United States Attorney General
The United States Attorney General is the chief lawyer of the federal government of the United States, head of the United States Department of Justice per 28 U. S. C. § 503, oversees all governmental legal affairs. Under the Appointments Clause of the United States Constitution, the officeholder is nominated by the President of the United States and appointed with the advice and consent of the United States Senate; the U. S. Constitution provides that civil officers of the United States, which would include the U. S. Attorney General, may be impeached by Congress for treason, bribery or high crimes and misdemeanors; the United States Attorney General may be removed at will by the President of the United States under the Supreme Court decision Myers v. United States, which found that executive branch officials may be removed without the consent of any entity. In cases of the federal death penalty, the power to seek the death penalty rests with the U. S. Attorney General; the current Attorney General is William Barr.
Congress passed the Judiciary Act of 1789 which, among other things, established the Office of the Attorney General. The original duties of this officer were "to prosecute and conduct all suits in the Supreme Court in which the United States shall be concerned, to give his advice and opinion upon questions of law when required by the President of the United States, or when requested by the heads of any of the departments"; the Department of Justice was established in 1870 to support the Attorney General in the discharge of their responsibilities. The Attorney General, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense are regarded as the four most important Cabinet officials in the United States because of the significance and age of their respective departments, it is the practice for the Attorney General, along with many other public officials, to give resignation with effect on the Inauguration Day of a new President. The Deputy Attorney General, required to tender their resignation, is requested to stay on and act as Attorney General pending the confirmation by the Senate of the new Attorney General.
For example, on the inauguration of President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017, the tenure of the Attorney General Loretta Lynch was brought to an end, the Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, who had tendered her resignation, was asked to stay on and be Acting Attorney General until the confirmation of the new Attorney General Jeff Sessions, nominated for the office in November 2016 by then-President-elect Donald Trump. Parties Federalist Democratic-Republican Democratic Whig Republican Status As of April 2019, there are ten, living former US Attorneys General, the oldest being Ramsey Clark; the most recent Attorney General to die was Janet Reno on November 7, 2016. William Barr, who served from 1991-1993, returned to the post and is serving, excluding him from this list. U. S. C. Title 28, §508 establishes the first two positions in the line of succession, while allowing the Attorney General to designate other high-ranking officers of the Department of Justice as subsequent successors. Furthermore, an Executive Order defines subsequent positions, the most recent from March 31, 2017, signed by President Donald Trump.
The current line of succession is: United States Deputy Attorney General United States Associate Attorney General Other Officers designated by the Attorney General: Solicitor General of the United States Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division Assistant Attorney General and Natural Resources Division Assistant Attorney General, Justice Management Division Assistant Attorney General, Tax Division Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Policy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legislative Affairs United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas United States Deputy Attorney General United States Associate Attorney General United States Assistant Attorney General United States Solicitor General List of living former members of the United States Cabinet Executive Order 13787 for "Providing an Order of Succession Within the Department of Justice" Official website
Drug Enforcement Administration
The Drug Enforcement Administration is a United States federal law enforcement agency under the United States Department of Justice, tasked with combating drug smuggling and distribution within the United States. The DEA is the lead agency for domestic enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act, sharing concurrent jurisdiction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Customs Enforcement, U. S. Customs and Border Protection, the Department of Homeland Security, it has sole responsibility for coordinating and pursuing US drug investigations both domestic and abroad. The Drug Enforcement Administration was established on July 1, 1973, by Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1973, signed by President Richard Nixon on July 28. It proposed the creation of a single federal agency to enforce the federal drug laws as well as consolidate and coordinate the government's drug control activities. Congress accepted the proposal; as a result, the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, the Office of Drug Abuse Law Enforcement.
From the early 1970s, DEA headquarters was located at 1405 I Street NW in downtown Washington, D. C. With the overall growth of the agency in the 1980s and a concurrent growth in the headquarters staff, DEA began to search for a new headquarters location. However, then-Attorney General Edwin Meese determined that the headquarters had to be located in close proximity to the Attorney General's office. Thus, in 1989, the headquarters relocated to 600–700 Army-Navy Drive in the Pentagon City area of Arlington, near the Metro station with the same name. On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh attacked the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City because it housed regional offices for the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Explosives, DEA, all of which had carried out raids that he viewed as unjustified intrusions on the rights of the people. Subsequently, the DEA headquarters complex was classified as a Level IV installation under United States federal building security standards, meaning it was to be considered a high-risk law enforcement target for terrorists.
