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U.S. Maritime Law Enforcement Practices

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Chapter Summary

The Coast Guard conducts law enforcement operations to prevent illegal drug and migrant transit, to manage fisheries and other natural resources, and to ensure the security of our nation's borders. The Coast Guard must have the legal power to act and have specific statutory basis before taking law enforcement action. Training ensures knowledge of the law, effectiveness of seizures and arrests, and safety of officers. The Coast Guard formed Joint Interagency Task Forces (JIATF) to provide better information collection and sharing among U.S. agencies. 28 agreements have grown from a simple declaration that provides jurisdiction to cooperation at many levels. The Department of Defence brought significant capability to the operational mission of drug interdiction. Mission commanders define success by the number of migrants intercepted, drugs seized, and intentional pollution cases prosecuted.

Keywords: fisheries; illegal drug; Joint Interagency Task Forces (JIATF); regional cooperation; U.S. maritime law enforcement practice



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