In the united States of America, there are three levels of governance that assist in the management of government activities. One of the roles of the government is to provide security to the people of the country. United States of America ensures this is done through the law enforcement agencies that are formed in all the three levels of the government. These are at the federal, state and local levels.
These agencies are so many and even before, some of them belonged to different departments. The formation of a new security department known as Homeland Security Department lead to a change in the departments to which they belonged and are currently under the homeland security department. Three law enforcement agencies from the three different levels will be discussed below.
The department of Homeland Security distributes resources to the three levels of government, while working in collaboration with different agencies to accomplish the mission of protecting Americans and their homeland. The three levels of the government in which homeland security has distributed its resources are federal, state and local government. Homeland security has responsibility over so many governmental jurisdictions, about 87,000 at the state, federal and local level (Samaha, 2005).
This defense department has a strategy to connect all levels of the government through a complementary system. This is one of the reasons for its creation, as the country had so many institutions involved in security of the nation, but no unifying core. This department was formed after the terrorist attack which occurred on September 11th.
The mission of this department is to deter and prevent terrorist attacks and respond to any hazards and threats to the country. The department is also responsible for security at the borders (Samaha, 2005).
Federal Law Enforcement Agencies
These are several law enforcement agencies in the United States whose role is to investigate crimes, respond to calls and patrols, and ensure corrections. The agencies are, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration, United States Custom Service, and so many others. The United States Homeland Security included most of these agencies into the department after the September 11th attack which was a move to improve the security of the country (Samaha, 2005).
United States Custom Service
The responsibility of this federal agency is in the seaports, border crossings and airports. Its responsibilities are stated below. The law enforcement agency examines all baggage or cargoes entering the country. It also investigates criminal fraud, violations on states currency, smuggling and cargo frauds.
The agency consists of special agents known as special customs patrol officers who work at the borders, seaports and airports concentrating on drugs, weapons and many other dangerous items, that may be brought into the country (Samaha, 2005).
This agency was formed to help meet one of the aims of homeland security which was and still is, direct intervention and prevention of terrorists. It therefore regulates and facilitates international trade, enforces United States trade laws and collects import duties to achieve its missions.
In preventing terrorists from getting into the country, its role has already been indicated, which is inspection at the ports for any weapons. Apart from these mentioned roles, the agency also prevents illegal entry of persons into the country (Samaha, 2005).
This agency has over 56,000 employees which include officers, pilots, mission support staff, trade specialists, canine enforcement officers and border patrol agents.
The country has 317 ports of entry that are officially designated that the Custom Service Board works on, and some pre-clearance locations in Ireland, Canada and Caribbean. The Custom Service Board also inspects cargoes before being allowed into the mother country. There are four offices that the agency has formed to operate through. They are; the Office of Field Operations, Office of Border Patrol, Office of Intelligence, Intelligence Cooperation, and Office of Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine (Samaha, 2005).
These values are meant to make the Customs employees responsible and the agency effective in its work. This Service developed a core value system to improve the standards and encourage professionalism among the employees. There are five components in this core value system, they are, accountability, fairness, integrity, service and pride. The components guide what behavior a Customs Service employee should have. These core values are implemented by the agency through training of the employees (U.S Customs Today, 2001).
Press Release Cases on Law Enforcement Agencies
On March 16th 2001, a report was released on the effort of the United States Custom Service. The report indicated that the agency had, in the previous week, seized four tons of illegal drugs. This was in El Paso west Texas. The Unites States canine enforcement officers, special agents and inspectors had seized 8,606 pounds of marijuana and some cocaine during their 47 seizures done in the past week (Media Services, 2002).
Another press release dated August 2001 indicated that the U.S Customs Service seized 8,000-9,000 tons of marijuana in the Tohono O’ Odham nation, in Menager Dam village. This was done by the Sells office special agents and patrol officers. Some weapons were also confiscated, which the report notes were; five assault riffles, many bullet proof vests, several two-way radios, five hand guns and night vision equipments.
The Customs Service arrested the four people who were involved in the drug trafficking (U.S Customs Service Public Affairs Office, 2001).
Case three: A corruption case in which a Custom’s Service officer took money from a drug trafficker to access Fed police database. The database that was accessed is Treasury Enforcement Communication System. The officer is said to have obtained an amount of $18, 000 from a drug trafficker to check the records of the drug trafficker under two aliases.
The officer is even said to have gone further and checked these aliases against the NCIC database, that gives details on warrants against a person. In this case, both the officer and the drug trafficker were found guilty of their offenses and charged (McCullagh, 2008).