The Assassination of Bobby Kennedy and Why I Became a Secret Service Agent

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The Center for Information Security Awareness - CFISA - Founder and Former Secret Service Agent Recounts the Profound Impact of the Bobby Kennedy Assassination On His Career Choice. The full article with photos can be found here.

Bobby Kennedy June 3, 1968

In that short speech, the seeds for my interest in political science were planted that would propel me into my future of public service and law enforcement.

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Bobby Kennedy. The CEO and Founder of the Center for Information Security Awareness and former Secret Service Agent has shared his thoughts at this opportune time to reflect upon his personal memories of history and how it shaped his future.

June 1968:

On June 3th, 1968, Michael Levin was twelve years old and in the sixth-grade in San Francisco. He saw on the news that Bobby Kennedy would be speaking at a rally just two blocks from his house. He decided to ride his blue Stingray bike over to the shopping center and see what was going on.

At 12 years old, Michael was not really interested in politics, but he became caught up in the enthusiasm and excitement of the crowd. He brought a camera and decided to take some pictures if he got the chance.

As he listened to the speech, he recalls thinking what Bobby Kennedy was saying made sense to him. Bobby’s ideas and plans for our country seemed good to Michael.

Michael stated, "In that short speech, the seeds for my interest in political science were planted and would propel me into my future of public service and law enforcement".

The next day, June 4th, 1968, was the California presidential primary election. For the first time in his life Michael was interested in politics and the outcome of an election.

Michael watched the election results on an old nine inch black and white portable TV in his bedroom. He did this throughout the night and became mesmerized by the election results as they unfolded.

Just after midnight, on June 5th, 1968, he watched in his room as Bobby Kennedy gave his victory speech at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Michael felt happy that Bobby had won and would most likely become our next president.

He continued to watch the TV after the speech and was in total shock as the news came on the TV that Bobby Kennedy had been shot. How could this happen? Where were the police and why was he not protected he wondered? He ended up going to school the next day barely able to function due to his lack of sleep.

Michael recalled, "This tragic event was the first time that a political event really affected me. I can now see the significance of this event as it helped to shape the direction in the career path I took".

While in college, he decided that public service and law enforcement was the career path he wanted to pursue.

Law Enforcement Career:

In 1978, at the age of just twenty-one Michael became a police officer in Mountain View California.

In 1985, Michael was hired by the United States Secret Service as a Special Agent.

In an interesting twist of fate, in 1988 almost twenty years after the assassination of Bobby Kennedy he interviewed Sirhan Sirhan in Soledad prison in California. He was part of a team of two agents that conducted a protective intelligence interview of Sirhan Sirhan. He ended up interviewing him for several hours.

In Michael’s career with the Secret Service he had the opportunity to protect Presidents and Heads of State. He worked protection in the White House during the Clinton/Gore administration.

Michael also served as the Branch Chief of the U.S. Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force program in Washington DC. He worked in the arena of computer forensics and cyber-crime investigations for over twenty years. He also worked at the CIA and NSA as the Secret Service Intelligence Liaison Officer.

Michael retired from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as the Deputy Director of the National Cyber Security Division in Washington DC after over thirty years in law enforcement and public service.

After Michael retired, he founded the Center for Information Security Awareness to provide security awareness training to businesses of all sizes. His passion now is teaching and training to help businesses reduce their risk.

Final Thoughts:

Michael stated, “Now that I can objectively look back at my career I can honestly say that this tragic event played a profound impact in my life. We can only hope that our next generation will use any current tragic events and political discord to make a change for the better in the future”.

About the Center for Information Security Awareness – CFISA.com

The Center for Information Security Awareness – CFISA https://www.cfisa.com was founded to help educate employees on ways to protect themselves against cybercrime. In our training, we always stress that as citizens we need to protect ourselves, our community and the Nation from growing cyber security threats.

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Michael Levin
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