Federal Agents: The Growth of Federal Law Enforcement in America

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With the War on Terror in full swing, the government's involvement in and influence over law enforcement has changed and, in some cases, expanded. While police forces remain under the jurisdiction of the cities and states they patrol, federal agencies have taken on a wider role in combating and prosecuting crime. Agencies such as the FBI, the DEA, the ATF, and now the Department of Homeland Security have wide and varied responsibilities and powers in combating both terrorism and other crimes. But this wasn't always the case. This timely book examines the history of American federal law enforcement as well as its current state in all of its forms.

The complex system of agencies, agents, and laws that make up our federal law enforcement program have a long and varied history. Bumgarner looks at the issue of federal police powers and explores how the U.S. Supreme Court and lower courts have interpreted the constitutional limits on those powers. He introduces the reader to the many agencies that make up the federal law enforcement community and the jurisdiction and responsibilities of each, as well as the role federal public policy plays in the criminal justice system. Finally, he reviews emerging trends in federal law enforcement, including the expanding domestic effort against terrorism. Readers of this insightful book will unfailingly come away with a better understanding of the history and inner workings of federal law enforcement.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Writing for general readers and students in criminal justice, Bumgarner examines the history of American federal law enforcement and the complex system of agencies, agents, and laws that make up the current federal law enforcement program. He introduces the jurisdiction and responsibilities of each agency of the federal law enforcement community, and looks at the role that federal public policy plays in the criminal justice system. Discussion of emerging trends focuses on the expanding domestic effort against terrorism. About 70 pages of appendices offer a chronology, an outline of majority and dissenting opinions from the landmark case U.S. v. Lopez, and lists of chapters of the federal criminal code, agencies, and the table of contents of the USA Patriot Act."


Reference & Research Book News

"[P]rovides a welcome survey to the myriad of federal agencies that currently operate. Since 9/11 and the structuring of DHS, such a guide is needed….Readers here find a concise guide to the major agencies, supplemented by discussion of current issues that go across jurisdictions."


Security Newsletter

"In this aptly titled book, Bumgarner comprehensively surveys the numerous federal law enforcement agencies, recounting the reasons and timing of their creation and their specialized responsibilities….Undergraduate collections."



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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275989538
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/30/2006
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

JEFFREY B. BUMGARNER is Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, Texas Christian University. He is the author of Profiling and Criminal Justice in America and the forthcoming To Protect and Serve: An Introduction to Law Enforcement.

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Table of Contents

1 The United States Constitution and federal police power 1
2 Federal law enforcement takes root in America (1700s-1850s) 19
3 Go West, young man (1860-1920s) 37
4 Hoover's G-men come of age 51
5 Overshadowed but not forgotten (other treasury and justice agencies) 69
6 The inspectors general (and the battle against fraud, waste, and abuse) 95
7 And then there were 100 (the rest of the federal law enforcement community) 111
8 Public policy, homeland security, and the future of federal law enforcement 137
App. A Chapters of the Federal Criminal Code 159
App. B Majority and dissenting opinions containing principle arguments for and against broad federal police power from the landmark case of U.S. v. Lopez (1995) 163
App. C Partial list of federal law enforcement agencies and types of officers they employ 191
App. D Table of contents of the USA Patriot Act 195
App. E Selected events in the chronology of federal law enforcement 203
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