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Discussion with Secret Service Agent Justin Hansen

Sarah DeMatteis, Staff Writer

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This week, Secret Service agent, Justin Hansen visited the University of New Haven to speak to the American Criminal Justice Association (ACJA) following their weekly Tuesday meeting.

The discussion served as a platform to help students interested in the field further explore the agency and all the various possibilities within the department.

“Justin has been to the club several times before and it’s always nice to have him come back and talk to our students about the opportunities within the Secret Service,” said Shelby St. Clair, president of ACJA. “It’s not always an agency that students consider but it’s good to get them exposed to the opportunities that they do have through that department and get them face to face with an agent.”

Hansen started off by giving a brief overview of the history of the Secret Service and then delved into his personal career path, the application process, the academy, what to expect once hired and the benefits of a career with the Secret Service.

Throughout the discussion he emphasized that he wanted the audience to be engaged in the conversation, encouraging them to ask any questions to help better understand the agency and the different processes.

“Tonight I want you all to get as much out of this as possible so please feel free to raise your hands and ask questions as I go through,” said Hansen. “I’ll try and sell you on why the Secret Service versus’ the FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation], DEA [Drug Enforcement Administration], ATF [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives],and U.S. Custom’s, Homeland Security Investigators.”

Though Hansen is partial to the Secret Service, he did encourage students to ask questions about any federal agency.

Graduating with a Bachelors in Criminal Justice, and a Masters in Criminology, Hansen’s background includes a year and a half serving as a local police officer in Cromwell, Conn and what is now going on his 18th year with the Secret Service.

Within the Secret Service, he served eight years at the New Haven Office, working in both financial crimes investigation and protective detail.

Hansen explained that after eight-years he was required to go into protective services and volunteered to serve under former President Clinton’s detail for a five-year span. The opportunity allowed him to not only keep his family in Connecticut, but also travel the world with the former president.

After giving a synopsis of the career path, giving various tips, and sharing what the job entails, Hansen ended by explaining that being a Secret Service agent is not for everyone, but it does have its benefits.

“It’s good for type A people that like to move around, like if you want to stay in your hometown your whole life this is not the job for you because they are going to move you, at some point you will have to go to D.C.,” said Hansen. “So if you want the 9-5 structure, and weekends, and holidays off, the DEA, the FBI, ATF they are going to be for you. If you like getting out there and working and being able to make extra money, you like to travel, and you don’t mind picking up and moving around, then the Secret Service is the perfect job for you.”

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Discussion with Secret Service Agent Justin Hansen