United States Postal Inspection Service
The United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), or the Postal Inspectors, is the law enforcement arm of the United States Postal Service. It supports and protects the U.S. Postal Service, its employees, infrastructure, and customers by enforcing the laws that defend the nation's mail system from illegal or dangerous use. Its jurisdiction covers any "crimes that may adversely affect or fraudulently use the U.S. Mail, the postal system or postal employees." With roots going back to the late 18th century, the USPIS is the oldest continually operating federal law enforcement agency.
|United States Postal Inspection Service|
|Common name||Postal Inspection Service|
1801 (special agents)
1880 (post-office inspectors)
1954 (postal inspectors)
|Federal agency||United States|
|Operations jurisdiction||United States|
|Headquarters||475 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, D.C.|
|Postal Inspectors||1,200 (approx)|
|Parent agency||United States Postal Service|
As roughly 200 federal crimes relate to mail, the Postal Inspectors' activities are markedly broad and ever-changing. In 2019, it made 5,759 arrests leading to nearly 5,000 convictions, mostly involving mail theft, mail fraud or contraband mailings. The growth in narcotics trading has resulted in 19,000 arrests and the seizure of $18 million in drug proceeds since 2010.
In 2008, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service had 2,288 full-time personnel with the authority to make arrests and carry firearms on duty. This represented a 23.1% drop over the previous five years. In fiscal year 2014, USPIS had 2,376 field employees, a decline of 44.7% from fiscal year 1995. As of 2019, there are about 1,200 postal inspectors, who are authorized to carry weapons, make arrests, execute federal search warrants, and serve subpoenas.