Security measures include hydraulic steel roadplates to enforce standoff distance from the building, metal detectors, guard stations. In February 2003, the DEA established a Digital Evidence Laboratory within its Office of Forensic Sciences; the DEA is headed by an Administrator of Drug Enforcement appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U. S. Senate; the Administrator reports to the Attorney General through the Deputy Attorney General. The Administrator is assisted by a Deputy Administrator, the Chief of Operations, the Chief Inspector, three Assistant Administrators. Other senior staff include the Chief Counsel; the Administrator and Deputy Administrator are the only presidentially-appointed personnel in the DEA. DEA's headquarters is located in Virginia across from the Pentagon, it maintains its own DEA Academy located on the Marine Corps Base Quantico at Quantico, Virginia along with the FBI Academy. It maintains 21 domestic field divisions with 221 field offices and 92 foreign offices in 70 countries.
With a budget exceeding $2 billion, DEA employs over 10,800 people, including over 4,600 Special Agents and 800 Intelligence Analysts. Becoming a Special Agent or Intelligence Analyst with the DEA is a competitive process. Administrator Deputy Administrator Human Resource Division Career Board Board of Professional Conduct Office of Training Operations Division Aviation Division Office of Operations Management Special Operations Division Office of Diversion Control Office of Global Enforcement Office of Financial Operations Intelligence Division Office of National Security Intelligence Office of Strategic Intelligence Office of Special Intelligence El Paso Intelligence Center OCDETF Fusion Center Financial Management Division Office of Acquisition and Relocation Management Office of Finance Office of Resource Management Operational Support Division Office of Administration Office of Information System Office of Forensic Science Office of Investigative Technology Inspection Division Office of Inspections Office of Professional Responsibility Office of Security Programs Field Divisions and Offices As of 2017 there were 4,650 special agents employed by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
DEA agents' starting salary is $49,746–$55,483. After four years working as an agent, the salary jumps to above $92,592. After receiving a conditional offer of employment, recruits must complete a 18-week rigorous training which includes lessons in firearms proficiency, weapons safety, tactical shooting, deadly-force decision training. In order to graduate, students must maintain an academic average of 80 percent on academic examinations, pass the firearms-qualification test demonstrate leadership and sound decision-making in practical scenarios, pass rigorous physical-task tests. Upon graduation, recruits earn the title of DEA Special Agent; the DEA excludes from consideration job applicants who have a history of any use of narcotics or illicit drugs. Investigation incl
Separation of powers under the United States Constitution
Separation of powers is a political doctrine originating in the writings of Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu in The Spirit of the Laws, in which he argued for a constitutional government with three separate branches, each of which would have defined abilities to check the powers of the others. This philosophy influenced the writing of the United States Constitution, according to which the Legislative and Judicial branches of the United States government are kept distinct in order to prevent abuse of power; this United States form of separation of powers is associated with a system of balances. During the Age of Enlightenment, philosophers such as Montesquieu advocated the principle in their writings, whereas others, such as Thomas Hobbes opposed it. Montesquieu was one of the foremost supporters of separating the legislature, the executive, the judiciary, his writings influenced the opinions of the framers of the United States Constitution. Strict separation of powers did not operate in the United Kingdom, the political structure of which served in most instances as a model for the government created by the U.
S. Constitution; some U. S. states did not observe a strict separation of powers in the 18th century. In New Jersey, the Governor functioned as a member of the state's highest court and as the presiding officer of one house of the New Jersey Legislature; the President of Delaware was a member of the Court of Appeals. In both Delaware and Pennsylvania, members of the executive council served at the same time as judges. On the other hand, many southern states explicitly required separation of powers. Maryland, North Carolina and Georgia all kept the branches of government "separate and distinct." Congress has the sole power to legislate for the United States. Under the nondelegation doctrine, Congress may not delegate its lawmaking responsibilities to any other agency. In this vein, the Supreme Court held in the 1998 case Clinton v. City of New York that Congress could not delegate a "line-item veto" to the President, by powers vested in the government by the Constitution. Where Congress does not make great and sweeping delegations of its authority, the Supreme Court has been less stringent.
