The Honorable Wilson Livingood was sworn in as Sergeant at Arms of the U.S. House of Representatives on January 4, 1995, for the 104th Congress, and has served in each succeeding Congress. He is only the thirty-sixth person to hold this post since the House of Representatives first met in New York City in 1789 – and as of December 2011, is the third longest-serving House Sergeant at Arms in United States history.
Prior to this, Mr. Livingood was the Senior Advisor to the Director of the U.S. Secret Service, from 1989 to 1995, serving as a Special Agent with the Secret Service for a total of 33 years.
As an elected officer of the House of Representatives, the Sergeant at Arms is the chief law enforcement and protocol officer of the House of Representatives, and is responsible for maintaining order in the House side of the United States Capitol complex. The Sergeant at Arms reviews and implements all issues relating to the safety and security of Members of Congress and the Capitol complex. The Sergeant at Arms also coordinates extensively with the U.S. Capitol Police and various intelligence agencies to assess threats against Members of Congress and the Capitol complex.
Duties include overseeing the House floor and galleries, the House Appointments Desk, the House garages and parking lots, as well as administering all staff identification badges.
Mr. Livingood serves as a member of the U.S. Capitol Police Board, responsible for policy oversight over the Capitol Police Force, and is the chairman of this Board in alternating years. As Sergeant at Arms, Mr. Livingood also serves on the Congressional Accessibility Service Board, and on the board of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia.
Some of the accomplishments during his tenure as Sergeant at Arms have included:
Development of extensive contacts at all levels of government, both in the United States and abroad, particularly Europe, Asia and the Middle East. These contacts have proved invaluable in coordinating Member travel abroad for Congressional delegations.
Directed security and logistics for Congressional delegations travelling worldwide.
Coordinated intelligence analysis and protective operations of U.S. military and multi-national coalition forces on frequent visits to war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Frequent briefings for security officials of international legislative bodies regarding best methods and practices.
Planned and approved comprehensive Capitol Police and U.S. Federal agency response and mitigation assistance during the anthrax and ricin attacks against the Capitol.
Developed and implemented a first-time strategic plan and procedures manual for the Sergeant at Arms office.
Managed the successful transition of emergency planning operations for the House of Representatives into the Office of the Sergeant at Arms, by integration of the former Office of
Emergency Planning, Preparedness and Operations (OEPPO), into the new Office of Emergency Management (OEM).
Responsible for the implementation of a multi-year Perimeter Security Enhancement project. Perimeter security throughout the campus has been vastly improved with the addition of bollards, remote screening, and other enhancements designed to provide the highest level of safety and security for Members, staff and visitors alike.
Expanded the size and greatly enhanced the capabilities of the U.S. Capitol Police. From improved training and revised security protocols, to liaison and exchange with external agencies, U.S. Capitol Police stands ready to respond to any threat. On every level, the U.S. Capitol Police is now one of the premier Federal law enforcement agencies in the United States.
Developed and implemented the Office Emergency Coordinator (OEC) and Law Enforcement Coordinator (LEC) programs. OECs serve as the principal points of contact for their office in relaying emergency information and procedures, while LECs serve as a principal liaison to local law enforcement to coordinate Member activities for the District.
Worked extensively with House Leadership and the other House Officers regarding Continuity of Operations and Continuity of Government. Coordinated the establishment of Member Briefing Centers. The Member Briefing Center concept is designed to provide an alternate site to which Members can relocate and receive a situational brief in the event of an incident requiring evacuation of the Capitol. The Sergeant at Arms has also developed plans for evacuation of Members to an off-campus alternate meeting/briefing location in the event of an incident or threat of an incident.
Wilson Livingood was born October 1, 1936 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in police administration from Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, in 1961, where he served as student body president in 1959. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy.
Mr. Livingood was appointed a Special Agent at the Secret Service's Dallas Field Office in 1961. He held supervisory assignments at headquarters and on several protective divisions, to include the Presidential Protective Division since his appointment.
In 1969, Wilson Livingood was promoted to Assistant to the Special Agent in Charge of the Presidential Protective Division. Five years later, he was promoted to Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the office of Protective Forces. Mr. Livingood was named Special Agent in Charge of the office of Protective Forces less than a year later. In 1978, he was assigned to the position of Inspector in the Office of Inspection. Mr. Livingood was appointed Special Agent in Charge of the Houston Field Office in 1982 until his appointment as Deputy Assistant Director, Office of Training in 1986. From 1988 to 1995, he served as the Senior Advisor to three Directors.
Wilson Livingood is a participating member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Texas Police Association, and the National Sheriff's Association. He is a recipient of the Treasury Department's Meritorious Service Award and numerous Treasury awards. He is also the recipient of the Michigan State University Distinguished Alumni Award.