United States Postal Inspection Service - Training History

The United States Postal inspection Service is the oldest federal law enforcement agency in the country. With over 200 years of experience, the Postal Inspection Service has continuously revised and reformed training methods to bring knowledgeable and successful new agents to the field.

Original Appointment and Training

For the first 150 years of the organization every Postal Inspector (Surveyor/Special Agent) had experience in the Postal Service was appointed to the position. They were then trained in the field by those with experience. In 1883, the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act required federal agents to be selected through competitive exams and merit. Before newly appointed Inspectors could begin their in-field training, they were required to take and pass the federal exam until 1943.

During the 1920s and 1930s, due to an increase in postal crimes, Congress allotted the Postal Service federal funds to hire new Inspectors, all of which would need to be trained. In 1938, over 7,000 responses were received, and 118 selected to take the Civil Service Examination and begin training in the first official training school.

The School of Instruction was developed to educate new recruits in basic investigation techniques, weapon handling, self-defense, and postal laws and regulations.

Today's Training

With help from Chief Inspector Aldrich (1933-1943), the civil Service Commission recognized the Postal Inspector's in-service training program as an alternative to the Civil Service Examination by 1943. Over the next 85 years, Postal Inspection training programs were advanced and enhanced to prepare Inspectors, Postal Police Officers, and support personnel, for success as members of the Postal Service's law enforcement branch.

Today, recruits can apply online to become part of the Inspection Service, without prior experience in the Postal Service.

If selected, Postal Inspector candidates attend a 16-week program at the Academy where they are evaluated on the knowledge, skills and abilities in communication, personal responsibility, problem-solving, decision- making, and leadership. This is all done while training continues in firearms, self-defense, investigation tactics, and postal laws and regulations.

How to Become Part of the U.S. Inspection Service

Periodically the Postal Inspection Service opens it recruitment portal for Internal and External applicants.

Currently we are accepting applications for the new Postal Police Class. Apply here
< BR> To know more about the requirements and to stay up to date on postal openings check the Postal Inspection Service website.


Explore the history of the United States Postal Inspection Service.