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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 and established on August 7, 1775, 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 460 applicants, 62 new Inspectors and 52 Postal Police Officers successfully completed the rigorous training program at the Inspection Service Training Academy in Potomac, MD, to join the ranks.
  • Postal Inspectors reported over 5,351 arrests and about 4,400 convictions related to postal crimes, primarily those involving mail theft, fraud and prohibited mailings in 2016.
  • The Inspection Service helped recover misappropriated or stolen mail transport equipment worth more than $1.6 million, including the recovery of 25,677 plastic pallets worth more than $500,000.
  • Inspectors respond to suspicious mail incidents every day. Last year, Inspectors responded to more than 2,500 incidents with no resulting fatalities.
  • More than 37,000 pounds of illegal narcotics and $23.5 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 606 cases of threats and assaults against Postal employees, with 211 arrests resulting in 149 convictions.
  • Court-ordered forfeitures valued at nearly $52 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.
  • Postal Inspectors work to protect and educate the American public about current fraud trends and fraudulent use of the US Mail. More than 50 million Americans were able to tune-in on Saturday mornings to the dramatic television series, The Inspectors. The half-hour scripted television series, based on real-life Postal Inspection Service cases, teaches viewers of all ages how to avoid becoming crime victims.
  • The Postal Inspection Service’s Consumer Alert News Network (CANN) provides fraud prevention and consumer awareness tips to views through the 120 television stations in the network. Each of the 72 segments aired reach an estimated audience of 3.8 million views. Since its inception, more than 500 segments, which include interviews with Inspectors and victims, have been produced and aired during local network news shows.
  • Inspectors investigated the use of mail to sexually exploit children, identifying victims and reporting 36 investigations, resulting in 46 arrests.
  • Inspectors ensure the safety of the mail, conducting mail screenings for the Democratic and Republican Conventions in 2016. More than 39,000 mailpieces and private courier deliveries were screened at eleven associated events, adding a layer of protection and assuring safety and security for all.
  • Forensic Scientists at the Postal Inspection Service’s state-of-the-art National Forensic Laboratory examined more than 125,000 physical evidence items. The Forensic Laboratory Services’ Fingerprint Unit processed more than 60,000 items leading to the identification of more than 4,000 latent prints.
  • In March 2016, a Postal Inspector accompanied the first mail flight from Miami to Cuba in more than 50 years. Postal Inspectors provided additional support of the historic resumption of service to Cuba by conducting security reviews and participating in the preceding formal negotiations.
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