One of the earliest cases involving the exact limits of non-delegation was Wayman v. Southard 23 U. S. 1, 42. Congress had delegated to the courts the power to prescribe judicial procedure. While Chief Justice John Marshall conceded that the determination of rules of procedure was a legislative function, he distinguished between "important" subjects and mere details. Marshall wrote that "a general provision may be made, power is given to those who are to act under such general provisions, to fill up the details." Marshall's words and future court decisions gave Congress much latitude in delegating powers. It was not until the 1930s. In a case involving the creation of the National Recovery Administration called A. L. A. Schechtes, 295 U. S. 495, Congress could not authorize the president to formulate codes of "fair competition." It was held. The Court, has deemed that phrases such as "just and reasonable," "public interest" and "public convenience" suffice. Executive power is vested, in the President.
By law the president becomes the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, Militia of several states when called into service, has power to make treaties and appointments to office "with the Advice and Consent of the Senate," receive Ambassadors and Public Ministers, "take care that the laws be faithfully executed" By using these words, the Constitution does not require the president to enforce the law. The Constitution empowers the president to ensure the faithful execution of the laws made by Congress and approved by the President. Congress may itself terminate such appointments, by impeachment, restrict the president. Bodies such as the War Claims Commission, the Interstate Commerce Commission, the Federal Trade Commission—all quasi-judicial—often have direct Congressional oversight. Congress writes legislation to restrain executive officials to the performance of their duties, as laid out by the laws Congress passes. In Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha, the Supreme Court decided The prescription for legislative action in Art.
I, § 1—requiring all legislative powers to be vested in a Congress consisting of a Senate and a House of Representatives—and § 7—requiring every bill passed by the House and Senate, before becoming law, to be presented to the president, and, if he disapproves, to be repassed by two-thirds of the Senate and House—represents the Framers' decision that the legislative power of the Federal Government be exercised in accord with a single, finely wrought and exhaustively considered procedure. This procedure is an integral part of the constitutional design for the separation of powers. Further rulings clarified the case. Legislation may always prescribe regulations governing executive officers. Judicial power—the power to decide cases and controversies—is vested in the Supreme Court and inferior courts established by Congress; the judges must be appointed by the president with
United States Armed Forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States of America. It consists of the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard; the President of the United States is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and forms military policy with the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security, both federal executive departments, acting as the principal organs by which military policy is carried out. All five armed services are among the seven uniformed services of the United States. From the time of its inception, the U. S. Armed Forces played a decisive role in the history of the United States. A sense of national unity and identity was forged as a result of victory in the First Barbary War and the Second Barbary War. So, the founders of the United States were suspicious of a permanent military force, it played a critical role in the American Civil War, continuing to serve as the armed forces of the United States, although a number of its officers resigned to join the military of the Confederate States.
The National Security Act of 1947, adopted following World War II and during the Cold War's onset, created the modern U. S. military framework. The Act established the National Military Establishment, headed by the Secretary of Defense, it was amended in 1949, renaming the National Military Establishment the Department of Defense, merged the cabinet-level Department of the Army, Department of the Navy, Department of the Air Force, into the Department of Defense. The U. S. Armed Forces are one of the largest militaries in terms of the number of personnel, it draws its personnel from a large pool of paid volunteers. Although conscription has been used in the past in various times of both war and peace, it has not been used since 1973, but the Selective Service System retains the power to conscript males, requires that all male citizens and residents residing in the U. S. between the ages of 18–25 register with the service. On February 22, 2019, however, a federal judge ruled that registering only males for Selective Service is unconstitutional.
As of 2017, the U. S. spends about US$610 billion annually to fund its military forces and Overseas Contingency Operations. Put together, the U. S. constitutes 40 percent of the world's military expenditures. The U. S. Armed Forces has significant capabilities in both defense and power projection due to its large budget, resulting in advanced and powerful technologies which enables a widespread deployment of the force around the world, including around 800 military bases outside the United States; the U. S. Air Force is the world's largest air force, the U. S. Navy is the world's largest navy by tonnage, the U. S. Navy and the U. S. Marine Corps combined are the world's second largest air arm. In terms of size, the U. S. Coast Guard is the world's 12th largest naval force; the history of the U. S. Armed Forces dates to 14 June 1775, with the creation of the Continental Army before the Declaration of Independence marked the establishment of the United States; the Continental Navy, established on 13 October 1775, Continental Marines, established on 10 November 1775, were created in close succession by the Second Continental Congress in order to defend the new nation against the British Empire in the American Revolutionary War.
