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Federal Criminal Law Enforcement - Structural Characteristics, Sources Of Structural Fragmentation: History And Politics, Coordination Challenges, Determining The Federal Role

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Cases investigated and prosecuted by the federal criminal enforcement authorities often capture national attention. Terrorist bombings, official corruption, insider securities trading, organized crime enterprises, international drug conspiracies—all have been targeted by the "Feds," as have bank robberies, environmental crimes, illegal immigration, and foreign espionage, to name just a few. For all the attention it gets, however, what is most surprising about the federal enforcement apparatus is its small size, at least when compared to the network of state and local enforcement agencies, which have primary responsibility for patrolling the streets and pursue most of the crimes that happen on or off them. In 1996, for example, only 74,493 federal officers were authorized to carry guns and make arrests, against 663,535 full-time sworn state and local officers (36,813 in New York City alone).


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