Basketball standout steps out of the gym and into the line of fire

Alex Kock, seen in a physical education class at Huntington North High School, left the school Feb. 27 to begin training to become a Secret Service officer.
Photo by Cassie Wieckert.

Originally published March 2, 2009

A Huntington North High School physical education teacher and basketball coach will soon begin training to fulfill a long-held dream.

It will take more than six years, but if all goes as planned, Alex Kock will find himself responsible for the well-being of one of the most important people in the world - the president of the United States.

After a year-long application process, Kock received a phone call unlike any other, offering him a position with the United States Secret Service.

"It's been a long process but it's something I've always thought I'd like to do," says Kock of the offer he received Feb. 10.

He was given until the next day to make his decision.
"I didn't get much sleep that night," he says. "It was a tough decision but if I don't try this now, I'm never going to get a chance to do it again."

Kock has had his share of experiences. Following graduation from Huntington University in 2007, Kock took an opportunity to play basketball overseas.

He had been an outstanding player at HU, and the university retired his number during a ceremony on Feb. 3.

Upon returning from Luxembourg, he began his teaching career at Garrett Middle School. In the fall of 2008, Kock began his Huntington North career, teaching gym classes and coaching basketball. He ended that career Friday, Feb. 27.

Kock became interested in the job by hearing stories from a family friend.

"He enjoys his job. I thought it'd be something I'd like to check into," he says.

Kock, who has no security or law enforcement experience, will begin his journey in Indianapolis. From there, he will depart to Glynco, GA, where he will enroll in an 11-week Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP). He will be instructed in such areas as criminal law and investigative techniques.

Once Kock successfully completes the program, he will begin a 16-week Special Agent Training Course outside of Washington, D.C. He will learn such skills as how to combat counterfeiting and financial criminal activity, physical protection techniques and conducting protective intelligence investigations.

Upon successful completion of his training, Kock will be stationed in Chicago for the first six years of his formal service. He will investigate money laundering and threats to the president that come from Illinois.

For the next three to six years, Kock will be protecting the president.

"I'm excited but nervous," he says, "I don't really know what I'm getting into, and it's a big step."

Kock will continue to receive training throughout his career. He will participate in regular firearms requalifications, emergency medicine refresher courses, simulated crisis training scenarios and training sessions held by other law enforcement agencies.

According to the United States Secret Service Web site, agents and officers of the United States Secret Service can carry firearms, execute warrants issued under the laws of the United States, make arrests without warrants for any offense against the United States committed in their presence, offer and pay rewards for services and information leading to the apprehension of persons involved in the violation of the law that the Secret Service is authorized to enforce, investigate fraud and perform other functions and duties authorized by law.

About leaving Huntington North, Kock says, "I like it here. I like the job and I like the kids. I've enjoyed working in the PE department. It's going to be tough leaving here."