Investigative Assistants perform a wide variety of support functions for law enforcement and counter terrorism units. These responsibilities often fall within the administrative, legal and technical sphere, which may require them to devote long hours at their desks, before a computer, in a crime lab or at the scene of an investigation. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency employs hundreds of investigative units to identify, track down, and apprehend international fugitives, terrorists, smugglers, gang members, and violators of immigration laws, and Investigative Assistants perform critical roles in these operations.
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Investigative Assistants are often called upon to collect information about suspects from a vast network of government databases that may include prison records, criminal histories, and intelligence files. This information is organized and presented to key investigators and managers along with potential connections to other individuals and networks, potential threat assessments, and likely behavior. In many cases, Investigative Assistants provide analyses of individuals and organizations and make recommendations that enable front line officers to take swift and appropriate action.
These key support professionals also expedite the many administrative and legal procedures necessary for law enforcement and counter terrorism missions to succeed. They handle the paperwork necessary to detain or deport foreign nationals, interface with the justice system and other agencies, and procure the information and tools necessary to conduct major operations.
Investigative Assistant Job Description
Investigative Assistants are required to perform the following duties:
- Research and prepare reports for supervisors and administrative managers
- Gather information from government information systems and relay it expeditiously to appropriate personnel
- Prepare detention, prosecution and deportation paperwork
- Provide oversight of lab personnel while they perform tests
- Monitor telecommunications during operations
- Liaise with other agencies and personnel during missions
- Conduct performance reviews of law enforcement and mission personnel
- Request legal permission from agency managers and judicial courts for sensitive operations
Investigative Assistant Salary and Job Benefits
Investigative Assistants who enter U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement may initiate their federal term of employment at the GS-5, GS-6, or GS-7 pay level, with the opportunity to be promoted to the GS-9 pay level. For 2012, the salary ranges for these pay levels were as follows:
- General Schedule 5: $27,431-$35,657
- General Schedule 6: $30,577-$39,748
- General Schedule 7: $33,979-$44,176
- General Schedule 9: $41,563-$54,028
These are the base salaries and may be adjusted by the cost of living associated with the location of the job posting. These positions are primarily administrative and clerical in nature, but some jobs may be classified as law enforcement. If the position is denoted as law enforcement, then there is a 25 percent bonus of the base salary as a result of the Law Enforcement Availability Payment (LEAP) which is meant to compensate for extended hours and around the clock availability. If the particular position is not denoted as law enforcement, then the usual bonuses of 50 percent for overtime, as well some bonuses for holiday, Sunday or night shift work.
Investigative Assistants receive a generous benefits package that all federal employees merit. This package includes the following provisions:
- Health plan options that also include vision and dental
- Personal leave days based on number of hours per pay period, as well as paid holidays
- Paid training
- Thrift Savings Plans that function similarly to 401k plans
- Flexible Spending Accounts that provide additional coverage against medical expenses
- Full retirement options after 20 to 30 years of service
- Life and long term care insurance
- Tuition reimbursement
To learn more about how to become an ICE investigative assistant, click here.