According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there were 3,992 federal law enforcement officers in Virginia in 2008. The largest number of federal law enforcement officers (1,901) was in the field of criminal investigation/enforcement, followed by police response/patrol (906), corrections/detention (507), and inspections/noncriminal investigations (459).
The Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia within the U.S. Attorney’s Office are responsible for prosecuting cases that arise from a large number of criminal offenses investigated by law enforcement partners at every level. The following programs are a coordinated effort between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies:
- National Security and International Crime Unit
- Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Unit
- Major Crimes and Narcotics Unit
- Cybercrime Unit
Federal Law Enforcement Education and Training in Virginia
A career in a federal law enforcement agency typically begins with the completion of a comprehensive college degree program from a regionally accredited college or university. A large number of federal law enforcement agencies demand, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree for positions in analytics, business, and information technology, while other agencies, such as the U.S. Marshals, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Secret Service, for example, require a four-year degree as a minimum requirement.
Beyond a comprehensive college education, most federal law enforcement jobs in Virginia require the completion of a recognized training program, usually through the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC).
In addition to the FBI’s training facility in Quantico, Virginia, for FBI employees, federal law enforcement employees complete their training through one of the FLETC’s training centers. The closest FLETC training center for federal law enforcement professionals in Virginia is FLETC-Cheltenham in Maryland.
The FLETC-Cheltenham, which was established in 2000 and is located just 15 minutes from Washington D.C., consists of nearly 400 acres and a number of facilities and programs, including:
- Indoor firing range
- Multi-purpose classrooms
- Computer laboratories
- Driver training simulators
- Video teleconferencing
- Firearms simulators
Federal Law Enforcement Offices in Virginia
The following federal law enforcement offices are located in Virginia:
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)
- Falls Church
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
- Richmond district office
- Roanoke resident office
U.S. Secret Service
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
- Front Royal
- New River Valley Airport
- Norfolk-Newport News (service port)
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
United States Coast Guard
- Cape Charles
- Ft. Eustis
- Virginia Beach
Careers in Federal Law Enforcement in Virginia
The presence of federal law enforcement professionals in Virginia is highlighted by recent headlines to originate from the Eastern and Western Virginia Districts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office:
- A man was sentenced to 70 months in prison for conspiring to commit money laundering, bank fraud, and computer fraud, all of which were related to a home equity line of credit scheme. The case was investigated by the FBI, the United States Secret Service, and the U.S. Marshals.
- Leaders of a jewelry theft ring were sentenced for their participation in a violent and sophisticated drug ring that operated out of Richmond, Virginia. The federal law enforcement agencies involved in this investigation included the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, and a large number of state and local law enforcement agencies.
- A New Jersey man was sentenced to 108 months in prison for traveling to Virginia to have sex with a minor. Federal law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation included U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
- Seven individuals, all of whom are suspected high-ranking members and associates of a street gang called the Black P-Stones, were charged with murder, attempted murder, racketeering, robbery, and conspiracy to distribute marijuana. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was involved in this investigation.