Before jumping into a career, it is important to look at the pros and cons that may come with that line of work. Law enforcement jobs are not an easy position. It takes a determined and strong-minded individual that is willing to put his or her well-being on the line for people they may have never seen before. When talking about the pros and cons of having a career in a specific law enforcement position, we must look at other similar alternatives to compare the law enforcement positions to.

1. Pros of Working in Law Enforcement

There are many pros of law enforcement. For starters, it gives you the ability to help communities in a full-time capacity. Enforcing laws and stopping criminals can be a rewarding experience for many. If writing tickets is not your thing, you should be happy to know that writing tickets is only one of a long list of other necessary duties that the officer performs. As law-abiding citizens, we only have interactions during traffic stops and other minor violations giving the impression that writing tickets is their primary function.

Law enforcement organizations all across the nation, and across the world for that matter, have a variety of different departments. Understanding that no organization is alike, the different needs of an organization is based on a variety of different factors. This is determined by location, budget, the mission of the organization, political climate, and more. A career in law enforcement is not cookie cutter in nature. This is a plus of this career, as there are many opportunities to move around. Some positions from multiple law enforcement organizations are K-9 handler, explosive ordnance disposal, counter-terrorism, units similar to SWAT, drug enforcement, anti-gang units, cybersecurity positions, and more.

2. Negatives of Working in Law Enforcement

Departments from the county, city, state and federal levels have different requirements. Many require a minimum of an associate’s degree or the equivalent in college credits as well. Many will accept two years of active duty military service with an honorable discharge. This could be negative for some who do not meet these standards. There are agencies that only require a high school diploma or equivalency, but it does limit the ability to jump from agency to agency. Another negative may be the less than tasteful stigma police officers get. This can often come from a few bad apples that ruin it for the other men and women in the same field. It can be a high-stress environment. The dynamic nature of law enforcement can turn a routine traffic stop into a physical altercation.

3. The Mission of Customs and Border Protection

The law enforcement position that will be talked about today is Customs and Border Protection or CBP for short. CBP has been in the media for the mission they perform at the U.S. Mexico border. This is not the only mission they perform. It may intrigue you of how broad of a mission they have, possibly making it a great option for you.

Each year, more than 11 million maritime containers arrive at our seaports. Another 11 million arrive by truck and 2.7 million by rail. The CBP is in charge of knowing what is inside, whether it poses a risk to the American people, and ensuring that all proper revenues are collected. The world’s trade industry is large so some criminal elements use this to their advantage hoping to slip through the cracks by making illegal products look like everyday items. On October 31, 2018, CBP uncovered meth hidden inside food. This is a very real and growing problem. For the second time in seven days, authorities seized a significant cocaine load at the Port of Wilmington, Delaware. This one was more than 100 pounds.

One of the ways customs and border agents attempt to combat these challenges is through security convergence. In the case where CBP seized more than 100 pounds of cocaine, they were not acting alone. They had the help of federal and state agencies such as the U.S. Coast Guard and Delaware National Guard Counter-Drug Task force units. It is not just drugs that customs and border agents try to prevent from making their way to the American streets. Counterfeit products are a big issue for CBP. This is just another role CBP has to tackle. Each year, CBP seizes all kinds of counterfeit products from all over the world. Counterfeiters look to make profits by making fake versions of the hottest products as soon they are available on the market. The danger of buying counterfeit goods is the loss of revenue to genuine companies causing a loss of U.S. jobs over a period of time.

There is also health and safety risks when referring to counterfeit goods. People selling counterfeit goods do not have a reputation to uphold. This means corners are cut in terms of safety and health to maximize profits. The top three categories that caused personal harm in 2017 were personal care, pharmaceuticals, and consumer electronics. Buying fake products supports illegal activities such as money laundering and trafficking in illegal guns and drugs. 

In the age of online shopping, the Internet lets consumers make purchases from their computer. This has led to increased import shipments of small packages, creating inspection challenges for CBP. The combination of higher shipping rates, the attacks on 9/11, and the mailing of anthrax spores showed there was a need for change. In 2002, the Homeland Security Act of 2002 was created. The primary goal was to prevent terrorist attacks, reduce vulnerabilities, improve business continuity, protect America’s economic structure, monitor connections between illegal drug trafficking and terrorism, coordinate efforts to sever such connections, and otherwise contribute to efforts to interdict illegal drug trafficking. This act made DHS become a cabinet-level department with Ridge as its first secretary. On that day, the functions of the customs service were transferred to the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This would combine agencies. There would be approximately 42,000 employees from the Customs Service, INS, and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on front lines of over 300 land air and seaports.

4. Pros of Being a Customs and Border Protection Officer

Being a CBP officer will give you the ability to work with a variety of different agencies to include the private security sector, the military, other federal and local law enforcement agencies, and foreign nations. This gives you the ability to network with other agencies. For people willing to relocate, CBP may be a great option. Having the ability to work anywhere in the U.S can be an exciting opportunity for many. The varieties of different positions within the organization are plenty making the opportunity to diversify your experience more likely compared to smaller organizations.

5. Negatives of Being a Customs and Border Protection Officer

Although moving around may be a positive for some, this is not always the case. For those unwilling to move, CBP may not be for you. Those with families and loved ones, moving around the country may not be the most ideal situation. National security levels have a lot to do with the mission you may perform. During times of high threat levels, expect to work long grueling hours. Unless you live in Georgia, you will have to travel to attend the 19-week academy. Understanding the pros and cons of different positions in law enforcement will help you make a more educated decision on your next steps.

