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Why Do Secret Service Touch Car


Why Do Secret Service Touch Car?

The Secret Service is a unique and prestigious agency responsible for protecting the President, Vice President, their families, and other high-level officials. Their duty is to ensure the safety and security of these individuals, and one of the intriguing aspects of their job is the way they inspect vehicles by physically touching them. This article aims to explore the reasons behind this practice and provide answers to frequently asked questions about why the Secret Service touches cars.

The primary purpose of the Secret Service touching cars is to detect any potential threats or hidden devices that may pose a risk to the protected individuals. This practice, known as a “vehicle sweep,” is an essential security measure used during motorcade operations or when the protected individual is entering or exiting a vehicle. By physically examining the exterior of the car, including the tires, body panels, and undercarriage, the Secret Service agents can identify any suspicious objects or modifications that may jeopardize the safety of the protected person.


Q: Why do Secret Service agents touch the car’s exterior instead of using advanced scanning technology?
A: While advanced scanning technology exists, physically touching the car allows agents to detect subtle abnormalities that technology may miss. Additionally, tactile inspection offers a more comprehensive examination, ensuring no potential threats are overlooked.

Q: Are there specific areas of the vehicle that Secret Service agents focus on while performing a vehicle sweep?
A: Yes, Secret Service agents pay particular attention to the undercarriage, as it is a common area where explosive devices can be concealed. They also examine the tires, trunk, engine compartment, and any other potential hiding spots.

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Q: Do Secret Service agents touch every car that the protected individuals may use?
A: Yes, for the utmost security, the agents conduct a vehicle sweep on every car that will be used by the protected individuals. Whether it is the President’s official limousine or a rental car, no vehicle is exempt from this inspection.

Q: How long does it take for a Secret Service agent to complete a vehicle sweep?
A: The time required for a thorough vehicle sweep may vary depending on the size and complexity of the vehicle. However, on average, it takes about 15 to 30 minutes to complete the inspection.

Q: Do Secret Service agents touch cars only in the United States?
A: No, the Secret Service operates on a global scale. Whether the protected individual is in the United States or traveling abroad, agents follow the same protocol to ensure the security of the vehicles used.

Q: Are there any other security measures taken alongside vehicle sweeps?
A: Yes, vehicle sweeps are just one aspect of a comprehensive security plan. The Secret Service utilizes a combination of technology, intelligence, and highly trained personnel to provide the utmost protection. They may also employ canine units and employ other advanced scanning methods when necessary.

Q: Do Secret Service agents perform vehicle sweeps on civilian cars near protected individuals?
A: In certain situations where a protected individual is in close proximity to civilian vehicles, such as during public events or motorcades, Secret Service agents may conduct sweeps on these cars to ensure the surroundings are secure.

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In conclusion, the Secret Service touches cars as part of their vehicle sweep protocol to ensure the safety of high-level officials. This practice allows them to detect any potential threats or hidden devices that may pose risks. While advanced technology exists, the tactile inspection provides a more comprehensive examination. The Secret Service’s commitment to thorough security measures ensures the protection of the President, Vice President, and other individuals under their care.

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