These forces demobilized in 1784. The Congress of the Confederation created the current United States Army on 3 June 1784; the United States Congress created the current United States Navy on 27 March 1794 and the current United States Marine Corps on 11 July 1798. All three services trace their origins to their respective Continental predecessors; the 1787 adoption of the Constitution gave the Congress the power to "raise and support armies", to "provide and maintain a navy" and to "make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces", as well as the power to declare war. The President is the U. S. Armed Forces' commander-in-chief; the United States Coast Guard traces its origin to the founding of the Revenue Cutter Service on 4 August 1790 which merged with the United States Life-Saving Service on 28 January 1915 to establish the Coast Guard. The United States Air Force was established as an independent service on 18 September 1947. S. Signal Corps, formed 1 August 1907 and was part of the Army Air Forces before becoming an independent service as per the National Security Act of 1947.
The United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps was considered to be a branch of the United States Armed Forces from 29 July 1945 until its status as such was revoked on 3 July 1952. On March 1st, 2019, the Department of Defense sent a proposal to Congress that would establish the United States Space Force as an independent military service within the Department of the Air Force. If approved, this would become the sixth military service branch to be created. Command over the U. S. Armed Forces is established in the Constitution; the sole power of command is vested in the President by Article II as Commander-in-Chief. The Constitution presumes the existence of "executive Departments" headed by "principal officers", whose appointment mechanism is provided for in the Appointments Clause; this allowance in the Constitution formed the basis for creation of the Department of Defense in 1947 by the National Security Act. The DoD is headed by the Secretary of Defense, a civilian and member of the Cabinet.
The Defense Secretary is second in the U. S. Armed Forces chain of command, with the exception of the Coast Guard, under the Secretary of Homeland Security, is just below the President and serves as the
United States National Guard
The United States National Guard commonly referred to as just the National Guard, is part of the reserve components of the United States Armed Forces. It is a reserve military force, composed of National Guard military members or units of each state and the territories of Guam, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, for a total of 54 separate organizations. All members of the National Guard of the United States are members of the militia of the United States as defined by 10 U. S. C. § 246. National Guard units are under the dual control of the federal government; the majority of National Guard soldiers and airmen hold a civilian job full-time while serving part-time as a National Guard member. These part-time guardsmen are augmented by a full-time cadre of Active Guard & Reserve personnel in both the Army National Guard and Air National Guard, plus Army Reserve Technicians in the Army National Guard and Air Reserve Technicians in the Air National Guard; the National Guard is a joint activity of the United States Department of Defense composed of reserve components of the United States Army and the United States Air Force: the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard respectively.
Local militias were formed from the earliest English colonization of the Americas in 1607. The first colony-wide militia was formed by Massachusetts in 1636 by merging small older local units, several National Guard units can be traced back to this militia; the various colonial militias became state militias. The title "National Guard" was used in 1824 by some New York State militia units, named after the French National Guard in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette. "National Guard" became a standard nationwide militia title in 1903, indicated reserve forces under mixed state and federal control since 1933. The first muster of militia forces in what is today the United States took place on September 16, 1565, in the newly established Spanish military town of St. Augustine; the militia men were assigned to guard the expedition's supplies while their leader, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, took the regular troops north to attack the French settlement at Fort Caroline on the St. Johns River; this Spanish militia tradition and the English tradition that would be established to the north would provide the basic nucleus for Colonial defense in the New World.
The militia tradition continued with the first permanent English settlements in the New World. Jamestown Colony and Plymouth Colony both had militia forces, which consisted of every able bodied adult male. By the mid-1600s every town had at least one militia company and the militia companies of a county formed a regiment. From the nation's founding through the early 1900s, the United States maintained only a minimal army and relied on state militias, directly related to the earlier Colonial militias to supply the majority of its troops; as a result of the Spanish–American War, Congress was called upon to reform and regulate the training and qualification of state militias. The first national laws regulating the militia were the Militia acts of 1792. In 1903, with passage of the Dick Act, the predecessor to the modern-day National Guard was formed, it required the states to divide their militias into two sections. The law recommended the title "National Guard" for the first section, known as the organized militia, "Reserve Militia" for all others.
During World War I, Congress passed the National Defense Act of 1916, which required the use of the term "National Guard" for the state militias and further regulated them. Congress authorized the states to maintain Home Guards, which were reserve forces outside the National Guards being deployed by the Federal Government. In 1933, with passage of the National Guard Mobilization Act, Congress finalized the split between the National Guard and the traditional state militias by mandating that all federally funded soldiers take a dual enlistment/commission and thus enter both the state National Guard and the National Guard of the United States, a newly created federal reserve force; the National Defense Act of 1947 created the Air Force as a separate branch of the Armed Forces and concurrently created the Air National Guard of the United States as one of its reserve components, mirroring the Army's structure. The National Guard of the several states and the District of Columbia serves as part of the first-line of defense for the United States.
