When You Have Two Seconds to Make a Decision in the Line of Fire — Stories from President Reagan’s Former Protective Detail

On March 30th, 1981 Danny Spriggs had a career-defining moment that has stayed with him ever since he left the Washington Hilton Hotel. His instinctive move in a matter of seconds ensured that President Reagan, one of his assignments during his nearly three decades in the Secret Service, was safe from harm when shots were fired.

In this episode, he recounts the details of Reagan’s assassination attempt, as well as his current role as Vice President of Global Security and Safety at The Associated Press (AP). He works at AP’s headquarters in New York City where he facilitates all security-related tactical, operational and strategic planning for their nearly 250 bureaus in 100 countries. He shares the challenges in keeping journalists safe in high-risk areas, and the value of adopting proactive security measures and contingency planning for situations you would least expect.

Before his time at AP, Carlton Daniel “Danny” Spriggs spent 28 years in the Secret Service, starting as a special agent with the Albuquerque, New Mexico, field office and working his way up to deputy director in Washington, D.C., in 2002. His awards and honors include a Special Act Award from the U.S. Department of Treasury for Spriggs’ performance during the March 30, 1981 assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.

Danny was honored as a Thought Leader in the Protective Intelligence Honors — a program that recognizes physical security professionals who have left their mark on and continue to advance the field of protection.