TODAY

TODAY   |  April 09, 2014

Secret Service shake-up follows drinking incidents

There are big changes in the Secret Service this morning after a pair of embarrassing incidents that happened during presidential trips. Both incidents involved drinking. NBC’s White House correspondent Peter Alexander reports.

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>>> a big shake-up in the secret service this morning after a pair of embarrassing incidents that happened during presidential trips. nbc's white house correspondent peter alexander is live at the white house with more. peter, what's this all about?

>> reporter: natalie, good morning to you. both those episodes involved drinking. both of them happened within the last month. a secret service official tells us that the agency has reassigned the head of one of its biggest units, the special operations division, as well as about two dozen members of its staff. that division is also tightening its rules about when agents are allowed to drink before duty and during presidential trips. agents in that unit right now are banned from drinking 12 hours before the start of a shift. 24 hours before the president arrives on a trip. you'll remember, it was just two weeks ago that three agents were sent home from the netherlands after one of them was found passed out drunk in a hotel hallway. this morning, a secret service spokesperson tells me director julia pearson maintains a zero tolerance policy when it comes to misconduct.

>> all right, peter alexander at the white house . thank you, peter.