Federal law enforcement in Minnesota offers both internal protection against dangerous criminal entities and lone wolf terrorists, and external protection at the state’s international ports of entry and borders. Having the right combination of education and training is critical to being eligible for federal law enforcement jobs in Minnesota. Although requirements vary among the many federal agencies, a bachelor’s degree usually opens the door to all of these.
Last year there were 4,273 federal employees working in federal defense and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in Minnesota, and this number could rise in the coming years thanks to the following grants from the DHS for collaborative efforts between federal, state, and local law enforcement specialists:
- State Homeland Security Program- promotes activities that support the establishment of fusion centers across Minnesota
- Urban Areas Security Initiative- focuses on terrorism training collaborations between local police and federal agencies
- Operation Stonegarden- promotes local, state and federal cooperative missions along Minnesota’s international border
- Metropolitan Medical Response System Program- focuses on biological, radiological, chemical, and nuclear disaster joint-agency training
- Port Security Grant Program- provides resources for enhanced detection efforts at ports such as the Groupt II Minneapolis/Saint Paul and Duluth/Superior Ports for attacks involving IEDs and weapons of mass destruction
Preparing for Successful Federal Law Enforcement Careers in Minnesota
Agents currently working in federal law enforcement careers in Minnesota did not stumble upon these by accident; serving and protecting Minnesota and the United States as a federal law enforcement officer is a privileged culmination of years of planning and education. Most federal law enforcement jobs in Minnesota require at least a four-year degree in areas such as:
- Homeland Security
- Public Safety
- Emergency Management
- Forensic Science
- Police Science
- Crime Scene Investigation
Specialized agents may come from backgrounds in information technology, linguistics, or any other strategic major.
Combating Terrorism and Crime in Minnesota
Federal law enforcement agents have been involved with several recent high-profile terrorism cases in Minnesota:
- In early May of 2013 FBI agents raided a Montevideo man’s mobile home to find pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails, and multiple weapons including an advanced AK-47 assault rifle. Federal agents believe the man was planning a domestic terrorist assault and thanks to collaboration with ATFE Agents and tips coming in from local law enforcement, FBI agents were able to arrest and initially charge the man with being a felon in possession of a firearm.
- After CIA participation in an investigation into the recent Kenya shopping mall terrorist attack perpetrated by Somali-based al-Shabab, it was revealed that two of the terrorists were probably from Minnesota. Further reports indicate that officials from the Department of Homeland Security along with specialized Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents have been involved in an investigation in conjunction with the FBI and CIA that has tracked at least 20 men from Minnesota who have flown to al-Shabab bases overseas and joined the terrorist organization.
And besides terrorism, federal law enforcement officials are tasked with securing Minnesota’s land and maritime international border with Canada. This poses its own challenges and involves multiple federal agencies:
- US Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Teams and Marine Safety Units patrol Lake Superior alongside Customs and Border Protection Agents looking for drug smugglers, who resort to everything from hot air narco-balloon drops to submarine deliveries.
- In an opium seizure totaling nearly half-a-million dollars, a CBP Canine Unit at a busy international mail facility alerted to two packages from Laos being sent to Minnesota addresses. In one of the packages agents discovered pieces of cloth wrapped in plastic, and in the other, invoiced as “Traditional Medicines,” agents discovered pieces of wood chips and leaves. These substances were all tested for drugs and CBP investigators found them to be saturated with opium.
- CBP Agents at the International Falls rail inspection facility recently found 7,920 items that are part of an ongoing attack on US commodities costing an estimated $2 trillion in damages. No, these were not terrorist weapons of mass destruction; CBP Agents discovered a freight car with 990 cases of woven willow baskets from China containing sprouting buds and flexible tissue. Potentially containing agricultural pests, they were destroyed because of the risk they posed to US forests and plant species.
Important Federal Law Enforcement Offices in Minnesota
Minnesota federal law enforcement jobs are based out of cities and ports all across the state. These include:
- US Coast Guard, based out of Duluth at 600 South Lake Avenue
- FBI Field Office in Minneapolis at 1501 Freeway Boulevard
- DEA Diversion Control Minneapolis/Saint Paul District Office at 100 Washington Avenue South in Suite 800
- ATFE Saint Paul Field Office located at 30 East Seventh Street in Suite 1900
- US Marshal’s Minnesota District Office in Minneapolis at the US Courthouse on 300 South Fourth Street
- Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management Office in Saint Paul, located at 445 Minnesota Street in Suite 223
- ICE’s Saint Paul Enforcement and Removal Operations Field Office in Bloomington, located on 2901 Metro Drive in Suite 100
- CBP border stations in:
- Grand Portage
- International Falls
The Minnesota Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management also operates the country’s premier integrated training center, located at Camp Ripley on 15000 Highway 15 in Little Falls.