The state National Guard is organized into units stationed in each of the 50 states, three territories, the District of Columbia, operates under their respective state or territorial governor, except in the instance of Washington, D. C. where the National Guard operates under the President of his designee. The governors exercise control through the state adjutants general; the National Guard may be called up for active duty by the governors to help respond to domestic emergencies and disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes. The National Guard is administered by the National Guard Bureau, a joint activity of the Army and Air Force under the DoD; the National Guard Bureau provides a communication channel for state National Guards to the DoD. The National Guard Bureau provides policies and requirements for training and funds for state Army National Guard and state Air National Guard units, the allocation of federal funds to the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard, other administrative responsibilities prescribed under 10 U.
S. C. § 10503. The National Guard Bureau is
Police uniforms of the United States
Police uniforms in the United States vary due to the nation's tradition of decentralized law enforcement. Over time, however, a number of general conventions and styles have become representative of American police fashion. Police officers wear uniforms to deter crime by establishing a visible presence while on patrol, to make themselves identifiable to non-police officers or their colleagues who require assistance, to identify each other at crime scenes for ease of coordination. Centralized, municipally-managed police departments were unknown in the United States prior to the 1830s. Early law enforcement functions were performed by volunteer watchmen as well as elected or appointed constables and sheriffs, who were paid by the fee system for warrants they served; the advent of professional police forces in the United States foreshadowed the introduction of standardized police uniforms. While uniforms for police had been introduced in the United Kingdom as early as 1828, adoption of standardized dress in the United States took longer, with many of the new police objecting to uniforms out of concern they would be subject to public ridicule.
Nonetheless, in 1854, the New York City Police Department became the United States' first municipal police force to issue uniforms to its officers. New York City was followed, in 1858, by Boston and soon thereafter, other cities; the navy blue uniforms adopted by many police departments in this early period were surplus United States Army uniforms from the Civil War. Cover took the form of stovepipe hats, a starched woolen head cover similar in appearance to a top hat but with a squatter dimension, or British-style custodian helmets. In rural areas, where preventative policing was limited or non-existent, sheriff's deputies continued to wear civilian attire, using only their badge as a mark of identification. In many states this practice continued well into the following century; the Orange County, California sheriff's office, for instance, did not adopt a uniform until 1938. By the early 20th century, the style and form of American police uniforms had settled into its modern pattern of button-up shirts, neckties and military-style blouses with unbanded collars, all worn with peaked hats.
Many early uniforms had loose-fitting jackets that would conceal a police officer's equipment, such as truncheon and sidearm. Beginning in the 1930s, officers more began wearing their personal gear on a Sam Browne belt worn outside the coat, for ease of access. One of the biggest evolutionary experiments in police uniform design began in 1969, when the police department in Menlo Park, California moved away from typical police uniforms, opting instead for a dress style designed to better emulate civilian fashion trends and communicate a "softer" appearance; the new uniforms consisted of black slacks, a white shirt and black necktie. Officers wore their weapons concealed under their coats. Many other police departments soon followed the Menlo Park lead. In psychological tests, it was discovered police - after using the new uniform - displayed less authoritarian personality characteristics. In addition and suspects injured during arrests by police dropped by 50-percent and assaults on officers by suspects plummeted by nearly a third.
Despite these promising signs, however, it was subsequently determined that other factors, including increased police recruitment of college graduates and adoption of more responsive management techniques, had accounted for the statistical shifts. By the eighth year of the uniform experiment, assaults on police had more than doubled from what they were prior to the dress change and the "civilian" style uniforms were subsequently dropped. Despite the wide variety of uniforms used by United States police departments all incorporate the use of metallic badges as a means of primary identification. Unlike in the United Kingdom, where officers both in and out of uniform carry - but do not publicly display - paper or plastic warrant cards, US police badges are the official symbol of office and are prominently worn over the left chest of the uniform. In Virginia, for instance, police only have the power to make arrests when "in uniform, or displaying a badge of office."Badges are engraved with a unique identification number matched to the officer to whom it is issued.
