Thursday, January 28, 2016

And Now For Something Almost Completely Different...

...among the huge number of gals and guns images on the Internet. I have never seen one quite like this one before:

All the best,

I Am Happy I Retired From HSI/ICE/DHS When I Did...

...although it might have been the better move for me to have retired 6 years before when I first became eligible. It having had been better would have been due solely to the fact that I would have gotten out of the only truly aimless and pointless agency and department that I had ever worked for, during my 32 year career in federal law enforcement, at an earlier date than I did when I retired later on. DHS had almost the lowest rating in morale among federal departments for the few years before I retired and ICE almost the worst morale of all the agencies within DHS. Last year, it was reported they both had the worst rankings in morale - DHS the worst morale of any federal department and ICE the worst morale rating within DHS. I believe that was pretty much due to DHS and ICE having terrible executive and mid-management and to them being a department and an agency without a true mission to accomplish, in other words they are pointless and aimless.

Just about every time I have read something about DHS or ICE (including HSI) since I retired, just over four years ago, I feel certain flashbacks of despair and I feel newly sown shame. Let me just say it was not a good experience working there and almost everything I have seen about them, since I retired, has been bad news. For instance, take the latest article that is making the rounds on Internet news sites. It has been reported that (and this is in regard to DHS and its agencies):

"Inventory reports, obtained by the news site Complete Colorado and shared with, show that over 1,300 badges, 165 firearms and 589 cell phones were lost or stolen over the span of 31 months between 2012 and 2015." (Source.)

While the article goes on to state that most of the losses were at Customs & Border Protection, apparently many were from ICE too. ICE has several agencies within it, so there might not have been any, or at least not many, losses from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) where I worked. Yet, this news is still depressing for me. I would think it likewise for anyone else with any amount of pride who also had worked there. At least it certainly makes me feel somewhat ashamed to admit to folks that I once worked there. I mean, how proud can one be that they worked for a department or agency with such low morale and from which these averages were generated:

Almost 42 badges (and I must assume also the credentials that went with them) were lost or stolen each month during the 31 month time frame mentioned above.

On average, 5.3 guns were lost or stolen, each month, in that same time frame.

About 19 cellphones a month went missing as well, again either lost or stolen.

That is an absolute disgrace in my estimation. In my 32 years of government service, I cannot recall ever having lost a piece of equipment that had been issued to me by the government except for a single cell phone that fell out of its clip and into the bay while I was boarding a boat in Florida. I promptly reported it. Since the phone was not waterproof and was not easily retrievable there was no worry about any information on it being compromised. There may have been something else I lost during my career but I do not think another phone, certainly never my credentials or badge (except what temporarily went missing in the collapse of the Customhouse on 9/11 and those were cancelled credentials and a government passport) and most definitely never a government issued firearm (except what was lost temporarily in the collapse of the Customhouse at the WTC on 9/11 and that was recovered later from the firearms vault). I never lost an issued gun, as in leaving it somewhere and not recalling where and never had one stolen from me. Same with my credentials.

As a matter of fact, I never heard of a rate of such losses as being that high, in my career, when I worked for the Border Patrol, nor for the Customs Service, nor even when I was under DHS. It just boggles the mind that as many phones, credentials/badges and firearms go missing at such a high rate, and it is scary to think of how those government phones, credentials/badges, and guns could be used by those with evil intent. Then again it does not surprise me that it has been happening within DHS. So many are miserable because of working there that it simply is not surprising to me that proper care is not practiced by DHS employees in safeguarding these items. Note, I am not excusing proper safeguarding of those items, I just am saying I understand how such laxness has come about.

Scarier yet though is the thought of how much information, law enforcement sensitive to classified to classified as top secret, could be going missing from the hands of the employees of this same department and its agencies. I doubt thought that DHS will be revealing stats on losses of information though, at least not any time soon. That if only because they, in my opinion, probably see no need to compete with the potential losses of classified information by Hillary Clinton.

All the best,