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Secret Service shakes up staff, tightens alcohol rules

WASHINGTON — Secret Service director Julia Pierson has demoted the supervisor of one of the agency's largest divisions and reassigned nearly two dozen members of its staff, part of a cleanup effort after embarrassing drinking incidents on two recent presidential trips, the Washington Post reported Tuesday, citing three unnamed people familiar with the moves.

The agency also has ordered stricter rules on drinking for the division, known as special operations, forbidding them from drinking alcohol within 12 hours of reporting for duty and 24 hours before the president's arrival at any trip location.

Five employees of special operations were implicated in misconduct ahead of trips by President Barack Obama last month to the Netherlands and Miami. The division is central to the agency's efforts to ensure the safety of Obama and his family, and includes agents and officers trained for unique protective roles such as counter assault, emergency response and rooftop sniper teams.

A Secret Service spokesman confirmed the reassignment of multiple employees in the division but declined to provide details.