Iowa Federal Law Enforcement Jobs

Federal law enforcement officials in the country’s heartland are working hard alongside state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to ensure that breaches in federal law are investigated.  In fact, Iowa is part of the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, as it has seen an explosion of methamphetamine in recent years due to its central location, its complex interstate highway system, and its large, undocumented foreign national workforce.

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According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 275 law enforcement officers (full-time) named Iowa as their primary state of employment in 2008. The largest number of federal law enforcement officers in Iowa was employed in the area of criminal investigations/enforcement (138), followed by court operations (75) and police response/patrol (44).

Federal Law Enforcement Education and Training in Iowa

The path to a career in federal law enforcement often begins with a four-year degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Although not all federal law enforcement agencies require a college degree, many now recognize a degree as a minimum requirement for most jobs. Just a few of the federal law enforcement agencies that now demand a bachelor’s degree or higher include the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Marshals.

Training is also an integral component of federal law enforcement jobs in Iowa, and the majority of training takes place at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC), which is headquartered in Glynco, Georgia, although there are satellite training centers in South Carolina, Maryland, and New Mexico, as well.

The FLETC serves as a federal law enforcement training center for 91 federal agencies, as well as state, local, tribal and international law enforcement agencies. Many federal agencies have transferred all of part of their training operations to one of the FLETC’s sites as to coordinate the activities of their personnel and to conduct agency-specific programs.

Federal Law Enforcement Offices in Iowa

Iowa is home to the following federal law enforcement agency offices:

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)

  • Des Moines
  • Cedar Rapids
  • Davenport
  • Sioux City

Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

  • Des Moines

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

  • Des Moines

United States Secret Service

  • Des Moines

United States Marshals

  • Cedar Rapids
  • Des Moines


Careers in Federal Law Enforcement in Iowa

The Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa, through the United States Attorney’s Office, organizes its criminal division as to best enforce federal criminal laws in the State of Iowa. The Criminal Division of the Southern District is organized into the following divisions:

Terrorism and National Security: Works with partners in law enforcement, the intelligence community and the military to combat and defeat terrorism

Fraud and Corruption: Investigates and prosecutes complex fraud, public corruption and financial crimes alongside the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Housing and Urban Development-Office of the Inspector General, and the FDIC-Office of the Inspector General

Narcotics Trafficking and Violent Crime: Works with the Drug Enforcement Administration and a number of state and local drug enforcement task forces to investigate and prosecute federal criminal offenses involved with the importation, possession, distribution, and manufacture of controlled substances

Computer Crimes, Child Exploitation, and Human Trafficking: Works with a number of agencies to prosecute computer-related crimes and those that involve the sexual exploitation of children and Internet child pornography

Environmental and Wildlife Crimes: Works with the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to investigate and prosecute criminal violations of federal environmental laws

Immigration Crimes and Program Fraud: Ensures the integrity of government programs and immigration laws and coordinates with the Department of Homeland Security

Civil Rights: Works with the U.S. Department of Justice to assess complaints involving criminal civil rights laws

The Criminal Division of the Northern District of Iowa purses federal crimes through the following programs:

  • Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force
  • High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area
  • White Collar
  • Anti-Terrorism
  • Computer/Internet Crime
  • Immigration offenses

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