FLEOA Endorses the Essential Functions Performed by the NOAA Fisheries Service, Office of Law Enforcement

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Today, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) president John Adler publicly announces that FLEOA stands by the hard work, unique mission, and essential functions performed by the Special Agents and Officers of NOAA’s Fisheries Service, Office of Law Enforcement (agency).

Today, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) president John Adler publicly announces that FLEOA stands by the hard work, unique mission, and essential functions performed by the Special Agents and Officers of NOAA’s Fisheries Service, Office of Law Enforcement (agency).

FLEOA’s announcement follows the recent release of a U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of the Inspector General review of NOAA Fisheries Service enforcement practices. In addition to a review of the NOAA Office of General Counsel, NOAA and OLE senior leadership practices, the IG report also reviewed the investigations of the Special Agents.

FLEOA applauds the Inspector General’s recognition that NOAA OLE “has limited resources to cover an increasingly complex and vast jurisdiction” in the critical mission of protecting and conserving living marine resources for the American public.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration employs a very small group of highly trained and dedicated Special Agents and Officers who enforce these complex laws, regulations and international treaties. The Special Agents who conduct these complex investigations enforce some of the most technical, challenging and contentious laws and regulations in the federal law enforcement arena.

NOAA’s sworn Agents and Officers work extensively with all facets of the commercial fishing and seafood trade, marine resource stakeholders, U.S. and international law enforcement agencies and the public.

Special Agents and Officers with this agency are selected from an intensive hiring process that screens thousands of applicants. Such competition ensures that only the most qualified candidates are chosen to fulfill this critical mission and provide the best service to the public.

FLEOA represents over 26,000 federal agents and enforcement officers from 65 agencies.

FLEOA represents over half of the NOAA Special Agents. We request that FLEOA and its member agents be represented in any forum created to review the functions and practices of the agency. Many of our member Special Agents have considerable experience and are willing to contribute their corporate and institutional knowledge to the process.

FLEOA encourages all members of Congress, stakeholders and the public who have reviewed this report to be open to differing views and to work to address and resolve these issues.

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