Free Essay Sample on Drug Enforcement Administration

Published: 2022-03-09
Free Essay Sample on Drug Enforcement Administration
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Government Drug abuse
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 844 words
8 min read

Drug Enforcement Administration - this agency is mandated to enforce the federal laws on drugs abuse and drug trafficking. The mission of DEA includes enforcing the United States controlled substance laws, bringing to justice organizations and individuals involved in productions, and trade in controlled substances either existing in the United States or destined to the United States (DEA, 2017). The mission of DEA also includes making recommendations of non-enforcing programs that can lead to a reduction in the availability of illicit substances either domestically or in the international market (DEA, 2017). The operations of DEA extends beyond the borders of the United States, with the sole aim of preventing illicit drugs and other substances from getting into the country.

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Size of Drug Enforcement Administration

As of 2017, it was estimated that DEA had close to 10,800 employees spread across its seven key departments. The departments include administrative departments which include human resources, and financial management departments. The operations departments comprises of intelligence, inspections, and operations support as well as filed divisions. All the departments are managed from the agency headquarters with offices spread out within the country and also outside the country.

With a budget of over $2 billion, the agency has 21 domestic field divisions across the country, and 92 foreign offices that are spread out in 70 countries (Dolliver, 2015 and Levy, Paulozzi, Mack, & Jones, 2015). The operations of DEA can be broken down into four key departments. The special agents are involved in making raids, and DEA has over 4650 of them (Dolliver, 2015). Next is the aviation division, which is based in the Fort Worth Alliance Airport, and has about 106 aircraft with about 1254 pilots. The intelligence arm has over 800 intelligence analysts to monitor targets and provides information both to DEA agents as well as other federal agencies.

Interaction with Other agencies

Due to the nature of the DEA's operations, it is imperative that it involves other enforcement agencies to run successful operations. In the enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act of the United States, DEA is the lead agencies. However, the success of its operations requires a multi-agency approach. Such an approach improves efficiency and ensures that the operations are run with a higher level of success. Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) is critical in investigating crimes in the country. DEA also needs the support of the Department for Homeland Security (DHS) because some suspects are based in the United States. The international angle to its work makes it necessary for DEA to also coordinate its operation with ICE and the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Various police departments in the United States, as well as police and intelligence departments in other countries, are also critical to DEA operations.

Style of Policing

DEA style of policing can be seen as a combination of watchman style and legalistic. It is watchman style because it tends to leave minor drug cases to state-level policing departments. Therefore, they only step in if the offender is either involved in trafficking drugs into the United States or is deemed to be dealing with huge amounts of drugs. If the suspects is in another country, DEA informs the law enactments in those countries. It remains the jurisdiction of the respective officers in the country to take action. In that sense, the eyes of DEA are fixed on violations considered to be major offenses. At the same time, their policing approach can be described as a legalistic because the agency emphasizes on the enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act, and officers have no leeway or discretion on when or not to arrest a suspect (Levy, Paulozzi, Mack, & Jones, 2015). As long as the crime committed falls within the purview of the Act, then they will have to step in and make arrests of the suspect in question.

DEA Structure

Source: Department of Justice

London Metropolitan Police

There are some aspects that are common between the DEA and the London Metropolitan Police, also called the MET. The London Metropolitan police takes a lead role in investigating sophisticated crimes such as those involving terrorism, from other police services such as the ministry of Defenses Police and the British Transport Police. DEA also takes a lead role in Enforcement of Controlled Substances Act. Besides, in doing its investigations, the MET will also bring on board specialist from other police departments whenever it needs such assistance. This is the aspect incorporated into the DEA when it comes to matters touching on combating illicit drugs and related operations. Hence, coordination with other police departments within its area of jurisdiction becomes a much more critical aspect of their operations. This is the same situation DEA has to deal with when handling drug cases, spanning territories and even international boundaries.


DEA. (2017). DEA Mission Statement. Retrieved from

Dolliver, D. S. (2015). Evaluating drug trafficking on the Tor Network and Silk Road 2, the sequel. International Journal of Drug Policy, 26(11), 1113-1123.

Levy, B., Paulozzi, L., Mack, K. A., & Jones, C. M. (2015). Trends in opioid analgesic-prescribing rates by specialty, US, 2007-2012. American journal of preventive medicine, 49(3), 409-413.

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