The Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that, as of 2008, there were 1,470 full-time federal law enforcement officers in Kentucky, with the largest number working in the fields of corrections, criminal investigations, police response, court operations, security/protection and inspections/noncriminal investigation (68).
The Criminal Division of the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky through the U.S. Attorney’s Office coordinate a number of programs as to best allocate resources and manpower at the federal, state and local levels. Some of the largest programs in Kentucky where federal law enforcement professionals are utilized include:
- Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF)
- Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN)
- Project Safe Childhood (PSC)
- High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA)
The above programs are designed to provide resources to state and local law enforcement agencies who participate with federal authorities in multi-jurisdictional task forces dedicated to investigating and prosecuting federal crimes.
Federal Law Enforcement Education and Training in Kentucky
A college education has become a common route to a career in federal law enforcement. Most federal law enforcement agencies require a bachelor’s or master’s degree, including the CIA, the U.S. Marshals, the U.S. Secret Service, and the Department of Corrections among others. Further, a college degree is now recognized as an acceptable equivalent to experience for some federal law enforcement jobs, thereby allowing new graduates to enter the workforce faster than ever before.
Beyond a college degree, training is a crucial and necessary component of any federal law enforcement job. The majority of federal law enforcement agencies now send their employees to one of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC), which are located in Georgia, South Carolina, Maryland, and New Mexico.
The closest FLETC for federal law enforcement professionals in Kentucky is the FLETC-Charleston, which is located at the former Charleston Naval Base. The FLETC-Charleston has on-site residential lodging and a number of world-class facilities, including an indoor firing range, a physical techniques facility, and a number of maritime training platforms, including a break bulk freighter.
The newest additions to the FLETC-Charleston Site are the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Courts – Federal Probation and Pretrial Service, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and the Food and Drug Office of Criminal Investigation.
Federal Law Enforcement Offices in Kentucky
A number of federal law enforcement offices are located in the State of Kentucky:
West Virginia is home to the following federal law enforcement agency offices:
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)
- Bowling Green
Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
United States Coast Guard
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- Bowling Green
United States Secret Service
United States Marshals
Federal Law Enforcement at Work in Kentucky
The U.S. Attorney’s Office further breaks down the Criminal Division of the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky as to organize criminal activity and the resources used to combat it. Therefore, careers in federal law enforcement can often be found in the following areas:
Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council: Focuses on federal international and domestic terrorism laws
Community Protection Section: Involves violent crimes such as bank robbery, child exploitation, gang activity, kidnapping, carjacking, sex trafficking, hate crimes, arson, civil rights violations, firearms violations, etc.; also includes violations of two national wildlife refuges, national recreation areas, Corps of Engineers properties, and a national park
Economic and Health Care Fraud: Involves cases involving bank and mortgage fraud, tax fraud, investment fraud, identity theft, and fraud against Medicare, Medicaid and private health insurance providers
Drug Crimes: Includes federal criminal offenses involving the manufacture, importation, possession and distribution of controlled substances
Military: Includes felony and misdemeanor offenses that occur in Kentucky’s two major military installations: Fort Knox and Fort Campbell.