Security Comes with a Stamp

Despite the many changes to the Postal Service since its inception, there is this constant held by our customers: Americans have the right to mail and receive letters and packages with every expectation that no one will tamper with or steal their mail. The Postal Inspection Service, the federal law enforcement, crime prevention and security arm of the Postal Service, helps deliver on that expectation.

The Postal Inspection Service ensures the safety, security and integrity of the U.S. Mail. Their mission is to support and protect the Postal Service and its employees, infrastructure and customers; enforce the laws that defend the nation’s mail system from illegal or dangerous use; and ensure public trust in the mail. The Postal Inspection Service completes this mission with a workforce comprising Postal Inspectors; uniformed Postal Police Officers; contract security providers; and a cadre of professional, technical and administrative employees.

Our Postal Inspectors investigate a wide range of postal-related crimes, such as mail theft, identity theft, dangerous mail, threatening letters, mail bombs, assaults on our employees and postal-related robberies and burglaries. And they protect against the use of the mail to launder drug money, defraud customers, traffic in illegal drugs and exploit children.

The Postal Inspection Service also maintains a state-of-the-art National Forensic Laboratory, comprising highly trained forensic scientists and technical specialists who play a key role in identifying, apprehending, prosecuting and convicting individuals responsible for postal-related criminal offenses. They provide scientific and technical expertise to the criminal and security investigations of the Postal Inspection Service.

Carrying out that mission also means ensuring that our employees, customers and some 32,000 Postal Service facilities are safe from criminal attack and the nation’s mail system is protected from criminal misuse. Whether dealing with mail thieves in colonial times, stagecoach robbers in the 1800s, gangsters in the 1930s, Wall Street insider traders in the 1980s, the Unabomber in the 1980s and 1990s, or, in this century, anthrax mailings and cybercrimes — the Postal Inspection Service has been there.

If it has anything to do with safeguarding the safety, security and integrity of the nation’s mail system from criminal misuse, they do it. And they’ve been doing it successfully since Benjamin Franklin appointed William Goddard the first surveyor, the precursor of today’s Postal Inspector, on Aug. 7, 1775.