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 places the United States Secret Service as the lead agency in charge of the planning, coordination, and implementation of security operations for the event, the Federal Bureau of Investigation in charge of intelligence, counterterrorism, and investigation of major criminal activities associated with the event, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency in charge of recovery management in the aftermath of terrorism, major criminal activities, natural disasters, or other catastrophic incidents following the event. 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.[1] 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.[2] The Presidential Threat Protection Act of 2000 (Pub.L. 106–544 (text) (pdf), 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:[1]

  • 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 other 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.

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, and the State of the Union addresses.[5] The table below lists some NSSEs since enactment of the relevant statute.

Date Event Location Notes
September 13–17, 1998 (1998-09-13 – 1998-09-17) World Energy Council Meeting World Energy Council Meeting[5] Texas George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, Texas
April 23–25, 1999 (1999-04-23 – 1999-04-25) NATO 50th Anniversary Celebration NATO 50th Anniversary Celebration[5][6] Washington, D.C. Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, Washington, D.C.
November 29 – December 3, 1999 (1999-11-29 – 1999-12-03) World Trade Organization Meeting World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference of 1999[5] Washington (state) Washington State Convention and Trade Center, Seattle, Washington
January 27, 2000 State of the Union Address 2000 2000 State of the Union Address[5] Washington, D.C. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
April 14–17, 2000 (2000-04-14 – 2000-04-17) International Monetary Fund 2000 Spring Meeting International Monetary Fund Spring Meeting[5] Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C.
July 3–9, 2000 (2000-07-03 – 2000-07-09) Operation Sail 2000 Operation Sail Summer Millennium Celebration[5] New York (state) New York Harbor, New York City, New York
July 29 – August 9, 2000 (2000-07-29 – 2000-08-09) Republican National Convention 2000 2000 Republican National Convention[5] Pennsylvania First Union Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
August 14–16, 2000 (2000-08-14 – 2000-08-16) Democratic National Convention 2000 2000 Democratic National Convention[5] California Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
January 20, 2001 Presidential Inauguration 2001 First inauguration of George W. Bush[5] Washington, D.C. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
February 27, 2001 Presidential Address to Congress 2001 2001 Presidential Address to Congress[5] Washington, D.C. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
November 10–16, 2001 (2001-11-10 – 2001-11-16) United Nations General Assembly 56th session United Nations General Assembly 56th session[5] New York (state) United Nations Headquarters, New York City, New York
January 29, 2002 State of the Union Address 2002 2002 State of the Union Address[5] Washington, D.C. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
January 31 – February 4, 2002 (2002-01-31 – 2002-02-04) World Economic Forum USA Meeting 2002 World Economic Forum USA Meeting[citation needed] New York (state) Waldorf Astoria New York, New York City, New York[7]
February 3, 2002 Super Bowl 36 Super Bowl XXXVI[5][8] Louisiana Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
February 8–24, 2002 (2002-02-08 – 2002-02-24) Winter Olympics 2002 2002 Winter Olympics[5][8] Utah Salt Lake City, Utah
January 20, 2003 State of the Union Address 2003 2003 State of the Union Address Washington, D.C. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
January 20, 2004 State of the Union Address 2004 2004 State of the Union Address[5] Washington, D.C. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
June 8–10, 2004 (2004-06-08 – 2004-06-10) G8 Summit 30 30th G8 summit[5] Georgia (U.S. state) Sea Island, Georgia
June 9–11, 2004 (2004-06-09 – 2004-06-11) State funeral of Reagan, Ronald State funeral of Ronald Reagan[5][9] Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C.
California Simi Valley, California
July 26–29, 2004 (2004-07-26 – 2004-07-29) Democratic National Convention 2004 2004 Democratic National Convention[5][9] Massachusetts FleetCenter, Boston, Massachusetts
August 30 – September 2, 2004 (2004-08-30 – 2004-09-02) Republican National Convention 2004 2004 Republican National Convention[5][9] New York (state) Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
January 20, 2005 Presidential Inauguration 2005 Second inauguration of George W. Bush[5][9] Washington, D.C. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
February 2, 2005 State of the Union 2005 2005 State of the Union Address[5][9] Washington, D.C. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
January 31, 2006 State of the Union 2006 2006 State of the Union Address[9] Washington, D.C. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
December 30, 2006 – January 3, 2007 (2006-12-30 – 2007-01-03) State funeral of Ford, Gerald State funeral of Gerald Ford[5][9] Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C.
Michigan Grand Rapids, Michigan
January 23, 2007 State of the Union 2007 2007 State of the Union Address[9] Washington, D.C. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
January 28, 2008 State of the Union 2008 2008 State of the Union Address[5][9][10] Washington, D.C. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
August 25–28, 2008 (2008-08-25 – 2008-08-28) Democratic National Convention 2008 2008 Democratic National Convention[10] Colorado Pepsi Center and Invesco Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado 26th NSSE[10]
September 1–4, 2008 (2008-09-01 – 2008-09-04) Republican National Convention 2008 2008 Republican National Convention[10] Minnesota Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota 27th NSSE[10]
November 14–15, 2008 (2008-11-14 – 2008-11-15) G20 Summit 2008 2008 G20 Washington summit[11] Washington, D.C. National Building Museum, Washington, D.C.
January 17, 2009 Presidential Inauguration 2009 Pre-Inaugural Whistle Stop Tour[12] Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to
Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C.
Part of inaugural ceremonies
January 18, 2009 Presidential Inauguration 2009 We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial[12] Washington, D.C. Lincoln Memorial and National Mall, Washington, D.C.
January 20, 2009 Presidential Inauguration 2009 First inauguration of Barack Obama[5][9] Washington, D.C. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
February 24, 2009 Presidential Address to Congress 2009 2009 Presidential Address to Congress[11] Washington, D.C. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
September 24–25, 2009 (2009-09-24 – 2009-09-25) G20 Summit 2009 2009 G20 Pittsburgh summit[11] Pennsylvania David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
