DEA Recruits Prepare To Enter Frontline of WoDs

DEA Recruits Prepare To Enter Frontline of WoDs
Posted by CN Staff on December 07, 2002 at 09:04:40 PT
TV 10 News Story
Source: WAVY-TV
They are the group in charge of making sure cocaine, heroin and ecstasy stay out of our cities. The Drug Enforcement Administration is an agency about 10,000 people strong...with offices all over the world, including Norfolk. But as the war on drugs gets more sophisticated, and larger amounts get moved from city to city, there's always a need for more agents.
WAVY News 10's Derek Wing went to the Virginia location where these agents are trained....and while a lot of people may not know exactly what a DEA recruit goes through, WAVY News 10 discovered the training is intensely demanding. What makes a DEA agent? According to DEA Special Agent In Charge of Training, John McCarty, it's drive, initiative, and courage."It take a lot of guts to go out there and fight this war, if you will, on drugs," says McCarty.It's a war that's going in nearly every city in America...including Hampton Roads. "This nation has a drug use, drug abuse problem," says McCarty. "DEA agents investigate those crimes of narcotics."The war requires WAVY News 10 not to identify agents or recruits for their own safety."The DEA is routinely in the not-so-nice sections of the U.S.," said one agent. "We're out on the street, we're doing surveillance. We're talking to people who aren't good people...very bad people."So what qualities does it take to be one of the good guys? In addition to the aforementioned drive, initiative, and courage, on agent adds toughness, compassion, and integrity. As he says, "a hard-charger."WAVY News 10 visited DEA headquarters at Quantico Marine Base in northern Virginia. There, our cameras got an exclusive look inside the 16-week training course of this branch of federal law enforcement created in 1973. "The training process is very hard, very long, and very difficult and it's made that way so we can put some stress on them and see how they react to stressful situations," says one agentTrainees are put in situations that require near-perfection, such as qualifying on the shooting range, because that's what's needed out on the street...where one mistake can cost you your life.As one agent says, "DEA wants the best of the best."WAVY News 10's camera found recruits striving and driving to be the best, just like the 4600 agents already out there working to stop drugs in the United States and abroad.The 16-week training session is probably the toughest things these recruits will go through. But it's all done for a purpose because their ultimate aim is to become DEA agents."The DEA process is more like a gladiator school," says one recruit. "You have to teach to fight, to survive, in a lot of situations.On this day, the gladiators had to endure a 'short' 5-mile run. Others were learning to shoot a Glock-40 accurately under high-pressure conditions. Still more were learning to drive on the skid control course.For trainees, there's also classroom work - learning about the past, such as DEA history - and the future, like new technology.It seems like a lot to handle in just 16-weeks. But Special Agent In Charge McCarty says it's necessary because the war on drugs is a constant struggle. "The people we go up against are very determined, very well financed, very cunning, and very direct in what they do. We have to meet that challenge, we do that every day and we do a very good job of it."DEA agents say drug dealers are getting smarter, and in some cases more violent.A DEA agent who previously worked in the Norfolk office says drugs are on the rise in Hampton Roads."The amount of drugs there has increased in the past 15 years," says the agent, who wishes to remain anonymous.According to DEA officials, in Portsmouth the main drug of choice is heroin. In Norfolk, it's crack. Newport News and Hampton have problems with crack and powder cocaine. In Virginia Beach, it's marijuana, powder cocaine and crack.Most of the illegal drugs in these cities come from places like Miami or New York.With just 15 DEA agents in the Norfolk office patrolling an area from the North Carolina border to Westmoreland County, the war on drugs in Hampton Roads looks to be a tough one. Especially since dealers are constantly evolving."They've become very smart. If police catch them doing one thing, they change their tactics. They're very savvy. They use email, computers, cell phones. They learn from their mistakes," says McCarty.The DEA is not fighting the battle alone. Local police are joining the effort."The Integrated Drug Enforcement Assistance program is one that's very effective in many states,"says McCarty. "It's something the public has cried out for and they've seen the effectiveness of this initiative in many cities and they want it for their own."This integrated approach, called IDEA for short, is being tested in three U.S. of which is Portsmouth.It's a program DEA officials hope will go a long way in reducing the amount of illegal drugs on Hampton Roads' streets."DEA's lifeblood is the local police officer. They know what's going on, they have all the good information and they make very good cases," says McCarty. "Hampton Roads should be thankful for that."IDEA is a pilot program that began over the summer and is still in the trial phase. But it's already gotten enough positive reaction that it's expanding from the three original cities - Portsmouth, Allentown, Penn., and Charleston, S.C. - and adding two more cities by the end of the year, Springfield, Missouri, and Mobile, Ala.In addition to stopping illegal drugs from being sold and consumed, the DEA also has another unit that monitors the distribution of 'legal' drugs and chemicals for 'illegal' purposes.Complete Title: DEA Recruits Prepare to Enter Frontline of War on DrugsReal Video Clip: WAVY - TV (VA)Published: December 7, 2002Copyright: 2002 WorldNow and WAVYWebsite: Articles:New DEA Chief Uses Map as Much as Wit Plans New DEA Program
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Comment #3 posted by medicinal toker on December 07, 2002 at 11:39:41 PT
It takes a lot of gall
DEA Special Agent In Charge of Training, John McCarty said, "It take a lot of guts to go out there and fight this war, if you will, on drugs."It takes a lot of gall, and a particularly soul-less evildoer free of any kind of conscience to go in and steal medicine from sick and dying Americans.It takes a special kind of cruelty to be able to unleash such deliberate brutality on sick people, like holding a gun to their head, or handcuffing a paraplegic.Humanity really hasn't progressed very far ethically from the dark ages.
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on December 07, 2002 at 10:18:18 PT
Hey, agent #zero-69,
put down those urine cups, You got a phone call.
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Comment #1 posted by Patrick on December 07, 2002 at 09:16:53 PT
DEAth Special Agent Tactics
"This nation has a drug use, drug abuse problem," says McCarty.And in an Patriotic effort to solve drug abuse… Others were learning to shoot a Glock-40 accurately under high-pressure conditions.Nice solution.
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