Friday, June 28, 2013

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10 Federal Investigative Agencies You Should Know About

Published by John Acker

You know about the FBI, the ATF and the VA, but do you know what they do? Most people can name the investigative alphabet, but very few understand the jurisdiction that these agencies have over the general public. Here are 10 federal investigative agencies and their scopes of duty:
1 .Federal Bureau of Investigation – FBI

According to the FBI itself, its mission is to “…defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats…” and to uphold and enforce the laws of the nation. The FBI typically provides service to local jurisdictions when the situation warrants that aid.
2. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – ATF

The ATF is responsible for investigating the illegal use and trafficking of firearms and explosives. The agency also investigates bombings and arson, criminal organizations, and acts of terrorism.
3. Drug Enforcement Administration – DEA

The DEA works to enforce laws and regulations related to controlled substances. While the DEA won’t get involved in minor drug cases, it’s typical to see the agency offer support to agencies as they investigate cases of drug trafficking, particularly interstate activity.
4. Department of Veterans Affairs – VA

Most people have heard of the VA as a support network comprised of hospitals catering to current and ex-military members. The VA also has a criminal division that investigates criminal activities that affect how the VA operates.
5. Environmental Protection Agency – EPA

Within the walls of the EPA is the Office of the Inspector General. This department inspects, audits and evaluates the performance and efficiency of the EPA and its contractors. An interesting fact is that Congress provides separate funding for the Office of the Inspector General to ensure that the department is independent of the agency they investigate.
6. Immigration and Customs Enforcement – ICE

ICE is the investigative arm of DHS, or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. ICE is responsible for controlling illegal immigration, removal of illegal immigrants, and investigations into issues regarding national security.
7. Fish and Wildlife Services – FWS

This agency is tasked with regulating wildlife trade, investigating crimes pertaining to wildlife, and helping citizens understand both national and local wildlife laws. The FWS works closely with state and local conservation and wildlife agencies to help ease threats to the fish and wildlife in our environment.
8. Health and Human Services – HHS

A sort of internal affairs department, the Office of the Inspector General is given the responsibility of maintaining the integrity of the various programs offers by HHS. The OIG routinely conducts audits and inspections in order to ensure that the department is working efficiently.
9. U.S. Marshals Service

The USMS is the oldest federal investigative agency in the United States. The Marshals operate the federal witness protection program, transport federal prisoners, and even seize property that has been acquired through illegal activities.
10. U.S. Secret Service

Almost every citizen of America is aware of the Secret Service. What many don’t know is that there are two divisions with the agency: special agents and uniformed officers. Uniformed officers are tasked with providing guard for protected facilities, while special agents protect officials and visiting dignitaries.

There are a number of agencies within the country that have the ability to investigate crime, make arrests and conduct internal audits. Most citizens will never have contact with these agencies; however, as a citizen, it is both your right and your duty to know exactly what jobs these agencies perform.


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