WASHINGTON -- The Secret Service, faced with added demands after the terror attacks, plans to hire 476 new agents this year.
The service is already almost halfway toward its goal, having hired a little more than 230 people since October, said Service Service spokesman Jim Mackin.
"We're out there recruiting for these positions," he said. The service has been visiting college campuses, attending job fairs and running ads on the radio and in newspapers and magazines to find qualified candidates.
Of the 476 new agents expected to be added this year, 141 are being hired in response to the Sept. 11 attacks.
All the new agents will start out in field offices around the country, mostly working on investigations.
The Secret Service plays the lead role in protecting the nation's currency from counterfeiters and is responsible for investigating a wide range of financial crimes, identify theft, computer fraud and computer attacks on the nation's financial and telecommunications networks.
While some of the new agents might be exposed to the service's other main role -- protecting the nation's leaders and visiting foreign dignitaries -- they must have a certain amount of experience before being eligible for a full-time assignment in that field.