Simi Valley Sophist

The Simi Valley Sophist ruminates on all manner of topics from the micro to the macro. SVS travels whatever path strikes his fancy. Encyclopedia Britannica: Sophist "Any of certain Greek lecturers, writers, and teachers in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, most of whom travelled about the Greek-speaking world giving instruction in a wide range of subjects in return ..."

Location: California, United States

Retired: 30years law enforcement-last 20 years Criminal Intelligence Detective.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

FBI Suggests Lowering Requirements

I am shaking my head at the latest suggestion that a law enforcement agency is considering lessening its hiring requirements. First it was LAPD and now it’s the FBI.
The FBI, famous for its straight-laced crime-fighting image, is considering whether to relax its hiring rules over how often applicants could have used marijuana or other illegal drugs earlier in life.

The change would ease limits about how often — and how many years ago — applicants for jobs such as intelligence analysts, linguists, computer specialists, accountants and others had used illegal drugs.

The rules, however, would not be relaxed for FBI special agents, the fabled "G-men" who conduct most criminal and terrorism investigations. Also, the new plan would continue to ban current drug use.

Drug use and financial problems are key issues in law enforcement since both can make a person susceptible to corruption and recruitment to treason. Obviously law enforcement agencies can not afford to have officers corrupted. What is amazing is that the FBI considers analysts, linguists, computer specialists, and accountants of lesser importance than sworn officers. Is that an example of sworn officer elitism or FBI bureaucratic ineptitude? A foreign intelligence agent compromising an FBI intelligence analyst could be a far greater coup than compromising a sworn FBI agent.

The FBI is undoubtedly, like law enforcement in general, having a difficult time recruiting quality people. The problem is not that there is a lack of qualified people in the population, but rather a problem of competing with the wages, benefits, and working conditions of private industry.

The public must begin to demand that law enforcement, especially the FBI, maintain and enhance the requirements to be a member of law enforcement. That means that the public must be willing to expend additional resources to make law enforcement competitive with private enterprise.