Another scandal arises among the officers of the Secret Service Department. On Friday, a Secret Service officer who was off-duty was arrested. Charges of first degree burglary, felony and property destruction were pressed against him, according to the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.
Arthur Baldwin, aged 29, who is a member of the Uniformed Division of Secret Service, was found by the police at a woman’s residence. The police had received a 911 call about a burglary and an officer arrived at the apartment in the 3200 block of D Street SE at 12.46 a.m. The door of the apartment was knocked down and two windows were broken. The woman seemed to be in a lot of distress and said that her former boyfriend, who was a police officer, kept disturbing her despite her protests. According to reports, Arthur Baldwin had initially left her home but returned while the police were there. He was dressed in uniform and asked to speak to the woman. When asked about it, he admitted to breaking the door but not the windows.
His security clearance and gun were taken away from him and he was placed on administrative leave. He was released from custody on condition he should not approach the woman. His court date is on April 23, when he might face fines up to $1000 and/or 6 months imprisonment for the charge of destruction of property, while the attempted first-degree burglary might bring him a sentence of five years in jail.
Other details on this incident are not yet available, as the authorities are still investigating the matter. However, these accusations complete a long row of issues regarding discipline that the Secret Service Department has faced so far.
Earlier this week, a senior supervisor working for the Secret Service faced allegations of sexual assault and was forced on administrative leave as well. Throughout the years, there have been many serious incidents within the officers of the department. In March 2015, a drunk officer drove a government car into the White House barricades. In 2014, three members of the Secret Service staff were sent home after drinking in Amsterdam and one of them was found unconscious in the hotel hallway. In 2012, eleven officers hired prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia, after drinking one night. The list continues.
These cases of misbehavior will probably cast doubt on the Department’s ability to protect the most important matters of state and it will be long before the public trust is restored.
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