Friday, May 8, 2015

I Am Happy I Left That Shitberg...

...known as Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) when I did leave it in November 2011. I spent about 8 years and 6 months under DHS - first in the Bureau of Immigration & Customs Enforcement (until the FBI got peeved that the name contained the word bureau), then in ICE, then in HSI (when the ICE Office of Investigations was sick and tired of being associated with ICE, it changed its name to HSI, but ironically remained under ICE). ICE had one of the worst ratings, if not the absolute worst one, as to the morale of its employees as compared to other government agencies and it reportedly has stayed that way for years (source).

I spent 32 years plus in federal law enforcement, the first 4 in the Border Patrol, the next almost 20 in the U.S. Customs Service and the last 8 plus a bit in ICE/HSI. My last 8 years were miserable. Yes, I will admit, I think GWB fucked up big time by creating DHS but I must also point out that it got much worse under BHO. It was, in my opinion, the political arse kissing numbskulls put in charge of the department from the cabinet level positions, down through the ICE's management, mid-level management, down to some of the lowly group supervisors of the agency, that made it a miserable place to work. (I will note I had some excellent supervisors too but many on the job were not cut out to be managers other than at Mickey D's. ) Even some of the street agents were absolute arsehats (but not most by far). So, the lion's share of the blame goes to mismanagement and the lack of strong supervision. Supervision lacking, what was abundant was piss poor managing and that made working there really miserable. In all of my career, I never before had experienced an outfit with less understanding of its purpose, more floundering, less direction,  more politics, and sheer inept boobs in charge who tried to make things like basic round-ups of known wanted petty criminals look like major investigative achievements than I did during my time in ICE. In addition, as far as I could tell, disregard for the Constitution and the rights therein ran fairly high at ICE in some instances.

Now, while you may note I speak from personal experience, in the first person, it is not just me who feels that way about morale while having worked there. That there are many others who feel/felt likewise is evident in the fact that once again ICE reportedly rates at the bottom for morale among federal agencies as apparent in this quote:

"If the latest federal workforce employee survey is any measure, the Department of Homeland Security is the worst office Uncle Sam runs, and and its Customs and Immigration Enforcement agency is its least desirable post."  (Source.)

Do I miss ICE/HSI? Yes, a little bit but not very much at all, certainly nowhere near as much as I miss the Customs Service Office of Investigations, or the Customs Patrol Tactical Enforcement Division, or the Border Patrol; those were good agencies and excellent jobs. In fact, I miss almost nothing at all about the job at ICE if only because it truly sucked the goodness out of federal law enforcement work and destroyed the employee's desire to get the job done (that is if the employee could figure out exactly what was the job).

I do, however, miss many of the people with whom I worked; most were good at heart, moral, ethical and hard working law enforcement agents and personnel. God or Nature bless them and give them a better place to work, under a new and better administration, as soon as possible.

If you are wondering why I called it a "shitberg" in the title of this post: ICE had a poster made up showing a huge iceberg mostly submerged with the saying, as best as I can recall: "ICE—What you see is just the tip of the iceberg". My reply to that was that only ICE floated lower than shit. How true that thought seems to have been for so many of its employees, based upon their repeated low reviews of morale while working there, is a shame. Sadly, despite the grand purpose that was underlying the creation of DHS and ICE, ICE seemingly has turned out to be little more than a travesty of  professionalism among all other federal law enforcement agencies.

All the best,
Glenn B

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