the Metropolitan Police Department, began formalized protection of
the White House and its grounds in 1860. This unit was under the direction of the White
House Military Aide until 1922 when President Warren G. Harding prompted the establishment
of a White House Police Force.
It was not until 1930, after an unknown intruder managed to walk into the White House
dining room, that President Herbert Hoover recognized the need for the White House Police
and the Secret Service to join forces. President Hoover wanted the Secret Service to
exclusively control every aspect of Presidential protection; therefore, Congress placed
the supervision of the White House Police under the direction of the Chief of the Secret Service.
In 1970, Public Law 91-217 expanded the role of the White House Police, newly named the
Executive Protective Service, to include protection of diplomatic missions in the
Washington, D.C.,area. Congress later added the protection of the Vice President's
immediate family to the Executive Protective Service's growing responsibilities in 1974.
After several name revisions, the force officially adopted its current name, the United
States Secret Service Uniformed Division in 1977. While protection of the White House
Complex remains its primary mission, the Uniformed Division's responsibilities have
expanded greatly over the years.
They now protect the following:
- the White House Complex, the Main Treasury Building and Annex, and other Presidential offices;
- the President and members of the immediate family;
- the temporary official residence of the Vice President in the District of Columbia;
- the Vice President and members of the immediate family; and
- foreign diplomatic missions in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and
throughout the United States, and its territories and possessions, as prescribed by statute.
Officers of the Uniformed Division carry out their protective responsibilities through
special support units (Countersniper, Canine Explosive Detection Team, Emergency
Response Team, Crime Scene Search Technicians, Special Operations Section, Magnetometers)
and a network of fixed security posts, foot, bicycle, vehicular and motorcycle patrols.