With a population of 462,257 (2010), Long Beach CA has one of the world’s largest container ports, the RMS Queen Mary) and drug problems similar to other large cities. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Long Beach, which fights these problems, is part of the Los Angeles division.
Methamphetamines (meth) are the most common illegal drugs in Long Beach. Meth is difficult to track and trace because it is often synthesized in homemade labs scattered throughout the city. Cocaine and other forms of crack are more common in the high-crime areas of north and west Long Beach while party drugs like PCP. LSD and GHB are popular with students and are often distributed on college campuses.
Long Beach has a significant problem with street gangs that are involved in drug trafficking and other crimes. In July of 2007 the DEA concluded a nine-month investigation with the arrest of seven important leaders of the “Rolling 20s” gang known for financing violent crimes through the sale of illegal narcotics. Nonetheless, Long Beach currently is home to 20 Hispanic gangs that market illegal drugs.
Cooperative Operations of the DEA in Long Beach
In April of 2011, the DEA Mobile Enforcement Team collaborated with the Long Beach Police Department Drug Investigation Squad in a three-month-long operation that resulted in the arrest of 150 criminals, including 35 gang members, and the confiscation of a significant amount of drugs, guns and cash. DEA Special Agent in Charge Timothy Landrum said, “The partnership developed through this operation has significantly reduced drug and associated criminal activity in Long Beach…. improving quality of life and making our community safer.”
DEA Mobile Enforcement Team (MET)
MET is one of numerous DEA programs that DEA agents can opt to be a part of. The DEA created MET in 1995 in response to the dramatic growth of drug-related crime in city neighborhoods, especially in light of the increasing sophistication of drug-trafficking groups, the availability of automatic weapons and smaller local police department budgets. The MET program functions at the request of local police or sheriff departments. MET members assist t local law enforcement officers by:
- Identifying drug trafficking organizations that commit violent crimes
- HCollecting, analyzing and sharing intelligence
- Organizing investigations
- Arresting offenders
How to Become a DEA Special Agent in Long Beach
Persons interested in joining the elite group of DEA special agents must be U.S. citizens between the ages of 21-36, in excellent health and physical condition, willing to relocate and able to obtain a top secret security clearance. Eligible candidates must either have substantial experience investigating drug-related crimes or hold a law degree or a bachelor’s degree or higher in specific areas, including criminal justice. Go to the DEA website and click how “How to Become a DEA Agent” for particulars.
Criminal Justice School in Long Beach
California State University at Long Beach has one of the country’s best schools of criminal justice offering both undergraduate and graduate degrees. The curriculum for a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice includes the following courses:
- Criminal Justice & Society
- Criminal Courts & Judicial Processes
- Criminal Justice Statistics/Research Methods
- Criminology Theory
- Corrections Theory
- Criminal Justice Ethics
- Crime & Inequality
- Crime Analysis
- Delinquency/Criminal Justice
- Serial Killers/Psychopaths
- Terrorism/Homeland Security