A Look into the Recruitment Process into Drug Enforcement Administration and the Los Angeles Police Department
Drug Enforcement Administration is a federal government agency of the United States of America tasked with the elimination or drug smuggling, trafficking, peddling, and all other drug related activities within the country’s borders (Allgov, 2014). The agency often shares jurisdiction with other federal government agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement in their roles as they build on overseas drug investigations and pursue drug dealers. The Drug Enforcement Administration has a special operations division that is tasked with the interception of various forms of communication. The intercepts are then used together with databases of other federal agencies and local law enforcement departments to establish links to drug related activities and plan operations.
The Los Angeles Police department is the primary law enforcement force, made up of about ten thousand sworn officers and three thousand civilians, tasked with the maintenance of law and order within California’s city of Los Angeles (Los Angeles Police Foundation, 2015). The department has various units within its structures such as SWAT, off-road enforcement, the mounted unit, special operations support division, air support, art theft, and gaming and narcotics units, among others. The units are well equipped with both personnel and hardware to assist them to effectively perform their duties and responsibilities.
To join the DEA as one of their agents, one has to meet a number of minimum requirements, as well as pass several examinations. The minimum requirements include American citizenship, a clean and valid driver’s license, must be between 21 and 37 years of age, and possess near normal hearing and visual abilities. In addition to these requirements, hopeful candidates are required to have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree or show proof of extensive experience in law enforcement related activities. These activities include gathering and analyzing evidence, surveillance, working undercover, or narcotics related operations (U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, 2015). Bachelor’s degree holders are expected to have managed GPA points of 2.95 and above, while holders of Master’s qualifications in law do not have minimum scores.
Once these minimum conditions are met, potential recruits then advance to the testing stage where their physical abilities are put to test and their mental and psychological states evaluated to determine suitability for the job, as well as eliminate candidates with pathological disorders and those lacking physical fitness. Background checks are also performed to ensure no histories of serious crimes and a polygraph administered to establish that the information provided by the applicant is indeed truthful.
Admittance into the LAPD is a more lengthy process with more steps to be completed before the applicant is taken into the training academy. A preliminary background application and job preview questionnaire are issued online to the potential recruit to determine suitability and advice on matters that need resolving prior to admission. Printed results of this test must be brought when the applicant attends the written test. An essay to determine the suitability of candidates on matters such as decision making, communication skills and flexibility is administered. Persons who fail this test can retake it at a later time but not before six months have lapsed (City of Los Angeles Personnel Department, 2014).
Upon passing these tests, a physical abilities exam is conducted where factors such as endurance, strength and endurance are tested. This is followed by a department interview, a medical and psychological evaluation which if passed, the applicant is issued with a certificate of appointment.
There are various, fundamental differences between the recruitment processes of the two agencies. The DEA recruitment process is straightforward and explicit in the type of candidates they desire to recruit. The LAPD recruitment process is, however, quite ambiguous as some of the tests are not clear on the skills and abilities they wish to determine during the process. In addition to this, the process seems to have multiple loops where some processes could be replicating and duplicating aspects already determined by prior or later processes. In light of these factors, the DEA recruitment process seems more effective in achieving the desired results and establishing the most suitable candidates for the job.
Allgov. (2014). U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
City of Los Angeles Personnel Department. (2014). Application Process.
Los Angeles Police Foundation. (2015). Inside the LAPD.
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration: United States Department of Justice. (2015). DEA Special Agent Careers.