Johns Hopkins Professors to Teach Ethics Training to Secret Service

Workshop expanded from 20 supervisors following prostitution scandal

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    NEWSLETTERS

    About 100 Secret Service officers will take part in a two-day ethics training course taught by Johns Hopkins University professors. Jane Watrel reports.

    Starting Wednesday, about 100 U.S. Secret Service agents will spend their day with professors from Johns Hopkins University in a two-day workshop on ethics training in Laurel, Md.

    The two-day workshop on ethics previously had been planned for 20 agents, but in the wake of the Colombia prostitution scandal, 100 supervisors have been ordered to take the training.

    Professor Chris Dreisbach, who has worked with the Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies for years, will ask them what the agents involved in the prostitution scandal were thinking when they decided it was OK.

    “Law enforcement is a profession, not just a job,” Dreisbach said. “Say a hamburger maker had gone to Cartagena and hired a prostitute. It just wouldn’t be news.”

    He added, “I think by their very nature the Secret Service draws a lot of expectation about their accountability and their integrity, and I think on the whole they live up to that.”

    In the wake of the scandal, increased training is just one of several moves the Secret Service is making. There are new policies that ban agents from excessive drinking, visiting strip clubs and allowing foreigners into their rooms while on overseas assignments.

    Dreisbach wouldn't reveal details of his ethics training, saying he will focus on allowing the agents to come up with a plan.

    Johns Hopkins was an obvious choice for the effort because of its past work with the Secret Service, officials said.