The Sole purpose and responsibility of the DEA is to coordinate and pursue investigations pertaining the traffic of illegal narcotics, as well as illegal narcotics that are being distributed with the purpose of selling them without the proper prescriptions. Its purpose of investigating drug trafficking is both domestic and internationally.
To pursue, located and bring to prosecution those individuals engaging in the manufacture, distribution and elaboration of illegal narcotics, as well as those individuals dealing with legal narcotics but without a proper prescription from a medical doctor or any other authorized individual.
The DEA main goal as an organization is to disrupt the flow of illegal narcotics into the U.S. The DEA also supports all majors drug related programs and initiatives to persuade individuals to stay away from narcotics as well as to deter those individual from selling, manufacturing or distributing narcotics into the U.S. The organization carries out its mission through very well organized and clear goals. Such goals are: To educate the youth population so they can stay away and know how to reject illicit drugs use, reduce crimes related to narcotics, and violence to elevate public safety, and last but not least, to cut off foreign and domestic narcotics suppliers (DEA, 2017).
Current Issues within the DEA
The Drug Enforcement Administration, although it is an organization with clear objectives and goals as mentioned before in this paper, it also has another side that the public might not know. As any other organization in charge of dealing with large quantities of “assets” such as narcotics and money in cash, the DEA also suffers from corruption from within its members (Wing, 2017). There have been many cases of corruption involving DEA agents. Granting agents access to large number of narcotics worth millions can pose problems of corruption. Although, the issue of corruption is not as bad as it was back in the 1980’s and early 1990’s there are still cases where agents had been found guilty of stealing money and drugs (Wing, 2017). “In one notorious case, DEA agents were caught stealing drugs from the agency’s evidence vault. The agents gave the drugs to an informant, who sold them and sent at least $1 million in profits to the agents over five years. Later, the same agents, who reportedly spent this dirty money lavishly, also confessed to stealing bundles of cash from drug busts” (Wing, 2017). As stated above corruption is the main issue the DEA is still facing, an issue that had been hunting the agency since its creation. Corruption within the agency definitely affects the mission, objectives, and goals of the organization. Corruption also instill distrust from the public towards the agency’s mission as well as putting the good men and women of the agency in unnecessary danger.
Proposed solutions to the issue
Stopping or preventing corruption is not easy task. However, measures can be taken to prevent or at least try to reduce it notably (White, 2015). According to Stewart A. White there are three main essential ideas that can be employed, that by their own nature can curb and reduce corruption within the agency significantly. The main three areas that according to White need the most attention is; proper training to agents, better screening of personal character, and better incentives programs for the agents. The first step to combat corruption within the agency is to hire special agents of good moral character, which it can be a very arduous task to accomplish for many reasons. Special agents are humans and as humans they have feelings such as temptation for easy money and wealth. Providing a human being with the kind of power and privileges a DEA special agent has can be overwhelming (White, 2015).
It is definitely possible to do a better job when screening candidates trying to become special agents. In fact, stricter screening practices and methods can be applied to try to diminish the chance of hiring a potential future corrupted agent. Proper training to futures and current agents can also be helpful to deter the possibilities of agents becoming corrupted. Trainings such as ethical courses and talks can be very helpful. Also training such as teaching and educating future agents and current agents what to do in case they find themselves in a situation where the feeling of temptation wants to take over can also be very helpful. The organization should do everything in its power to promote ethics on the job.
last but not least, incentives to the agents can be very helpful in solving the issue of corruption. Any human being that do not feel he or she is being valued by the organization he or she work for, is a potential candidate for becoming corrupted (White, 2015). Incentives such a higher salaries and good benefits can be a powerful tool against corruption. If an employee feels that his or her job is worth not to lose he or she would think twice when encountered a situation of potential corruption activities. Although, corruption is an issue within the organization, it is foreseeable that some agents will be corrupt, but it is also predictable that the majority of agents will do the job by the rules and will keep the highest levels of integrity.