Situated on the southern end of San Francisco bay, San Jose has been dubbed the Capital City of Silicon Valley. It is estimated that 25 percent of individuals in San Jose between the ages of 18-25 smoke marijuana and cocaine and methamphetamine are also widely available. San Jose is known for its party culture and it’s well documented that persons who drink alcohol regularly are more likely to use illegal drugs than non-drinkers. On the bright side, San Jose has seen a decline in both the growth rate of new marijuana users and in the use of ecstasy by youths and young adults.
The DEA in San Jose
San Jose has a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) resident office, which is a branch of the San Francisco division. Its 25 employees are made up of both special agents and other specialized professionals. The city made national headlines in March of 2012 when local police officers visited a private San Jose home to follow up on a report of stolen ipads. The officers discovered methamphetamine and called in DEA agents who arrived with a search warrant and uncovered what turned out to be the largest meth bust in U.S. history! They seized 750 pounds of meth with a street value of $34 million and dismantled a meth conversion lab that transformed the drug into a crystal form referred to as “ice.”
The San Jose DEA is proud of its record of cooperation with other law enforcement agencies. In September, 2012, an agreement was signed between the DEA and the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office (SCCSO) because both agencies believed that trafficking in narcotics and dangerous drugs was having a “substantial and detrimental effect on the health and welfare of the residents of Santa Clara County.” They formed the DEA San Jose Resident Office (SJRO) Task Force which was assigned with:
- Interrupting illicit drug traffic in Santa Clara County
- Gathering intelligence information related to drug trafficking
- Conducting relevant undercover operations
The SJRO Task Force was made up of three DEA special agents and two experienced officers from the SCCSO who would be deputized as task force officers of the DEA and who would adhere to DEA policies/procedures. Since its implementation, the SJRO Task Force has done much to make Santa Clara County a safer place.
How to Become a DEA Agent in San Jose
All candidates that become DEA special agents in the U.S. have to meet the same qualifications and go through the same training in order to work for the DEA. Basic requirements for training include being a U.S, citizen between the ages of 21-36, in excellent health, capable of obtaining a secret security clearance, willing to relocate and either over a year of substantial experience investigating drug-related crimes or a J.D., L.L.B., B.S. or M.S. degree.
Preference is given to degrees in certain foreign languages or in criminal justice. The curriculum for a B.A. includes courses in:
- Criminal theory
- Criminal justice research methodologies
- White collar crime
- Forensic sciences
- Delinquency theory/juvenile correction
- Criminal investigation procedures
The M.S curriculum includes courses in:
- Justice research/statistics
- Social theory
- Dispute resolution
- Juvenile justice
- Law and gender equality
- Justice organization management