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Security. Law enforcement. Preserving the trust.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is the federal law enforcement, crime prevention, and security arm of the U.S. Postal Service. Founded by Benjamin Franklin, the Inspection Service is one of the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agencies.

  • Inspectors and Postal Police Officers are mandated to protect the entire Postal Service system — including its employees and customers. Last year, out of 6,421 applicants, 69 new Inspectors and 56 Postal Police Officers successfully completed the rigorous training program to join the ranks, at the Inspection Service Training Academy in Potomac, Maryland.
  • Postal Inspectors reported over 5,500 arrests and about 5,000 convictions related to postal crimes, primarily those involving mail theft, fraud and prohibited mailing in 2015.
  • The Inspection Service helped recover misappropriated or stolen mail transport equipment worth more than $4.1 million, including the recovery of 24,180 plastic pallets worth almost $500,000.
  • Inspectors respond to suspicious mail incidents every day. In the last two years, Inspectors responded to more than 5,000 incidents. Last year, only one incident involved an explosive device.
  • More than 35,100 pounds of illegal narcotics and $25 million in illegal assets were seized by Inspectors from drug-trafficking through the mail.
  • Assaults and threats receive priority attention from Postal Inspectors. Last year, Inspectors responded to 566 cases of threats and assaults against Postal employees, with 211 arrests resulting in 149 convictions.
  • Court-ordered forfeitures valued at nearly $74 million were collected by Inspectors. The primary recipients of those funds were the victims of fraud, who recouped all, or a portion, of the money they lost.
  • 35,000 counterfeit postal money orders with a face value of nearly $34 million and another 4,200 counterfeit financial instruments (such as checks), with a face value of about $6.4 million, were identified and seized by Inspectors. 
  • Protecting American consumers from foreign lotteries can prevent them from becoming victims and from financial loss. Last year, Inspectors seized approximately 1.3 million pieces of illegal foreign lottery mail, containing about 163,000 counterfeit checks with a face value of nearly $17.7 billion.
  • Inspectors investigated the use of mail to sexually exploit children, identifying victims and reporting 82 investigations, resulting in 64 arrests in these cases.
  • More than 29,000 mailpieces and private courier deliveries were screened at eight venues for the Department of Homeland Security’s National Special Security events.  Inspectors conducted mail screenings at eight venues such as, the historic U.S. visit of Pope Francis.
  • The Inspection Service’s forensic laboratory celebrated its 75th year. Expert Forensic Laboratory analysts provide high-quality forensic services in support of the Inspection Service’s investigative efforts.
  • The Forensics Laboratory’s (FLS) services are divided into four distinct units: Questioned Document Unit, Fingerprint Unit, Physical Sciences Unit and the Digital Evidence Unit — staffed by expert forensic scientists and technical specialists.
  • Forensic scientists examined more than 84,000 documents, fingerprints, controlled substances, audio, video, digital media and other items of physical evidence, resulting in the identification of 1055 criminal subjects.
  • Forensic analysts responded to over 100 locations to provide crime scene and search site assistance for Inspector’s investigations. Over 662 terabytes of data, on seized computers and digital media was analyzed by Forensic computer analysts, who recovered more than 2.8 million files from mobile devices.
  • Inspectors are playing an important role in the historic restoration of mail service between the postal administration of Cuba and the U.S. Inspectors are serving as security consultants and conducting security reviews to confirm compliance with the Universal Postal Union security standards. When mail service resumes, a Postal Inspector will accompany the first mail flight from the U.S. to Cuba.
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