For a long period of time, illegal drugs have become a nuisance in the society. Many lives have been taken and wasted because of illegal drugs. Many families have also been broken due to drug involvement of one of the family members. The futures of the young people have also been risked by drugs. As such, the government has taken all the effort to curtail the illegal drugs in the society by enacting laws criminalizing illegal drug-related activities, implementing programs for the people, and creating agencies to enforce the law, among others.
One of the agencies created by the government to deal with the problem in illegal drugs is the Drug Enforcement Agency or DEA (Morgan, 2000). The primary task of DEA is to investigate and arrest drug traffickers in the United States and even abroad (Morgan, 2000). Notably, since the agency is involved in investigation and arrest, the agency has been placed under the umbrella of the Justice Department. In addition, the agency is focused only on major drug traffickers who act as the very root of the illegal drug-related crimes.
Besides, by eliminating the drug traffickers, there is a big potential that distribution of drugs and the manufacture of it will be stopped. The DEA fulfills its responsibilities in three ways. Primarily, the agency enforces drug laws that have been enacted (Morgan, 2000). Second, the agency monitors the intelligence networks of drugs through cooperation and coordination with the local law enforcement agencies and abroad (Morgan, 2000). In addition, the agency is also tasked to combat distribution operations, assist in the investigations, and arrest dealers both major and minor (Morgan, 2000).
Lastly, in order to fully put a stop on the operation of drugs, the agency can seize the assets related to drug trafficking (Morgan, 2000). The responsibility of the DEA is undeniably extensive and encompassing. Hence, various positions should be filled and a number of employees should be hired. From the organizational chart of the agency, there are many ranks and many positions in each rank. There are positions available for lab technicians, lawyers, budget analysts, and administrative workers (Mannion, 2007).
But the most common and challenging career at DEA is being an agent. The agents may be male or female who are brave enough and willing to become the front liners in battling drugs (Mannion, 2007). An applicant seeking a career as special agent at DEA should be a U. S. citizen, aged 21 to 36, with valid driver’s license, college degree holder with a minimum of 2. 95 grade point average, and have vision correctable to 20/20 in one eye and 20/40 in the other (Morgan, 2007).
Aside from these, the applicant should pass the interview process, polygraph test, psychological examination, and physically fitness test (Morgan, 2007). In addition, applicants for any positions at DEA are specially considered when they have background in law enforcement, economics, finance, and computer technology (Mannion, 2007). This is because the agency is not merely involved in one field but covers all fields in the society. The continuing development in technology also makes it relevant to agents to have technological knowledge.
Furthermore, applicants fluent in other languages, especially Middle East and Asian, would add to their edge because the agents do not merely deal with Americans but also to foreigners. Significantly, drug traffickers and manufacturers are using technologies and experts in committing their crime and in order to secure their business from DEA. Hence, DEA should also double its effort and intelligence in its war against drugs. The qualifications have been made in such a way that agents must be determined and capable to fulfill their responsibilities.
The responsibilities of a special agent are intricate and risky. The responsibility includes, conduction of surveillance, infiltration of drug-trafficking organizations, investigation, arrest of suspects, confiscation of illegal drugs, conduction of money-laundering investigation, collection and preparation of evidences, and giving testimonies in cases involving drugs (Mannion, 2007). It can be observed that these tasks are encompassing as it involves the responsibilities bestowed upon law enforcers with expertise on such field.
Furthermore, the agents are also required to use their discretions in a proper way because they are bestowed with investigatory duties. Working at DEA can be promising. It is not only because it is highly paid but also because of the social importance of the role being played in the society. Notably, an agent of DEA earns from $24,000 to $35,000 annually (Morgan, 2000). However, the salary is always dependent to the qualifications met, experience, position and expertise of the applicant.
Since the job of combating drug traffickers and dealers is a tough and life-threatening job, the government afforded benefits package for the employees. The benefits given to DEA employees include insurance, retirement compensation, vacation and sick leaves, health benefits, and many more (U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration). Moreover, there is career growth because everyone is given a chance to be promoted depending on his or her performance and period of service in the agency.
Furthermore, trainings and programs are afforded to employees that are necessary in the enhancement of their knowledge and development of their skills. Hence, working at DEA is not only challenging but also involves everyday learning. Working at DEA is not only financially satisfying. The individual participation in combating the problems in the society and in helping the government in keeping peace in order in the society is more than enough to give satisfaction. The satisfaction that is brought by fulfilling your role in the society is more worthwhile than a paycheck.
Hence, DEA does not only open windows for career growth. But rather, it also contributes to the growth of the well-being of the person. References Mannion, J. (2007). The Everything Guide to Government Jobs: A Complete Handbook to Hundreds of Lucrative Opportunities Across the Nation. USA: Everything Books. Morgan, M. (2000). Careers in Criminology. Los Angeles: McGraw-Hill Professional. U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration. (2008). Careers at DEA. Retrieved December 4, 2008, from http://www. usdoj. gov/dea/resources/job_applicants. html.