Three Secret Service agents responsible for protecting President Obama in Amsterdam this week were sent home and put on administrative leave Sunday after going out for a night of drinking, according to three people familiar with the incident. One of the agents was found drunk and passed out in a hotel hallway, the people said.Evidently, after the last scandal, they instituted a rule of ten hours between the bottle and the throttle, but these guys disregarded that rule. They'll be disciplined, and they may or may not have their careers affected, but the fact that this incident comes on the relative heels of the Cartagena incident shows a rot at the head of the Secret Service.
I suspect that the leadership has forgotten about Choir Practice, a leadership tool used in police agencies nationwide, that seems to have fallen out of practice. When the team is doing scary stuff, or is undergoing a stressful duty, it's okay to ask the very best of your team, but after it's over, a good leader gives them time to relax and a place to decompress without danger to his career. It's one thing to manage a team, it's another thing entirely to lead a team. A good leader takes care of his people, and part of that care involves helping them through the stress, helping them decompress, and if they want to get a little drunk as part of that decompression, to give them a place and time to do that.
If your people are getting drunk before a big detail, you've got a leadership problem. It speaks to a piss-poor management style that all the rules and regulations in the books won't help. Yeah, the guys screwed up, but I'd bet that the leadership is so friggin scared of screwing up that they've forgotten how to lead people. That's where the problem is, not the three guys who went partying the night before. Yeah, they screwed up, but they were allowed to screw up. That's a leadership issue.