Reprinted from www.libertylobby.org, home of The SPOTLIGHT archive
Federal Police Ranks Swell to 80,000
Even as the federal government works to disarm honest citizens, it is arming its menial functionaries. This is in addition to those one would expect to be armed, such as members of the U.S. Marshall's Service or agents of the FBI.
WorldNetDaily reported finding nearly 60,000 armed federal agents. But a continuing investigation Indicates that number is conservative in the extreme. New documentation shows the number is more than 80,000.
With 25,000 new agents in training each year at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center for the next three years -- as is projected -- that number is sure to rise.
According to reports by the General Accounting Office (GAO), there are 49,630 agents engaged n criminal investigation and law enforcement distributed through 45 agencies. Of these, 45,366 are in 13 agencies -- FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service, National Park Service and so forth.
Each has more than 700 armed agents. An additional 4,264 law enforcement investigators work in 32 agencies that have fewer than 700 armed agents.
The Customs Service has 2,826 agents counted in the 49,630 GAO report. Not counted are an additional 7,145 Customs inspectors and 317 Customs pilots. The omission can be attributed to bureaucracy. These 7,462 are not covered by certain retirement provisions, according to the Office of Personnel Management and were, therefore, outside the parameters of the request by Congress to the GAO.
Also, their jobs are not, primarily, law enforcement. The Treasury Department does, however, count the armed inspectors, since they are authorized to conduct investigations, searches, make arrests and -- carry firearms.
All together, the figure nears 60,000. And, two recent GAO reports revealed another 1,669 armed agents, including:
* 959 additional law enforcement rangers in the National Park Service;
In a 1995 report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the total number of armed agents was put at 68,825. That's a lot higher than the 1997 figures from the GAO.
The reason is that the justice statistics counted additional categories of armed employees -- those who had arrest powers but did not engage in criminal investigations. These are jobs dealing with security and protection, court operations and so forth. For instance, there are 1,458 armed Postal Service employees. Presumably this is not counting those who "go postal."
Justice also counted 5,852 in the Administrative Office of the U.S. courts, who supervise federal offenders on probation and parole and arrest violators.
Another 11,073 employees are listed in "corrections." The term prison guard is not longer in regular use. The Bureau of Prisons told WorldNetDaily the figure of armed "corrections" officers is about 14,5000.
This is not an official total, as no government agency has ever counted the actual number of armed personnel employed by the government in any and all capacities. Unofficial estimates are more than 80,000 and rising steadily.