Assignment: To protect the President’s son

Posted November 2, 2017 at 5:00 am

By Julie Ann Madden

How his life and his family’s lives have been turned upside down because of the limelight and the position they are in now? How do you cope with that every day?

That’s the question Akron Police Chief William “Bill” Young would have asked the son of President Donald Trump if he’d have had an opportunity.

However, on Saturday when Donald Trump Jr. was at the Hole N’ The Wall Lodge with Iowa Rep. Steve King and Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, Young didn’t have the chance.

Young was part of the protection detail, assisting the Secret Service, along with the Plymouth County Sheriff’s deputies.

The closest he was to the President’s son was about 30 to 40 feet as they ate dinner.

Young was assigned to guard the main lodge’s entrance from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. At first, he was on main entrance’s front porch and later just inside the entrance, monitoring who entered and left the lodge.

This wasn’t the first time Young has worked with Secret Service agents to guard political figures.

In 2000, Vice-President Al Gore’s wife, Tipper, made a campaign stop in Winterset, giving a speech at the museum.

“I’m not a political person,” said Young, noting he was not a fan of the Vice-President so he wasn’t selected to assist the Secret Service. “I would have protected her with every ounce of capability in my life had I been required to do that.”

“My political leanings have no effect on how I do my job,” he said, explaining his son had asked him if he really could have protected President Bill Clinton — another candidate Young didn’t share their political views.

“Absolutely,” Young told his son. “I would protect him with every ounce of strength and ability I have — even though I didn’t vote for him.”

In February 2016, just after the Iowa Caucuses, Young was assigned to protect Clinton’s wife, Hillary, who made a campaign stop in Adel, giving a speech at the town’s bowling alley.

“I have the professionalism, sense of duty and the respect to do my job,” said Young, noting Secret Service agents serving on the Presidential Detail aren’t just protecting the person, they are protecting the Office of the Presidency — protecting a branch of our government.”

“When you are assigned to protect someone, your political leanings have no bearing on anything,” said Young. “You do your job to the best of your ability to make sure the person is safe.”

“I feel I’ve always had the professionalism to put my personal opinions aside and just do my job,” he added. “I’m sure every Secret Service agent has people they are protecting who they may or may not like but it’s their job to protect them and to keep them safe.”

Young didn’t get close enough to talk to Hillary Clinton either. His assignment was to guard the back entrance to the bowling alley, which faced a bike trail running through Adel.

“I saw her convoy of big black vehicles when they left,” said Young.

Last week, Young had received a call from a Secret Service agent in Omaha who told him there would be an event Saturday taking place with a “protectee” in Akron but it wasn’t until later that he knew it was a member of the First Family.

Young and Plymouth County law enforcement met with Secret Service agents to finalize their assignments during Iowa Rep. Steve King’s annual Pheasant Hunt.

“Secret Service agents are not the humorless sunglass-wearing guys always depicted in the movies and media,” said Young. “They are very cordial, very pleasant people, very professional.”

“They are very serious about how they do their job,” he added. “Really, really good guys to work with. I really enjoyed working with the agents and deputies on that.”

“That’s something you don’t get to do every day,” said Young, adding he wouldn’t want to be an agent though. “I greatly respect those guys and what they do but they work long hours and have to be ready to travel at a moment’s notice.”

“I don’t think I could live like that,” he said. “I’m pretty content with what I’m doing.”

Young wouldn’t want to be a member of the First Family either.

They can’t just run to the grocery store if they run out of bacon or stop somewhere for a pizza.

Even a five-minute television appearance takes Secret Service’s advance planning, said Young.

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