Federal Law Enforcement Careers in Criminology & Criminal Justice
Careers at the federal level of law enforcement typically require more education and professional experience than similar positions at the local level. Many of the advanced law enforcement career paths involve government agencies and special training. An excellent way to get started toward your career in federal law enforcement is with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice online from Portland State University or Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Criminology & Criminal Justice.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Agents are the Government’s principal investigators, responsible for investigating violations of more than 200 categories of Federal law and conducting sensitive national security investigations. The FBI investigates organized crime, public corruption, financial crime, fraud against the Government, bribery, copyright infringement, civil rights violations, bank robbery, extortion, kidnapping, air piracy, terrorism, espionage, interstate criminal activity, drug trafficking, and other violations of Federal statutes.
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Agents enforce laws and regulations relating to illegal narcotics. Not only is the DEA the lead agency for domestic enforcement of Federal drug laws, it also has sole responsibility for coordinating and pursuing U.S. drug investigations abroad.
U.S. Marshals and Deputy Marshals protect the Federal courts and ensure the effective operation of the judicial system. They provide protection for the Federal judiciary, transport Federal prisoners, protect Federal witnesses, and manage assets seized from criminal enterprises.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Agents regulate and investigate violations of Federal firearms and explosives laws, as well as Federal alcohol and tobacco tax regulations.
U.S. Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security Special Agents are engaged in the battle against terrorism. Overseas, they advise ambassadors on all security matters and manage a complex range of security programs designed to protect personnel, facilities, and information.
The Department of Homeland Security employs numerous law enforcement officers under several different agencies, including Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the U.S. Secret Service. U.S. Border Patrol agents protect international land and water boundaries.
Immigration Inspectors interview and examine people seeking entrance to the United States and its territories. They inspect passports to determine whether people are legally eligible to enter the United States.
Customs Inspectors enforce laws governing imports and exports by inspecting cargo, baggage, and articles worn or carried by people, vessels, vehicles, trains, and aircraft entering or leaving the United States.
Transportation Security Administration officers have the distinct duty of protecting the nation’s transportation systems (airports, passengers and aircraft) to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce.
Federal Air Marshals provide air security inside commercial aircraft by preventing attacks targeting U.S. airports, passengers, and crews.
U.S. Secret Service Special Agents protect the President, Vice President, and their immediate families; Presidential candidates; former Presidents; and foreign dignitaries visiting the United States. Secret Service agents also investigate counterfeiting, forgery of Government checks or bonds, and fraudulent use of credit cards.
Other Federal Agencies employ police and special agents with sworn arrest powers and the authority to carry firearms. These agencies include the Postal Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Law Enforcement, the Forest Service, and the National Park Service.