The united states federal government maintains numerous law enforcement agencies throughout it’s many departments with a myriad of roles and responsibilities. Some of the more well known federal law enforcement agencies are the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), The United States Marshal’s service (USMS) and the United States Secret Service (USSS). Each of these federal agencies has very different roles and responsibilities within the law enforcement community. There are several dozen federal agencies in existence and their responsibilities run the gamut from static protection of federal lands and buildings to proactive patrol, protection and investigations.
Federal law enforcement agencies are able to enforce both federal as well as state laws throughout the united states and possess full police powers granted to them under the United States Code. Most law enforcement officers employed by federal agencies are not referred to as police officers but are officially designated as ‘Special Agents’. Many federal agencies maintain both plain clothes as well as a uniformed division, one well known example of this is the United States Secret Service. Although many in the public are familiar with the neat, well dressed men and women who they see shadowing the president of the united states where ever he goes and speaking frequently in to their coat sleeves, what many people don’t know is that there is also a uniformed division that is responsible for protecting the White House, the US vice presidents official home in Washington as well as protecting foreign diplomatic missions in the Washington DC federal district.
Becoming a member of a federal agency can be a long and involved undertaking. The hiring process can take up to a year or longer in some cases and includes written and physical tests as well as a stringent background investigation. The hiring process typically will include a psychological test and interview as well as a polygraph examination. Failure in any one of the phases of testing during the hiring process results in the applicant being removed from further consideration. Once an applicant has passed all phases of the hiring process and has been approved for hire, they will be placed on an eligible list of applicants. At which point they may be sent to Gynco, Georgia to be trained at the Federal Training Center located there or at one of the satellite facilities.
Becoming a federal officer with a federal law enforcement agency can be a grueling and time consuming process, but the variety of assignments and travel available in federal law enforcement as compared to a typical municipal or even a state agency, make the effort well worth it.