Should I join the ATF, ICE, FBI, US MARSHALS?

I've wanted to join a federal agency for a long time, now i'm in my sophomore year at UCLA and I want to know what agency I should join. I would like to make arrests and conduct investigations in the fields of Drug and Weapons trafficking, Terrorism, Homicide, Arson or Gang Violence. Of the 4 its been hardest to find info on the ATF, I would like to know how many investigations they perform and arrests they make (how boring it is). Also I know all jobs require a lot of paperwork but I would like to work in the field as often as possible. I've considered the LAPD but I think I want to conduct larger investigations and have more authority.


Also what weapons are they provided with and do they get to choose their service pistol?

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    If you have a 4.0 in your field of study, they will be looking for you.

    Homeland Security is growing,also saw an ad for CIA the other day.

    See wikipedia: Homeland Security, a lot of old departments are now housed under HLS

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  • 1 decade ago

    Don't forget the DEA, whose mission statement includes involvement with gangs. The DEA also has opportunities for agents who demonstrate the abilities to work in clandestine (undercover) operations outside of the U.S., but such assignments are even more risky to an agent's life than the average "narc," who is seen by gangs and cartels as worse than the average law enforcement officer in that he poses a greater direct threat to their profits -- the bottom line to that especially vicious and desperate variety of criminal.

    In its beginning, and for many years, the FBI had jurisdiction over every area of federal law enforcement. Although that is no longer the case, the Bureau still thinks it's in the Hoover days and, for all intents and purposes, investigates everything from murder, bank robbery and kidnapping involving interstate flight to drugs, money-laundering and counter-intelligence. The last three, being more in the purview of the DEA, the Marshals Service and sundry intelligence agencies with countless initials, are not really "theirs" anymore, but it's hard to let go. As a result, the FBI is often seen as sticking its nose where it doesn't belong, or being holier-than-thou, but they do always get their man, so to speak. As a tradition, the FBI used to look only for CPAs (accountants) and lawyers, but now there are three other areas of expertise they accept: foreign language fluency (read "Arabic," "Farsi," etc.), computer technology and "diversified." You must be 23 years old upon acceptance as a Special Agent.

    Don't let the words ATF stand for deceive you. By the way, there is really an E at the end: the agancy's full name is Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and it has various fun specialties including firearms trafficking, violent crime impact teams, the National Integrated

    Ballistic Information Center and the U.S. Bomb Data Center. Theirs is a dangerous job with considerable fieldwork. All of these agencies are part of the bureaucracy and therefore require hours of paperwork on a daily basis, the ATF no more than any other.

    The U.S. Marshals Service for the most part hunts down escaped convicts (see Tommy Lee Jones and Harrison Ford) and Witness Protection (see re-runs of the TV series "In Plain View," filmed right here where I live in Albuquerque), although they also protect federal judges and have other dutues.

    ICE, the largest investigative agency within the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, has about 19,000 employees in more than 400 offices worldwide. Their organization is divided into four main areas: Detention and Removal, Investigations, Intelligence and International Affairs. Anything that's part of Homeland Security, in my opinion, is bound be be over-secretive, corrupt and abusive of its powers. But that's just my opinion.

    As far as firearms are concerned, the policies for basic sidearms vary from agency to agency, although the FBI has held out for revolvers for the longest time because it just doesn't want to count on any gun that might jam when you need it.

    Try to be patient. If you pass the background and psych evaluations, which are rigorous, and exceed the basic requirements (because there are lots of people just like you who are fluent in multiple exotic languages or have CPAs or law degrees or are genius computer hackers), you'll get a shot at it -- no pun intended. But even then, you'll start out as the Probie and have to work your way up the long ladder.

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  • My opinion is, you should join Homeland Security. ICE is a branch of H.S. and there are many different posts you could look into that would give you that rush and career thill you're seeking. For going into a federal branch...good for you. I wish I still could.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Get a job at interpol. Obama gave them the authority to enforce the law but are not liable for breaking it.

    They are the new secret police for him.

    Figured you would need a source to believe me so there it is.

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