In the area of Criminal Justice, there is a wide range of careers and many of them appeared to me interesting. For the present paper, I have selected to profile the careers of Custom Officer and Immigration and Naturalization Service Officer.
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In the United States, a Custom Officer is a Federal law enforcement officer, responsible for putting into practice the respective customs legislation and about 400 regulations, designed for federal agencies. There laws are enforced on every person who crosses the country’s borders, and the related responsibilities include identifying and confiscating contraband, preventing the penetration of individuals without legal authorization into the country, checking compliance to custom duties.
Thus, Custom Officer searches luggage and vehicles, ensures the travelers have all custom documents, apprehend and interrogate those individuals, whose have violated custom laws, write corresponding reports and question witnesses, engage with special activities, associated with detection of drugs or other substances (handle dogs, use force whenever necessary). This profession requires mainly specialized agency training the employee receives after joining the customs. High school diploma showing good academic performance is a must, college or university degree would be a bonus for the beginners. However, the entry-level position for customs is often administrative assistant, who works mainly with documents and is promoted to Custom Officer after a year or several years of training and practice.
I believe this career requires computer literacy, good command of English and knowledge of U.S. legislation in customs area. In addition, Custom Officer should have such traits as patience, ability to response to unexpected situations promptly and to get along with animals. The major challenges of this career include relatively low compensation at the beginning, necessity of working nights, threats to life and health, whose source might be armed smugglers and illegal immigrants. However, I believe, my military training would allow me to successfully manage with dangerous situations and knowledge of legislation will make me more “authoritative” as perceived by people I will face as Custom Officer.
INS Officers are normally responsible for checking and monitoring individuals who are crossing the state’s borders and are often located in airports. INS officers check landing cards of non-U.S. citizens and find out the reasons for arriving into the country and the terms of stay. If the passenger fails to meet the criteria for entering the country, INS Officer should take the duties of questioning this passenger, arranging their departure and rooming passengers in holding areas in case they are seeking asylum or claiming they are a refugee. In addition, INS Officers engage with such activities as surveillance and intelligence-based practices.
INS Officers need no special academic qualifications, but take a series of personality and stress management tests, due to the fact that interpersonal and coping skills are vital in this career. In particular, INS employees need to have awareness of equal opportunity issue, non-discriminatory attitude towards people of various racial backgrounds, strong communication skills and common sense judgment. Basic computer literacy and at least basic understanding of immigration laws are also required, military training would be a bonus for this career.
One of the distinctive features of this job is dealing with sensitive information, which should be kept secret, so one of the challenges is distinguishing between secret and open-access information. In addition, this work, by its nature, is physically active as opposed to spending day at office computer, so all candidates take health examinations. I believe I am eligible to this job, given that I am fit enough physically and am able to remain professional and polite in stressogenous atmosphere.