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The Man Responsible for President Trump's Safety Makes a Surprise Announcement

Secret Service Director Joe Clancy
Secret Service Director Joe Clancy announced Tuesday he will retire on March 4, paving the way for President Donald Trump to select his successor. (Reuters photo)

The man responsible for the protection of President Donald Trump, the former presidents, other government officials and foreign dignitaries who visit the United States has announced his retirement, effective next month.

"Father Joe" Clancy, who has 29 cumulative years of service to the Secret Service, will step down as director on March 4. The move was meant to give the president enough time to pick his own successor.

Trump had just recently appointed Clancy's immediate subordinate, William Callahan, who now becomes one of the leading contenders to replace the director. Congress is eager to see someone from outside the agency take over in an effort to continue an effective cleanup after a string of embarrassing scandals involving the service took place during the tenure of Clancy's predecessor, Julia Pierson.

Whomever the president appoints to succeed Clancy will have a difficult job. The Secret Service remains woefully understaffed and overworked. Of 305 federal agencies, it has the lowest morale rating.

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The service issued the following statement to announce Clancy's decision:

United States Secret Service Director Joseph P. Clancy is announcing his retirement on March 4, 2017, after 30 years of public service to his country. Mr. Clancy served as the agency's director for two years, during which time he successfully led the men and women of the Secret Service during the most complex and demanding protective operations in the agency's 151-year history. On his watch, Mr. Clancy flawlessly executed 10 National Special Security Events as well as navigating the agency through the dynamic pace of the 2016 Presidential Campaign.

Mr. Clancy, a native Philadelphian, began his career in 1984, in the agency's Philadelphia Field Office. His other assignments included the New York Field Office, Office of Congressional Affairs, Inspection Division and the Presidential Protective Division, where he served as the special agent in charge. Mr. Clancy retired from the Secret Service in 2011 and worked in the private sector for three years. In October 2014, the Obama administration asked him to accept the position of acting director on an interim basis. In February 2015, President Obama appointed him as the 24th director of the Secret Service.

Mr. Clancy was best-known by Secret Service employees as a sincere and genuine leader who walked the line to engage his people. He understood the challenges faced by the frontline agents, officers and professional staff, and it was that understanding that guided his sound decisions. While his focus remained on the mission, he strove to improve the quality of life challenges which faced his people. His accomplishments in this endeavor included record increases in recruiting and hiring. His personal and soft-spoken style will be greatly missed as the agency continues its role to safeguard the executive branch of government and the nation's financial systems.

The Secret Service family is grateful for his extraordinary leadership, and wishes him all the best in his next chapter of his life.

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