I note with great pleasure President Trump's latest executive order, designed 'to find where within federal agencies the U.S. government can trim costs'. The most important paragraph, to my mind, reads:
Within 180 days after the closing date for the submission of suggestions ... the Director shall submit to the President a proposed plan to reorganize the executive branch in order to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of agencies. The proposed plan shall include, as appropriate, recommendations to eliminate unnecessary agencies, components of agencies, and agency programs, and to merge functions. The proposed plan shall include recommendations for any legislation or administrative measures necessary to achieve the proposed reorganization.
The rest of the text of the executive order may be found at the link.
Here's my suggestion. Last time I counted, there were 73 (yes, seventy-three) Federal bureaux, agencies and organizations that had their own armed law enforcement departments or agents. You can find a relatively comprehensive list of them here. It's horrifying, IMHO. Why do the Department of Education, the Environmental Protection Agency, or Amtrak, need their own armed officers? Even worse, why have so many of these agencies established SWAT teams?
To my mind, five Federal agencies can make a strong case to have armed law enforcement agents. They are:
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation;
- The US Secret Service (to protect the President and critical people and places);
- The US Marshals Service;
- The Federal Bureau of Prisons, to keep bad guys behind bars
- US Customs and Border Protection, incorporating the former US Border Patrol and US Customs Service, to safeguard our borders and crossing points.
According to Wikipedia, 'In 2004, federal agencies employed approximately 105,000 full-time personnel authorized to make arrests and carry firearms in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.' A 2008 Justice Department report indicated that there were approximately 120,000 federal law enforcement officers. Today, if that sort of growth rate has continued since 2008, who knows how many there are?
I doubt very much whether that many Federal officers are actually needed. I daresay we could get by with half to two-thirds that number, concentrated in the proper agencies, uniformly trained and equipped, and operating with far greater efficiency. If President Trump is looking for a place to save money, I respectfully suggest that Federal law enforcement as a whole is long due for a shakeup and overhaul - and drastic pruning.