Some departments - most notably the New York City Police Department - traditionally pass individual badges through several generations of police so that current officers can establish a symbolic connection with the retired and deceased officers to whom their badge had been issued. In the case of the NYPD, officers who misplace their badge are docked five days of vacation time and many officers wear replica badges to avoid losing their issued badge. Federal law prohibits the sale or purchase of counterfeit police badges and many states have laws regulating the wearing of metallic badges by persons other than law enforcement. Florida, for instance, prohibits unauthorized persons from wearing or displaying badges if their wear or display would be to deceive someone. New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey, allow private security guards to wear badges provided they are in the shape of a square and not the more traditional shield or star shape used by police. Badges are constructed out of metal with an enamel finish in either a gold and/or silver.
As a general rule, the badges issued by county sheriff's offices take the form of a five, six, or seven-pointed star, while municipal police have shiel
A detective is an investigator a member of a law enforcement agency. They collect information to solve crime by talking to witnesses and informants, collecting physical evidence, or searching records in databases; this leads them to enable them to be convicted in court. A detective may work for the police or privately. Informally, in fiction, a detective is a licensed or unlicensed person who solves crimes, including historical crimes, by examining and evaluating clues and personal records in order to uncover the identity and/or whereabouts of the criminal. In some police departments, a detective position is achieved by passing a written test after a person completes the requirements for being a police officer. In many other police systems, detectives are college graduates who join directly from civilian life without first serving as uniformed officers; some people argue that detectives do a different job and therefore require different training, qualifications and abilities than uniformed officers.
The opposing argument is that without previous service as a uniformed patrol officer, a detective cannot have a great enough command of standard police procedures and problems and will find it difficult to work with uniformed colleagues. Some are private persons, may be known as private investigators, or as "The Eye That Never Sleeps" – the motto of the Pinkerton Detective Agency or shortened to "private eyes"; the detective branch in most large police agencies is organized into several squads or departments, each of which specializes in investigation into a particular type of crime or a particular type of undercover operation, which may include: homicide, burglary, auto theft, organized crimes, missing persons, juvenile crime, narcotics, criminal intelligence, aggravated assault/battery, sexual assault, computer crime, domestic violence and arson, among others. In police departments of the United States, a regular detective holds the rank of "Detective"; the rank structure of the officers who supervise them varies by department.
In Commonwealth police forces, detectives have equivalent ranks to uniformed officers but with the word "Detective" prepended to it. In some countries, the practice of a detective is not yet recognized in courts and judicial processes. One of these countries is Portugal, where the proof presented loses all significance when collected by a private detective. Under this circumstance, the practice of this activity is in demand and ruled by a code of conduct. Before the 19th century, there were few municipal police departments, though the first had been created in Paris in 1667; as police activities moved from appointees helped by volunteers to professionals, the idea of dedicated detectives did not arise. The first private detective agency was founded by Eugène François Vidocq in Paris in the early 1800s, who had headed a police agency in addition to being a criminal himself. Police detective activities were pioneered in England by the Bow Street Runners and the Metropolitan Police Service in Greater London.
The first police detective unit in the United States was formed in 1846 in Boston. Detectives have a wide variety of techniques available in conducting investigations. However, the majority of cases are solved by the interrogation of suspects and the interviewing of witnesses, which takes time. Besides interrogations, detectives may rely on a network of informants they have cultivated over the years. Informants have connections with persons a detective would not be able to approach formally. Evidence collection and preservation can help in identifying a potential suspect. Criminal investigation: the investigation of criminal activity is conducted by the police. Criminal activity can relate to road use such as speeding, drunk driving, or to matters such as theft, drug distribution, fraud, etc; when the police have concluded their investigation, a decision on whether to charge somebody with a criminal offence will be made by prosecuting counsel having considered the evidence produced by the police.
In criminal investigations, once a detective has suspects in mind, the next step is to produce evidence that will stand up in a court of law. The best way is to obtain a confession from the suspect. In some countries Detectives may lie and psychologically pressure a suspect into an admission or confession as long as they do this within procedural boundaries and without the threat of violence or promises outside their control; this is not permitted in England and Wales where the interview of suspects and witnesses is governed by the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. Physical forensic evidence in an investigation may provide leads to closing a case. Forensic science is the application of a broad spectrum of sciences to answer questions of interest to the legal system; this may be in relation to a civil action. Many major police stations in a city, county, or state, maintain their own forensic laboratories while others contract out the services. Detectives may use private records to provide background information on a subject.
Police detectives can search through files of fingerprint records. Police maintain records of people who have committed some misdemeanors. Detectives may search through records of criminal arrests and convictions, photographs or mug shots, of persons arrested, an