January 27, 2010 State of the Union 2010 2010 State of the Union Address[13] Washington, D.C. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
April 12, 2010
(to April 13)
Nuclear Security Summit 2010 2010 Nuclear Security Summit[14] Washington, D.C. Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C.
January 25, 2011 State of the Union 2011 2011 State of the Union Address[15] Washington, D.C. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
November 12–13, 2011 (2011-11-12 – 2011-11-13) Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 20112011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit[15] Hawaii Hawaii Convention Center, Honolulu, Hawaii
January 24, 2012 State of the Union 2012 2012 State of the Union Address[15] Washington, D.C. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
May 18–19, 2012 (2012-05-18 – 2012-05-19) G8 Summit 38 38th G8 summit[15] Maryland Camp David, Maryland
May 20–21, 2012 (2012-05-20 – 2012-05-21) NATO Summit 20122012 NATO Chicago Summit[15] Illinois McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois
August 27–31, 2012 (2012-08-27 – 2012-08-31) Republican National Convention 2012 2012 Republican National Convention[15] Florida Tampa Bay Times Forum, Tampa, Florida
September 3–6, 2012 (2012-09-03 – 2012-09-06) Democratic National Convention 2012 2012 Democratic National Convention[15] North Carolina Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina
January 20, 2013 Presidential Inauguration 2013 Second inauguration of Barack Obama[16] Washington, D.C. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
February 12, 2013 2013 State of the Union Address 2013 State of the Union Address[17] Washington, D.C. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
January 28, 2014 2014 State of the Union Address 2014 State of the Union Address Washington, D.C. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
January 20, 2015 2015 State of the Union Address 2015 State of the Union Address Washington, D.C. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
September 22–27, 2015 (2015-09-22 – 2015-09-27) Pope Francis' 2015 US visit Pope Francis's 2015 visit to the United States[18] Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C.
New York (state) New York City, New York
Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
January 12, 2016 2016 State of the Union Address[19] Washington, D.C. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
July 18–21, 2016 (2016-07-18 – 2016-07-21) 2016 Republican National Convention2016 Republican National Convention Ohio Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
July 25–28, 2016 (2016-07-25 – 2016-07-28) 2016 Democratic National Convention2016 Democratic National Convention Pennsylvania Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
January 20, 2017 Inauguration of Donald Trump Washington, D.C. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
February 28, 2017 2017 Presidential Address to Congress Washington, D.C. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
January 30, 2018 2018 State of the Union Address Washington, D.C. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
December 3–5, 2018 (2018-12-03 – 2018-12-05) State funeral of George H. W. Bush Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C.
Texas Houston, Spring, and College Station, Texas
February 5, 2019 2019 State of the Union Address Washington, D.C. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
February 4, 2020 2020 State of the Union Address Washington, D.C. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
August 17–20, 2020 2020 Democratic National Convention[20] Wisconsin Wisconsin Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
(and various locations remotely)
August 24–27, 2020 2020 Republican National Convention North Carolina Charlotte Convention Center, Charlotte, North Carolina
Washington, D.C. Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, Washington, D.C.
(and various locations remotely)
January 20, 2021 Inauguration of Joe Biden Washington, D.C. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
April 28, 2021 2021 Presidential Address to Congress[21] Washington, D.C. United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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.{
  2. ^ "National Special Security Events". United States Secret Service. Archived from the original on 2008-02-09. 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. Archived from the original on 2013-03-28. 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. ^ "NATO Press Release (99)013". NATO. 1999-02-01. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  7. ^ "2002 - Davos in New York". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ 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. Archived from the original on 2008-02-08. 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.
  10. ^ a b c d e "United States Secret Service Fiscal Year 2008 Annual Report" (PDF). United States Secret Service. p. 25. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-09-15. Retrieved 2012-08-26.
  11. ^ a b c "United States Secret Service Fiscal Year 2009 Annual Report" (PDF). United States Secret Service. p. 22. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-09-15. Retrieved 2012-08-26.
  12. ^ a b "United States Secret Service Fiscal Year 2009 Annual Report" (PDF). United States Secret Service. p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-09-15. Retrieved 2012-08-26.
  13. ^ "United States Secret Service Fiscal Year 2010 Annual Report" (PDF). United States Secret Service. p. 20. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-09-15. Retrieved 2012-08-26.
  14. ^ "United States Secret Service Fiscal Year 2010 Annual Report" (PDF). United States Secret Service. p. 21. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-09-15. Retrieved 2012-08-26.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g "United States Secret Service Fiscal Year 2011 Annual Report" (PDF). United States Secret Service. p. 21. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-09-15. Retrieved 2012-08-26.
  16. ^ "United States Secret Service Fiscal Year 2011 Annual Report" (PDF). United States Secret Service. p. 25. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-09-15. Retrieved 2012-08-26.
  17. ^ "United States Secret Service Fiscal Year 2013 Annual Report" (PDF). United States Secret Service. 2013. p. 14. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 May 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  18. ^ "DHS Support for the Visit of Pope Francis". www.dhs.gov. 2015-09-18. Retrieved 2020-01-17.
  19. ^ "US Government Takes Charge of Security for Pope Francis". CBS. 2015. p. 1. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  20. ^ Kapur, Sahil (August 17, 2020). "'Just kind of sucks': Disappointed Milwaukee a political ghost town for the Democratic convention". NBC News. Archived from the original on August 18, 2020. Retrieved August 17, 2020.
  21. ^ "Biden to address Congress under security, COVID restrictions". AP NEWS. 2021-04-14. Retrieved 2021-04-28.

External links[edit]