What Are Postal Police

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 6 minute read

Over one hundred million pieces of mail are handled by the United States Postal Service (USPS), which is owned and operated by the federal government.

What are the duties of the Postal Police? The post office, like any other federal agency, has a law enforcement system known as the postal police.

In 2022, what role will postal officers play in the United States post office?

For crimes that have a connection to mail, postal inspectors or postal police are called in to investigate. “Postal crimes” refers to crimes related to mail such as mail theft, mail fraud, identity theft, and crimes against postal workers such as assault, threats, and theft. They are sworn federal officers who carry guns, make arrests, and serve federal search warrants and subpoenas, making the postal police a real law enforcement agency.

Keep reading to learn more about the postal police, the crimes they investigate, and the steps you need to take to become a postal officer!

What Are The Duties Of The Postal Cops?

Those who work with the post office to investigate postal crimes are known as postal inspectors or the postal police.

It is the job of postal police to investigate postal crimes and prepare them for trial, working closely with the United States Attorney’s Office and other law enforcement agencies.

Therefore, the organizations with which postal police work vary greatly based on the case under investigation.

While the Postal Police may work with CBP and Homeland Security in cases involving international mail, they are more likely to work with local police departments and state agencies in domestic cases.

Around 1,200 postal police officers, also known as postal inspectors, are deployed both domestically and abroad to enforce the more than two hundred federal laws pertaining to crimes against the postal service.

There are more than 600,000 postal service employees and billions in postal mail that are protected by the postal police.

What Is a Postal Robbery?

Crimes committed at the post office, mail, or post office employees are known as postal crimes.

The following are examples of postal crimes:

  • Theft of letters in the mail
  • Forgery of a letter
  • The theft of money
  • Theft of a person’s identity
  • Postal robberies and burglaries are on the rise.
  • Postal workers have been threatened or assaulted.
  • Inquiries into mails deemed to be dangerous or prohibited.
  • Narcotics
  • Cybercrime

A wide range of postal crimes necessitates the USPIS to be broken into seven different investigative teams, each with its own specific mission.

To begin with, the Fraud team, which investigates fraud perpetrated against consumers, businesses, and government agencies by using the postal service/mail.

This unit looks into mail fraud, bank fraud, credit card fraud, and other forms of identity theft.

Many white-collar crimes, including Ponzi schemes, are prosecuted by the fraud investigative team of the USPIS.

The External Crimes Team is the USPIS’s second investigation unit.

Nonemployee theft of mail, robberies, assaults, and murders of postal employees, burglaries of postal facilities, and thefts of postal property are all investigated by the External Crimes team.

As part of the US Postal Service, the External Crimes team is responsible for protecting the integrity of the system and ensuring the safety of its employees.

Lastly, the Prohibited Mailing Investigations unit of the USPIS is tasked with investigating the mailing of illegal substances such as drugs, explosives, and weapons.

Postal money orders are commonly used to launder drugs and other proceeds, and as such, this type of investigation is typically associated with it.

It is the responsibility of the Aviation and Homeland Security Team, one of the four divisions of the USPIS, to ensure the safety of mail transport and to guard against any threats to national security.

Additionally, this team conducts security audits in order to make sure that the postal service’s facilities are safe from both natural and man-made disasters.

Businesses and consumers who mail items without proper postage, counterfeit postage, or crimes that defraud the USPS of revenue are investigated by the Revenue Investigations team.

The International Investigations and Global Security team is the sixth USPIS division.

It is the responsibility of this team to ensure that international mail is safe and secure as well as the safety and security of international business and campaign decisions.

It’s the seventh and final group on USPIS, and it focuses on cases involving other law enforcement agencies that deal with laws affecting postal services but not postal laws.

Is the Postal Service’s “Postal Police” really a police force?

According to popular belief, police officers who can make arrests and have access to firearms are the only ones who are considered “real.”

It’s safe to say that postal inspectors are, in fact, real police officers if we use this as our standard.

Armed postal police officers can be called upon to serve federal search and seizure orders as well as arrests. They are also authorized to issue subpoenas and serve as witnesses in criminal investigations.

In a typical year, there are approximately:

  • About 12,000 criminal suspects need to be arrested
  • About 800 postal-related assaults and credible threats have to be dealt with.
  • At least 1,500 people have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in drug trafficking or money laundering.
  • Involve hundreds of law enforcement officers in the investigation of mail-related child sex exploitation offenses.
  • Thousands of forensic examinations have been performed and numerous court appearances have been made to give expert testimony.

How Can You Become A Postal Policeman?

Making sure you’re qualified for a job is always the first step in applying for one.

If you want to work as a postal cop, you need to be between the ages of 21 and 37, have a bachelor’s degree and a valid driver’s license, have no felony or domestic violence convictions, be fluent in English, and have a clean criminal record.

Additionally, you must be open to relocation and be able to pass a drug test, as the USPS is strongly committed to maintaining a drug-free workplace.

To become a postal police officer, you must first meet the qualifications.

This link will take you to the USPIS website where you can apply for this position.

You will receive an email with a link to Exam Part I, a timed, multiple-choice exam that must be completed within 72 hours of receiving the email, once you’ve created a brief personal profile and completed the application.

Successful candidates will receive an eCAP (Electronic Comprehensive Application Packet), which they must complete within 120 hours of receiving it via email, along with all required documents.

For Exam Part II, you’ll need to attend an Information Exchange and complete the Questionnaire for National Security Positions SF 86 after passing the eCAP.

To be invited to the Assessment Center in Potomac, you must pass the Language Exam after passing Exam Part II.

There is a polygraph test to verify the information you provided on the SF 86 Questionnaire once you arrive at Assessment Center.

Following the polygraph, you’ll move on to management interviews, and then you’ll be in the selection pool for two years.

Getting into the pool does not guarantee a job as a postal inspector, but it does give you the opportunity to do so.

Check out our other posts on USPS driveway policy, USPS dog bite policy, and rural carrier for more information.

Bottom Line

Inspectors are sworn federal law enforcement officials who carry a gun, arrest people for federal crimes and serve search warrants and subpoenas on behalf of the United States Postal Service.

Postal crimes, such as mail fraud and theft, as well as crimes against postal workers, such as robberies, assaults, and threats, are the sole focus of postal police officers.

The United States Postal Inspection Service has seven divisions, each of which deals with a specific type of postal crime.

The lengthy and labor-intensive process of becoming a postal police officer is described in detail on their website, where you can also apply to become a postal inspector.

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