Although Connecticut is the third smallest U.S. state in area, it’s the fourth most densely populated, which means a greater number of federal law enforcement jobs. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that Connecticut had 490 federal law enforcement officers with arrest and firearm authority in 2011. They work for a wide variety of federal agencies that are spread across the state from the 2,454-foot-high peak of Mt. Frissell in the northwest corner to the 96-mile coastline along Long Island Sound.
Educational Requirements for a Federal Law Enforcement Job
In general, a bachelor’s degree is required for a federal law enforcement career. Connecticut is exceptionally rich in fine institutions of higher education. With over 25 colleges/universities, the state has a wide variety of public and private schools to choose from. Students hoping to get a job with a federal law enforcement agency should elect to major in a relevant field such as any of the following:
- Criminal Justice
- Homeland Security
- Law Enforcement
- Paralegal Studies
- Police Science
- Public Safety
United States Coast Guard Academy – New London, Connecticut
The former whaling port of New London, CT is the proud home of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy where high school graduates are transformed into heroes who save lives, protect the environment and defend the nation’s coasts and waterways. Students who successfully complete the four-year program earn a bachelor’s degree in one of the following fields:
- Civil, electrical or mechanical engineering
- Naval architecture
- Marine or environmental science
All students study strategic intelligence and professional maritime studies. Graduates are commissioned as Ensigns in the U.S. Coast Guard.
Federal Law Enforcement Agencies in Connecticut that Deal with Immigration
Much of southern and western Connecticut is part of the New York Metropolitan Area. In addition, Connecticut’s Long Island Sound coastline is directly linked to New York City waterways, making it vulnerable to illegal immigration, human/arms/drug smuggling and terrorist attacks. There often is confusion about the functions of the various federal agencies that handle immigration issues. The following section is should help clear up any bafflement:
- CBP – Responsible for keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the United States and for preventing the illegal entry of other illegal people and goods while simultaneously facilitating international trade and travel. A division under the DHS.
- ICE – Created in 2003 as the main investigative arm of the DHS, ICE is responsible for the federal enforcement of laws related to border control, customs, international trade and immigration
- USCIS – Only oversees lawful immigration into the United States
These immigration agencies often work with each other as well as with other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. On December 10, 2013, as the result of a cooperative investigation of the DHS, ICE and the FBI, two British nationals pled guilty in New Haven to conspiring to provide funds and other resources to terrorists.
The ATF also often joins forces with immigration agencies. New Haven is the hub of the ATF’s operation in Connecticut’s coastal communities. It targets violent crime, especially violations of federal law pertaining to the illegal use and trafficking of firearms and explosives. ATF agents often work undercover infiltrating robbery crews or gun trafficking organizations.
Federal Law Enforcement Agencies in Connecticut
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) – New Haven (field office) and Hartford (field office/industry operations office)
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – New Haven (division office)
- National Park Service (Rangers) – Quinebaug & Shetucket Rivers Valley National Heritage Corridor; Weir Farm National Historic Site (national parks)
- U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) – Hartford (field office)
- U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) – New London (Academy); Branford, West Haven (stations)
- U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) – Hartford (service port); Bridgeport, New Haven, New London (ports of entry)
- U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) – Hartford (resident office); Bridgeport, New Haven, Rocky Hill (field offices)
- U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) – Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven (field offices)
- U.S. Marshals Service – New Haven (district headquarters); Bridgeport, Hartford, Waterbury (district offices)
- U.S. Secret Service – New Haven (field office)