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How to become an interpol agent

Updated March 23, 2017

Being an international agent may sound as exciting and sexy as being James Bond. In reality, working on an international case is much like working on any other law enforcement matter--in part, because your law enforcement job remains basically the same. INTERPOL, the International Criminal Police Organization, facilitates international law enforcement cooperation. While it has contracted jobs for administrative and support personnel, all its law enforcement officials are actually employees of their home countries' national and local law enforcement agencies. Law enforcement officers are simply assigned or delegated international cases as needed.

Discuss your interest in handling INTERPOL related cases with your commanding officer. Because cases and issues are dispatched to the federal, state and local agencies with appropriate jurisdiction, a case may come to your agency. They need to know of your interest.

Contact the INTERPOL Central Bureau in Washington, D.C. to express your interested in being more involved in international crime cases. The Central Bureau is part of the U.S. Department of Justice and works with hundreds of agencies on various cases. The bureau may be able to advise you on which agencies have more international work.

Look into positions in federal law enforcement agencies that have higher volumes of INTERPOL cases, such as the FBI. If you are a municipal police officer, sheriff's deputy or other local law enforcement agent, your opportunities for INTERPOL cases may be more limited.

Take college courses on international law and law enforcement. A higher degree with a speciality in international law and crime can make you a better candidate for INTERPOL cases and other federal work.

Advocate for yourself. Follow up regularly with commanding officers about transfer possibilities and job openings for which you may apply. Generally, getting into a specialised and coveted area of law enforcement takes a lot of footwork on the part of the applicant.

Things You'll Need

  • Law enforcement job
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About the Author

Eric Feigenbaum started his career in print journalism, becoming editor-in-chief of "The Daily" of the University of Washington during college and afterward working at two major newspapers. He later did many print and Web projects including re-brandings for major companies and catalog production.