National Special Security Event

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Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano (center) at a security news conference for Super Bowl XLIV, on February 1, 2010

A National Special Security Event (NSSE) is an event of national or international significance deemed by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to be a potential target for terrorism or other criminal activity. These events have included summits of world leaders, meetings of international organizations, presidential nominating conventions and presidential inaugurations. NSSE designation requires federal agencies to provide full cooperation and support to ensure the safety and security of those participating in or otherwise attending the event, and the community within which the event takes place, and is typically limited to specific event sites for a specified time frame. An NSSE puts the United States Secret Service in charge of event security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation in charge of intelligence, counter terrorism, hostage rescue and investigation of incidents of terrorism or other major criminal activities associated with the NSSE, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency in charge of recovery management in the aftermath of terrorist or other major criminal incidents, natural disasters or other catastrophic events. NSSE designation is not a funding mechanism, and currently there is no specific federal "pot of money" to be distributed to state and local governments within whose jurisdiction NSSEs take place.

Authority[edit]

NSSE procedures were established by President Bill Clinton in a portion of Presidential Decision Directive 62 in May 1998, which set out the security roles for federal agencies at major events.[1] The Presidential Threat Protection Act of 2000 (Pub.L. 106–544, signed into law on 2000-12-19) added special events explicitly to the powers of the United States Secret Service in 18 U.S.C. § 3056.

Procedure[edit]

A number of factors are taken into consideration when designating an event as a National Special Security Event. Department of Homeland Security press releases usually cite the following factors:[2]

  • Anticipated attendance by dignitaries. Events attended by officials of the United States government or foreign dignitaries may create an independent federal interest to ensure that the event transpires without incident and that sufficient resources are brought to bear in the event of an incident.
  • Size of the event. A large number of attendees and participants generally increases security requirements. In addition, larger events are more likely to draw the attention of terrorists or other criminals, particularly those interested in employing weapons of mass destruction.
  • Significance of the event. Some events have historical, political, cultural, or symbolic significance that may heighten concern about possible terrorist acts or other criminal activity.
  • Duration of the event. State and local law enforcement and public safety agencies may possess the manpower and other resources to provide adequate security for a major event within their jurisdiction (e.g. World Series, NASCAR race, Super Bowl, televised awards show), but is unable to do so for events over several days or weeks and at the same time continue to meet routine obligations in the greater community.
  • Availability of state and local resources. When state and local jurisdictions lack the expertise, experience, manpower or other assets needed to ensure comprehensive protection of these major events of national or international significance.
  • Multiplicity of Jurisdictions. Extensive coordination of law enforcement and public safety agencies from multiple jurisdictions.
  • Threat assessments. Anticipation of terrorism, or extensive illegal civil disobedience or other criminal activity.

When an NSSE is declared, the Secret Service becomes the lead agency for the security planning for the event; the FBI takes lead responsibility for counterterrorism, counterintelligence, criminal investigations; and FEMA takes lead responsibility for consequence management. Like the FBI and FEMA, the Secret Service brings in local law enforcement, public safety, and military experts to assist with developing the plan, and give them the special guidance and training to operate within the security plan.[2]

Typical NSSE security measures include:

The Secret Service notes that since the "Presidential Protection Act of 2000 became public law...the Secret Service is authorized to participate "in the planning, coordination and implementation of security operations at special events of national significance."...[and that] when an event is designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security as a National Special Security Event (NSSE), the Secret Service assumes its mandated role as the lead agency for the design and implementation of the operational security plan...The goal of the cooperating agencies is to provide a safe and secure environment for Secret Service protectees, other dignitaries, the event participants and the general public. There is a tremendous amount of advance planning and coordination in preparation for these events."[4]

Events[edit]

18 U.S.C. § 3056 paragraph (e)(2) requires that, at the end of each federal fiscal year, the executive branch report to Congress which events were designated NSSEs, and what criteria were used to make the designations.

