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Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw Enforcement & Police · 5 years ago

Whats the hierarchy of US law enforcement agencies am i right in thinking homeland security is at the top?

2 Answers

  • Greg N
    Lv 6
    5 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Each agency serves different purposes. As a result, there is no hierarchy. Hierarchy only exists two agencies are responsible for identical things.

    Generally, "Homeland Security" is a cabinet position. It's leader is called the secretary of Homeland Security. Then there's the Department of Justice, led by the attorney general. Both are equal parts of the US president's administration.

    The Department of Homeland Security includes Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Secret Service, Transportation Security Administration (that annoying agency that makes you undress at airport security checkpoints), etc. The Department of Justice includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF or ATF), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), etc. While some laws enforced by each agency overlap, each agency is responsible for different areas of the law. For example, the DEA is responsible for major drug investigations, but CBP catches many drug smugglers and ICE investigates their activities when they are entering the United States.

    Many would say the FBI is the top law enforcement agency in the United States. They are certainly the most glorified and responsible for a wide range of investigations. The FBI, as mentioned before, is part of the Department of Justice, NOT Homeland Security.

    Remember also there are numerous other federal law enforcement agencies that do not fall under Justice or Homeland Security. The Department of the Interior includes US Forest Service park rangers, some of whom are armed law enforcement officers. Perhaps one of the most obscure law enforcement agencies is the Office of Law Enforcement for National Fisheries. This agency falls under the Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Then there's the CIA Police, a police department that patrols the grounds of CIA headquarters. The US Capitol Police do the same for the United States Capitol building, while the Pentagon (Department of Defense) has it's own police department as well.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Each agency has areas of jurisdiction. There isn't a specific hierarchy.

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