State and Federal Law Enforcement Professionals

The law enforcement professionals employed by the state and federal governments are counted on as being some of the most highly trained individuals in pursuit of criminal justice. Inclusive among these groups are the state police force, and the agencies within the Federal Department of Justice (DOJ) which includes the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); the United States Marshals Service (USMS); and Office of Inspector General (DOJ-OIG).

The state police force serves on the individual state level with criminal justice degrees. Their mission is to protect property and enforce the laws necessary for maintaining a civil society. In general, the state police are authorized to enforce state highway traffic laws, provide protection within the state capital buildings, protect the state’s governor, provide support to local police forces in terms of training and technological assistance, and provide coordinating task force functions in the case of severe incidents within the state that require law enforcement.

Other state policing agencies include:

  • State Bureaus of Investigation, which encompasses those individuals serving as the state’s detectives
  • State Bureau of Narcotics, which provides state level enforcement against drug traffic and other legal substances
  • Department of Public Safety, which provides a state-level coordinating effort for enforcing state law and public safety, and the Motor Vehicle Departments, that are charged with enforcing state motor vehicle laws and automobile registration.

Federal agencies serve to protect society on the federal level with the ability to cross state lines, if necessary, in addition to dealing with international issues of law enforcement and protection. Federal agents for the ATF serve a unique role and responsibility for investigating violations of Federal law with regards to firearms, explosives, arsons, alcohol, and tobacco. Federal agents for the DEA serve a responsibility to enforce controlled substance laws and regulations of the United States.

FBI agents are in charge of federal investigations including those of bombing incidents, mail fraud, kidnappings, serial killers, and identity theft. They work alongside local, state, and other federal agencies to move an investigation forward. The US Marshals Service is the oldest federal law enforcement agency, having served the country since 1789. USMS agents are charged with protecting the judicial process by ensuring the safe and secure conduct of judicial proceeding and protecting federal judges, jurors, and other judicial members. Federal agents serving in the OIG investigate fraud, waste, abuse, and the mismanagement of government programs for both civil and military organizations.

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