Pros and Cons of Being a Customs and Border Protection Officer 

Before jumping into a career, it is important to look at the pros and cons that may come with that line of work. Law enforcement jobs are not an easy position. It takes a determined and strong-minded individual that is willing to put his or her well-being on the line for people they may have never seen before. When talking about the pros and cons of having a career in a specific law enforcement position, we must look at other similar alternatives to compare the law enforcement positions to.

1. Pros of Working in Law Enforcement

There are many pros of law enforcement. For starters, it gives you the ability to help communities in a full-time capacity. Enforcing laws and stopping criminals can be a rewarding experience for many. If writing tickets is not your thing, you should be happy to know that writing tickets is only one of a long list of other necessary duties that the officer performs. As law-abiding citizens, we only have interactions during traffic stops and other minor violations giving the impression that writing tickets is their primary function.

Law enforcement organizations all across the nation, and across the world for that matter, have a variety of different departments. Understanding that no organization is alike, the different needs of an organization is based on a variety of different factors. This is determined by location, budget, the mission of the organization, political climate, and more. A career in law enforcement is not cookie cutter in nature. This is a plus of this career, as there are many opportunities to move around. Some positions from multiple law enforcement organizations are K-9 handler, explosive ordnance disposal, counter-terrorism, units similar to SWAT, drug enforcement, anti-gang units, cybersecurity positions, and more.

2. Negatives of Working in Law Enforcement

Departments from the county, city, state and federal levels have different requirements. Many require a minimum of an associate’s degree or the equivalent in college credits as well. Many will accept two years of active duty military service with an honorable discharge. This could be negative for some who do not meet these standards. There are agencies that only require a high school diploma or equivalency, but it does limit the ability to jump from agency to agency. Another negative may be the less than tasteful stigma police officers get. This can often come from a few bad apples that ruin it for the other men and women in the same field. It can be a high-stress environment. The dynamic nature of law enforcement can turn a routine traffic stop into a physical altercation.

3. The Mission of Customs and Border Protection

The law enforcement position that will be talked about today is Customs and Border Protection or CBP for short. CBP has been in the media for the mission they perform at the U.S. Mexico border. This is not the only mission they perform. It may intrigue you of how broad of a mission they have, possibly making it a great option for you.

Each year, more than 11 million maritime containers arrive at our seaports. Another 11 million arrive by truck and 2.7 million by rail. The CBP is in charge of knowing what is inside, whether it poses a risk to the American people, and ensuring that all proper revenues are collected. The world’s trade industry is large so some criminal elements use this to their advantage hoping to slip through the cracks by making illegal products look like everyday items. On October 31, 2018, CBP uncovered meth hidden inside food. This is a very real and growing problem. For the second time in seven days, authorities seized a significant cocaine load at the Port of Wilmington, Delaware. This one was more than 100 pounds.

One of the ways customs and border agents attempt to combat these challenges is through security convergence. In the case where CBP seized more than 100 pounds of cocaine, they were not acting alone. They had the help of federal and state agencies such as the U.S. Coast Guard and Delaware National Guard Counter-Drug Task force units. It is not just drugs that customs and border agents try to prevent from making their way to the American streets. Counterfeit products are a big issue for CBP. This is just another role CBP has to tackle. Each year, CBP seizes all kinds of counterfeit products from all over the world. Counterfeiters look to make profits by making fake versions of the hottest products as soon they are available on the market. The danger of buying counterfeit goods is the loss of revenue to genuine companies causing a loss of U.S. jobs over a period of time.

There is also health and safety risks when referring to counterfeit goods. People selling counterfeit goods do not have a reputation to uphold. This means corners are cut in terms of safety and health to maximize profits. The top three categories that caused personal harm in 2017 were personal care, pharmaceuticals, and consumer electronics. Buying fake products supports illegal activities such as money laundering and trafficking in illegal guns and drugs. 

In the age of online shopping, the Internet lets consumers make purchases from their computer. This has led to increased import shipments of small packages, creating inspection challenges for CBP. The combination of higher shipping rates, the attacks on 9/11, and the mailing of anthrax spores showed there was a need for change. In 2002, the Homeland Security Act of 2002 was created. The primary goal was to prevent terrorist attacks, reduce vulnerabilities, improve business continuity, protect America’s economic structure, monitor connections between illegal drug trafficking and terrorism, coordinate efforts to sever such connections, and otherwise contribute to efforts to interdict illegal drug trafficking. This act made DHS become a cabinet-level department with Ridge as its first secretary. On that day, the functions of the customs service were transferred to the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This would combine agencies. There would be approximately 42,000 employees from the Customs Service, INS, and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on front lines of over 300 land air and seaports.

4. Pros of Being a Customs and Border Protection Officer

Being a CBP officer will give you the ability to work with a variety of different agencies to include the private security sector, the military, other federal and local law enforcement agencies, and foreign nations. This gives you the ability to network with other agencies. For people willing to relocate, CBP may be a great option. Having the ability to work anywhere in the U.S can be an exciting opportunity for many. The varieties of different positions within the organization are plenty making the opportunity to diversify your experience more likely compared to smaller organizations.

5. Negatives of Being a Customs and Border Protection Officer

Although moving around may be a positive for some, this is not always the case. For those unwilling to move, CBP may not be for you. Those with families and loved ones, moving around the country may not be the most ideal situation. National security levels have a lot to do with the mission you may perform. During times of high threat levels, expect to work long grueling hours. Unless you live in Georgia, you will have to travel to attend the 19-week academy. Understanding the pros and cons of different positions in law enforcement will help you make a more educated decision on your next steps.