Criminal Justice News

Thursday, September 30, 2010

CGIS: Service, Integrity, Justice

Written by: LT Connie Braesch

Thanks to hit television shows like NCIS, military investigative services have gained fame and public recognition in recent years. But, investigations aren’t new for the Coast Guard.

Originating in 1915 under the Chief Intelligence Officer, Coast Guard Investigations remained relatively unknown to the general public until the enactment of prohibition. From then on it grew in personnel and responsibility becoming Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) in 1996.

Under the authority of Title 14 of the United States Code, CGIS is a federal investigative and protective program established to carry out the Coast Guard’s internal and external criminal investigations; to assist in providing personal security services; to protect the welfare of Coast Guard people; to aid in preserving the internal integrity of the Coast Guard; and to support Coast Guard missions worldwide.

Yesterday, 18 of the Coast Guard’s newest CGIS special agents graduated from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, Georgia. This graduating class is the largest and one of the last comprised of all Coast Guard agents. Typically, FLETC classes are made up of trainees from the Coast Guard and other agencies, but this one was entirely CGIS.

Depending on their previous level of experience and training, CGIS agents attend a three month basic criminal investigations course before they attend two months of Coast Guard specific training. After receiving their Coast Guard Special Agent Credentials at the ceremony today, the group of about half active duty and half civilian will depart FLETC and report to various duty stations all over the nation.

Today, CGIS has a total of about 90 active duty military and civilian special agents and 150 reserve special agents. Military agents come from any of Coast Guard specialties and ratings and must apply based on an annual solicitation. Civilian agents typically apply to join CGIS from other federal, state or local law enforcement agencies. CGIS reserve agents serve in the Coast Guard Reserve Investigator rating.

“The U.S. Coast Guard’s demand for outstanding investigative services, coupled with the world-class training our new agents received at FLETC and the tremendous diversity of experience and capabilities they bring, will continue to raise the importance and visibility of CGIS within the Coast Guard as they go to their assignments around the country,” said Mr. Bill Tarry, Deputy to the Assistant Commandant for Intelligence and Criminal Investigations.

Congratulations to the newest agents of CGIS!

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