Secret Service demands up as Obama takes 2nd term
November 27, 2012 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- There was a spike in death threats to President Barack Obama during the 2012 campaign.
That increase came at a time the Secret Service was already handling dozens of daily threats against the president.
This is not something the Secret Service calls press conferences to discuss, but the threat file has grown since Obama went from Illinois senator to U.S. president four years ago. By some estimates, the number of threats increased 400 percent his first term of office. Some of the threats are real, some are made by drunks in bars. All are examined to some degree.
Nowhere outside Washington is the Obama security bubble more apparent than in Chicago. When the president or first family return home, and especially when they visit their South Side home, there are longer road closures, more uniform presence and extended perimeters.
Some reports this week cite unnamed Secret Service officials as saying that there have been more than 40,000 individual threats against Obama investigated by the Secret Service since he was elected in 2008.
Some of those are via social media, where threatening posts often result in a Secret Service agent at the poster's front door the next day.
Regardless of the exact numbers, which are not released by the service, Obama is believed to be the most threatened president in U.S. history.
The Secret Service reports its ever-growing responsibilities: Last year alone providing security on more than 6,000 travel stops by the president, vice president, other protectees and assigned heads of state and dignitaries. More than 1,000 visits to the U.S. by foreign leaders.
The Secret Service screened 1.4 million pieces of mail arriving at the White House and about as many members of the public at presidential events.
All of those missions have been executed without harm coming to the president or any protectee. The next major public event for the Secret Service will be Obama's inauguration and the accompanying events in Washington January 21.
i-team, chuck goudie
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