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DEA actively recruiting agents across the U.S.

The agency is working to get to full capacity of about 5,000 agents.
The agency is working to get to full capacity of about 5,000 agents.
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 11:34 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 23, 2022 at 11:37 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (WGCL/Gray News) - The Drug Enforcement Administration is recruiting hundreds of agents nationwide.

While the DEA combats the opioid epidemic that continues to claim lives, the agency is working to get to full capacity of about 5,000 agents.

“We need to hire the next generation of the best and brightest to help us combat this drug threat that’s going to be ever-changing,” Rob Murphy said, Special Agent in Charge of DEA Atlanta. “I can’t even imagine what the next 20 years is going to look like.”

Murphy said crimes the agency is combatting and the way agents do their jobs are evolving.

“I think we’re going to see an end of the plant-based drug threat and we’re going to see more of the synthetics, which is much more dangerous, it’s obviously more addictive,” he said. “Obviously we’re seeing the outcome with fentanyl, easy to make and way more profitable for the cartels and I think that’s where we’re headed in the future.”

The process of becoming a DEA agent isn’t an easy one. Only about 5% of applicants are hired.

The process starts with having to pass a physical task assessment that includes push-ups, sit-ups, a 300-meter sprint and a one-and-a-half mile run.

“It’s the number one vital moment in the agent hiring process to pass the assessment because if you can’t pass the physical task assessment, you can’t move on through the hiring process,” Special Agent Geoff Furman said, the recruiter for the DEA Atlanta Division. The division covers Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

If applicants pass the physical assessment, they move on to a written test and an interview in front of a panel of special agents. Furman said after that they get a conditional offer letter and go through medical, psychological and polygraph examinations along with a background investigation. They will go through the DEA academy in Quantico, Virginia.

Murphy said they’re looking for people with a variety of backgrounds and interests to be part of the mission.

“We target these organizations at every weak point they have, whether it’s a financial side of it, whether it’s actual on the street drug dealing, there’s smuggling operations, obviously the modes of communication is a huge one,” he said. “We need people that are internet savvy.”

People with backgrounds in law enforcement, military, finance, and more can find a role.

Murphy said, “There isn’t a typical DEA agent.”

Click here to learn more about applying to the DEA.

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