Typical types of NSSEs are state funerals, major political conventions, the Academy Awards, major sporting events (e.g., the Olympic Games and the Super Bowl), and the State of the Union addresses.[5]

Date Event Location Notes
September 13, 1998
(to September 17)
World Energy Council Meeting World Energy Council Meeting[5] Houston, Texas
April 23, 1999
(to April 25)
NATO 50th Anniversary Celebration NATO 50th Anniversary Celebration[5] Washington, D.C.
November 29, 1999
(to December 3)
World Trade Organization Meeting World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference of 1999[5] Seattle, Washington
January 27, 2000 State of the Union Address 2000 2000 State of the Union Address[5] Washington, D.C.
April 14, 2000
(to April 17)
International Monetary Fund 2000 Spring Meeting International Monetary Fund Spring Meeting[5] Washington, D.C.
July 3, 2000
(to July 9)
Operation Sail 2000 Operation Sail Summer Millennium Celebration[5] New York City
July 29, 2000
(to August 4)
Republican National Convention 2000 2000 Republican National Convention[5] Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
August 14, 2000
(to August 16)
Democratic National Convention 2000 2000 Democratic National Convention[5] Los Angeles, California
January 20, 2001 Presidential Inauguration 2001 2001 Presidential Inauguration[5] Washington, D.C.
February 27, 2001 Presidential Address to Congress 2001 Presidential Address to Congress[5] Washington, D.C.
November 10, 2001
(to November 16)
United Nations General Assembly 56th session United Nations General Assembly 56th session[5] New York City
January 29, 2002 State of the Union Address 2002 2002 State of the Union Address[5] Washington, D.C.
February 3, 2002 Super Bowl 36 Super Bowl XXXVI[5][6] New Orleans, Louisiana
February 8, 2002
(to February 24)
Winter Olympics 2002 2002 Winter Olympics[5][6] Salt Lake City, Utah
May 21, 2002
(to May 22)
World Economic Forum USA Meeting 2002 World Economic Forum USA Meeting[citation needed] Washington, D.C.
January 20, 2003 State of the Union Address 2003 2003 State of the Union Address Washington, D.C.
January 20, 2004 State of the Union Address 2004 2004 State of the Union Address[5] Washington, D.C.
June 8, 2004
(to June 10)
G8 Summit 30 30th G8 summit[5] Sea Island, Georgia
June 9, 2004
(to June 11)
State funeral of Reagan, Ronald State funeral of Ronald Reagan[5][7] Washington, D.C.
Simi Valley, California
July 26, 2004
(to July 29)
Democratic National Convention 2004 2004 Democratic National Convention[5][7] Boston, Massachusetts
August 30, 2004
(to September 2)
Republican National Convention 2004 2004 Republican National Convention[5][7] New York City
January 20, 2005 Presidential Inauguration 2005 2005 Presidential Inauguration[5][7] Washington, D.C.
February 2, 2005 State of the Union 2005 2005 State of the Union Address[5][7] Washington, D.C.
January 31, 2006 State of the Union 2006 2006 State of the Union Address[7] Washington, D.C.
Dec 30, 2006
(to January 3, 2007)
State funeral of Ford, Gerald State funeral of Gerald Ford[5][7] Washington, D.C.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
January 23, 2007 State of the Union 2007 2007 State of the Union Address[7] Washington, D.C.
January 28, 2008 State of the Union 2008 2008 State of the Union Address[5][7][8] Washington, D.C.
August 25, 2008
(to August 28)
Democratic National Convention 2008 2008 Democratic National Convention[8] Denver, Colorado 26th NSSE[8]
September 1, 2008
(to September 4)
Republican National Convention 2008 2008 Republican National Convention [8] St. Paul, Minnesota 27th NSSE[8]
November 14, 2008
(to November 15)
G-20 Summit 2008 2008 G-20 Washington summit[9] Washington, D.C.
January 17, 2009 Presidential Inauguration 2009 Pre-Inaugural Whistle Stop Tour[10] Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to
Washington, D.C.
Part of inaugural ceremonies
