With major drug smuggling routes crossing the state combined with organized crime, there is seldom a dull moment for federal law enforcement officers in Arkansas. Totaling 4,342 defense and homeland security officials by a recent count, a variety of federal agencies work both independently and as part of an organized and concerted effort to stop everything from white-collar financial crimes to immigration, drugs, and weapons violations. Federal law enforcement jobs in Arkansas are supported by funding that included a recent Homeland Security State Program grant totaling over $2.8 million, ensuring federal-local partnerships in Arkansas continue to flourish.
The recent operations profiled represent most of the federal law enforcement agencies in Arkansas, but not all. Candidates interested in federal law enforcement careers will be interested to know where they can expect to be stationed in their state. Although operations can take place at any location, major offices of federal law enforcement agencies are located in the following areas:
- Arkansas Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security in North Little Rock
- FBI Little Rock Field Office at 24 Shackleford West Boulevard
- DEA Little Rock District Office on 10825 Financial Parkway
- ATF Little Rock Field Office at 425 West Capitol
- US Secret Service Office in Little Rock
- Customs and Border Protection Ports of Entry in:
- Little Rock-North Little Rock
- Rogers Airport
- US Marshals offices in:
- Little Rock
- Pine Bluff
- Fort Smith
- Hot Springs
- El Dorado
Career Requirements in Federal Law Enforcement
Arkansas federal law enforcement jobs usually require a four-year degree. Just as there is a wide range of federal agencies, there is also a wide range of possible degree programs prospective candidates can choose from, including:
- Forensic Science
- Emergency Management
- Public Safety
- Police Science
- Homeland Security
- Public Administration
- Crime Scene Investigation
These are some of the more common subject areas, and nowhere near the limits of qualifying degree programs. Other pertinent fields include the natural sciences, computer science, IT, and linguistics.
Recent Federal Law Enforcement Busts across Arkansas
- An Arkansas FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested a man on charges relating to alleged attacks he made on the state’s power grid. Agents raided the suspects home when they were tipped off by his neighbors who heard a loud explosion. The suspect is accused of toppling power lines on several occasions and setting fire to a switching station, causing over $2 million in damage.
- In a sweep of Pilgrim’s Pride chicken plants in five states, ICE Agents arrested hundreds of suspects on charges relating to immigration violations, including 20 people from Batesville. The raids came a few years after a manager at the company’s De Queen plant was also charged with an immigration violation.
- The FBI recently raided the business of a Rogers man suspected of committing mail and wire fraud plus money laundering. US marshals questioned the man, whose suspected front was a cancer research center.
- Agents with the DEA’s Little Rock District Office, in cooperation with US Marshals and ATF Agents, recently arrested 21 suspects on charges relating to illegal drugs. As part of several raids, 2.5 pounds of methamphetamine was seized along with nine vehicles, firearms, and $66,000 cash.
- US Secret Service Agents and US Marshals partnered with the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office in a recent operation targeting sex offenders. In total eight teams of law enforcement officers arrested 30 sex offenders for various violations of their terms of release.
- A three-year investigation conducted by local law enforcement in cooperation with the FBI recently ended as 20 suspects were arrested in a West Memphis sting operation. Investigators made the arrests in the early hours of the morning, finding weapons and quantities of drugs on the suspects.
Air Security in Arkansas
Federal law enforcement officers are also responsible for the air and ground security at the state’s airports, including its two largest:
- Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport serving Little Rock
- Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport serving Fayetteville
Air Marshals play an important role in security as armed officers who fly incognito on board flights, while TSA Agents screen passengers for weapons and explosives before they board their airliners. TSA Agents recently made news at the Little Rock airport when they notified police after finding a loaded gun and ammunition in the carry-on luggage of a man who turned out to be former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s son.