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Old 11-17-2012, 08:39 AM
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Which politicians have bodyguards by virtue of their office?

The President of the United States is the prime example of a political office whose holder gets personal protection from day one. There is absolutely no discussion about this, regardless of how likeable, uncontroversial and popular the individual person might be.

But what about other officials? Is it standard for these office holders to have bodyguards:

Federal level

Secretary of State
Attorney General
Secretary of Energy
Secretary of Veteran Affairs
Secretary of Agriculture
Speaker of the House
Majority/Minority leader (both houses)

State Level

Governor (California, North Dakota)
Lieutenant Governor (New York, Montana)
any members of state legislatures?
state cabinet member?

Mayor of New York City?
Mayor of Detroit?
Mayor of Jackson Hole?

Note that this is not about the risk assessment for an individual person, but about the office as such.

Last edited by Donnerwetter; 11-17-2012 at 08:41 AM.
Old 11-17-2012, 09:03 AM
Join Date: Feb 2010
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There are some answers in this old thread ("Who Handles Security for (US) Cabinet Officials?") and this Google Answers page.

At the federal level, generally only the POTUS and his family, VPOTUS and his family, and major presidential candidates receive Secret Service protection. Cabinet members have security either through their respective departments (e.g. Secretary of Defense is protected by DoD, the Attorney General by the FBI) or Federal Protective Services (part of DHS), unless they are overseas, in which case they are protected by the Secret Service.

Last edited by DCnDC; 11-17-2012 at 09:05 AM.
Old 11-17-2012, 09:37 AM
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Here's the Secret Service protection page:
Old 11-17-2012, 10:13 AM
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On the state level, this is definitely not what you were thinking of, but some college football head coaches get a state trooper to escort them on game days. ESPN column about the practice.

The State of Arkansas cleared up some things and made a formal statute authorizing the coach protection program after one state trooper got tangled up in the Bobby Petrino scandal. It appears we may be the first state to do so. Link
Old 11-17-2012, 10:52 AM
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Many governors have dedicated bodyguards or at least protection provided by the state police. I know Louisiana does because I have spent time with them. However, Louisiana had a high-profile governor assassination once (Huey Long) so that makes sense. I assume all the large states protect their governors quite well. I am not so sure if say, the governor of Vermont has full-time bodyguards or routine protection of any sort.
Old 11-17-2012, 12:07 PM
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The Mayor of Chicago certainly has a round-the-clock security detail that includes a house car (a cop that sits at the home of the mayor, 24/7) and advance car that checks the scene at public events prior to the Mayor's arrival in addition to a couple of conventional bodyguard coppers (plus a CPD driver).
It's good to be da King.
Old 11-17-2012, 12:08 PM
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The Secretary of State and ambassadors are provided security by the Regional Security Office and Department of Diplomatic Security within the state department.
Old 11-17-2012, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Shagnasty View Post
I am not so sure if say, the governor of Vermont has full-time bodyguards or routine protection of any sort.
I was a student employee at the University of Vermont library back in the mid 1990's. The Governor (Howard Dean at the time) would often stop in on his way to work to take out and/or return books and he always had one or two uniformed state troopers with him. This was well before Dean's 15 minutes of fame as a viable Democratic presidential nominee, when he may have warranted a higher level of protection.

On a side note, I played on the same softball team with an adult offspring of a high profile cabinet level official when I attended grad school in DC. This person did not have any type of protection that I was aware of.

Last edited by skdo23; 11-17-2012 at 12:26 PM.
Old 11-17-2012, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Shagnasty View Post
Many governors have dedicated bodyguards or at least protection provided by the state police.
Wisconsins Guv has a dignitary protection unit from the State Capitol Police. Depending on the Governor his driver may be a state Trooper, though. Over the last few years there has been some political posturing and dick waving between the Wisconsin Capitol Police and the Wisconsin State Patrol over the Governor detail.

Governor Tommy Thompson had a plan to consolidate both agencies into one state police force (the WI State Patrol is not a police agency but an enforcement division of DOT). But then Tommy went to Washington in '02 and the plan was scrapped.
Old 11-17-2012, 02:03 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Scotland
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I walked slap-bang into Malcolm Rifkind, at the time the UK Secretary of State for Defence, spilling the documents he was carrying all over the steps. It was one of those "going through a door without paying much attention" things, at the entrance of a public building in Edinburgh. All that happened as we picked up his stuff was the usual exchange of embarrassed "Sorry!", "My fault", "No, my fault!". He was on his own, but that was in the early 90s. The person who holds that position currently probably has bodyguards, and I'd now be posting from a remote site in Central Asia.
Old 11-17-2012, 02:50 PM
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Back around 2005 I was in the Government Administration Building here in Cayman and found myself alone in an elevator with the Leader of Government Business. No security detail was apparent. The LoGB was the title of the highest elected official in our territory at the time.

Since then a new constitution has come into force and the position now has the title of Prime Minister. The same guy is back in power after a 4 year break and he now has security as does the Deputy Prime Minister. Curiously he insists the security is required by the new constitution but none of us can seem to find that part?!?! Must be good to be the King.
Old 11-17-2012, 04:57 PM
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I know that at least a few counties in Maryland have security details for their highest county officials. My next door neighbor is one here in Montgomery county.
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