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Published:January 28th, 2008 10:29 EST
Chertoff:  State of the Union Speech is National Special Security Event

Chertoff: State of the Union Speech is National Special Security Event

By SOP newswire

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has designated the President’s State of the Union Address as a National Special Security Event (NSSE).

Secretary Chertoff has named Paul S. Morrissey, Deputy Assistant Director of the U.S. Secret Service, to serve as the Principal Federal Official (PFO) for the State of the Union Address. In his role as PFO, Deputy Assistant Director Morrissey is responsible for ensuring overall seamless coordination of the federal domestic incident management activities.

A number of factors are taken into consideration when designating an event as a National Special Security Event, including anticipated attendance by dignitaries and the size and significance of the event. When an event is designated an NSSE, the U.S. Secret Service assumes its legally mandated role as the lead federal agency for the design and implementation of the operational security plan. Federal resources will be deployed to maintain the level of security needed for the event.

The Secret Service is responsible for planning, coordinating, and implementing security operations at designated NSSEs and together with law enforcement, public safety, and military partners, develops the overall security plan. The U.S. Capitol Police, the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, and a number of other federal and local agencies will play an active role in providing security at this event. Assets from the Department of Defense, including the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the United States Northern Command are also supporting this event.

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.