January 18, 2009 Presidential Inauguration 2009 Pre-Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial[10] Washington, D.C.
January 20, 2009 Presidential Inauguration 2009 2009 Presidential Inauguration[5][7] Washington, D.C.
February 24, 2009 Presidential Address to Congress 2009 2009 Presidential Address to Congress[9] Washington, D.C.
September 24, 2009
(to September 25)
G-20 Summit 2009 2009 G-20 Pittsburgh summit[9] Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
January 27, 2010 State of the Union 2010 2010 State of the Union Address[11] Washington, D.C.
April 12, 2010
(to April 13)
Nuclear Security Summit 2010 2010 Nuclear Security Summit[12] Washington, D.C.
January 25, 2011 State of the Union 2011 2011 State of the Union Address[13] Washington, D.C.
November 12, 2011
(to November 13)
Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2011Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit[13] Honolulu, Hawaii
January 24, 2012 State of the Union 2012 2012 State of the Union Address[13] Washington, D.C.
May 19, 2012
(to May 21)
G8 Summit 38 38th G8 summit[13] Chicago, Illinois
May 19, 2012
(to May 21)
NATO Summit 2012NATO 2012 Chicago Summit[13] Chicago, Illinois
August 27, 2012
(to August 31)
Republican National Convention 2012 2012 Republican National Convention[13] Tampa, Florida
September 3, 2012
(to September 6)
Democratic National Convention 2012 2012 Democratic National Convention[13] Charlotte, North Carolina
January 20, 2013 Presidential Inauguration 2013 2013 Presidential Inauguration[14] Washington, D.C.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Special Security Events". United States Secret Service. Retrieved 2008-02-01. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Fact Sheet: National Special Security Events". Office of the Press Secretary, United States Department of Homeland Security. 2006-12-29. Archived from the original on 2011-07-12. Retrieved 2008-02-01. {
  3. ^ a b c d e Paula Zahn Now (television). CNN. June 8, 2004. 
  4. ^ "NATIONAL SPECIAL SECURITY EVENTS". Secret Service. Retrieved 2013-06-26. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y "Planned Special Events: Cost Management and Cost Recovery Primer". Federal Highway Administration. October 2010. Retrieved 2013-06-26. 
  6. ^ a b "A Partial Administration Timeline of Homeland Security Actions through May 29 of 2002". United States Department of Homeland Security. 2005-12-21. Archived from the original on 2008-01-09. Retrieved 2008-02-01. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Designation of the President's State of the Union Address as a National Special Security Event". Office of the Press Secretary, United States Department of Homeland Security. 2008-01-28. Retrieved 2008-02-01. "Since 1998, the Secret Service has led federal security operations at 24 National Special Security Events, including President Gerald Ford's state funeral, the 2005 Presidential Inauguration, the 2004 Republican and Democratic National Conventions, President Ronald Reagan's state funeral in 2004, and the last three State of the Union Addresses." 
  8. ^ a b c d e "United States Secret Service Fiscal Year 2008 Annual Report". United States Secret Service. p. 25. 
  9. ^ a b c "United States Secret Service Fiscal Year 2009 Annual Report". United States Secret Service. p. 22. 
  10. ^ a b "United States Secret Service Fiscal Year 2009 Annual Report". United States Secret Service. p. 6. 
  11. ^ "United States Secret Service Fiscal Year 2010 Annual Report". United States Secret Service. p. 20. 
  12. ^ "United States Secret Service Fiscal Year 2010 Annual Report". United States Secret Service. p. 21. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g "United States Secret Service Fiscal Year 2011 Annual Report". United States Secret Service. p. 21. 
  14. ^ "United States Secret Service Fiscal Year 2011 Annual Report". United States Secret Service. p. 25. 

External links[edit]