December 30, 2010, - 5:00 pm

TOP Immigration Cop Responds to

By Debbie Schlussel

**** UPDATE: ICE Agent Responds to ICE Top Cop Dinkins – SCROLL DOWN ****

Recently, I posted a memo from a top Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official, James Dinkins, eliminating the title of “Senior Special Agent,” given to ICE agents with several years experience on the job.  As I noted, several agents were upset by this and I viewed it as an attack on achievement and experience in ICE, an agency in which morale keeps getting lower because agents are hamstrung from doing their jobs by Janet Napolitano, Barack Obama, and dumb ICE politics from mostly non-law-enforcement types trying to run the show.  It’s not a strictly “inside baseball” thing because, as I noted, this is the largest agency in Homeland Security and the lead agency on important national security issues, including immigration and international smuggling operations. We want the best agents in this agency. And the best tend to go where they will get the most recognition and reward for their achievement.


Top ICE Cop Jim Dinkins Responds to

As I mentioned, I know Jim Dinkins, who is the Director of Investigations for ICE–a name since changed to Executive Director of Homeland Security Investigations.  And Jim responded, disputing some of my and his agents comments on the site.  Below are his responses, which he gave me permission to post here (he knows I am Jewish, thus the “Happy Holidays” as opposed to “Merry Christmas”):

From: Dinkins, James A
Date: Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 12:45 PM

Hi Debbie,

I see I made the news with the elimination of the Senior Special Agent title. Just so you know, it was totally my decision. Have you ever known me to be anyone’s puppet?

The reason I eliminated it was because when the title “Senior Special Agent” was created in USCS [DS: U.S. Customs Service] decades ago, it was at the GS13 level and had to be earned through a competitive promotional process. It generally took at least ten years or more and some agents never became Senior Special Agents and retired as Special Agents. Then in the mid 90’s, USCS was able to raise the journeyman grade for all Special Agents from GS12 to GS13. With the journeyman level raised to GS13, all fully performing Special Agents become Senior Special Agents in as little as 5 years, and no more then 6 years. That said, I don’t think the title was applicable to the level of experience gained in that short amount of time. While we have great hard working and dedicated Special Agents, I don’t think the title does justice to the individual efforts of the true senior experts in the field.

Happy Holidays,

Jim D

In my response, I noted that while I know he’s no-one’s puppet, with the elimination of certain titles, some non-law enforcement people have been eased into law enforcement positions at ICE, sadly.

And like I said, I think titles and designations are important. ICE Agents and other readers, am I right?

**** UPDATE, 12/31/10: An ICE Agent Responds to Jim Dinkins. He writes:

I just wanted to weigh in on the whole Senior Special Agent issue. I, too, am fairly pissed off about losing the title. I worked very hard to get GS 13. And unlike most other offices in ICE at the time, agents where I worked had to write a justification memo to the SAC [DS: Special Agent in Charge] on why they deserved to be a 13. It meant something to me when I got my 13, and to everyone else in my office because our boss didn’t let slackers get their 13. I also take particular delight in how the title annoys the FBI agents I deal with, because they are all like petulant little children who eye and envy the title like it’s the latest super cool video game their parents won’t let them have. There is a HUGE difference in what a busy HSI agent does on the border and what ANY other federal agent does as far as day to day work. Over the years, I have worked with them all. Even the Annointed Ones in the FBI. No one comes close to us.

After reading Dinkins’ response, I understand his logic, and partially agree. Where I work, we have a younger guy who just got his 13, but he has never made a criminal arrest, never been an affiant for a search warrant, never worked a complex case. A slacker, who has been able to sit back in the weeds, and avoid heavy lifting. On the flip side, another agent I know has done all that and more, and has been on the job less than a year. The kid is a superstar in the making, and deserves a 13 now.

Solution? Leave the title. But put firm requirements in place to meet before promotion. Is that so difficult? Apparently so. This all reminds me of a line from the movie, “The Incredibles.” The villain is going to sell gadgets to the public so they can have super powers like the superheros “Cuz when EVERYONE is special, no one is.”

BTW, my business cards say Senior Special Agent. And I have a lot of them.

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49 Responses

It sounds like he has good reasons for his decision and I trust Jim Dinkins’ judgment. Your real complaint is with the incompetents who run the agency and have politicized it. There’s not much Dinkins or other civil servants can do about the political people brought in to oversee the operation. They just do the best job they can and I don’t envy the office politics much at ICE.

NormanF on December 30, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Let me see… Hitler told me to do it.

    Does this really fly?

    Take a lesson, Dinkins.

    As goes Israel, so goes the World... on December 30, 2010 at 5:42 pm

blah blah blah to you David Dinkins, I mean Jim Dinkins.

As goes Israel, so goes the World... on December 30, 2010 at 5:17 pm

For those who don’t know David Dinkins…

Here’s a quick study:

As goes Israel, so goes the World... on December 30, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Titles are nice and all, but you can’t take one to the bank and deposit it to your checking account.

David on December 30, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Let’s read his statement carefully. What he is really saying is that there has been “grade/salary inflation” at his agency, probably due to affirmative action demands, and thus everyone is a senior. No wonder our country is going bankrupt.

Jonathan Grant on December 30, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    And, I am coming to the realization that these third world countries are sending the freaks to the US that they don’t want in their own countries.

    Notice to all third world freaks: crawl back under the rock from which you came. I am tired of looking at the all the freak foreign invaders on our soil.

    As goes Israel, so goes the World... on December 30, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Jon, you’re brilliant as usual! That’s exactly what I think he’s doing. Every one is equal at ICE and I bet a year’s pay there that no one earned their “Senior Agent” title through merit. Dinkins is chopping at the agency deadwood. Our country is going bankrupt in no small part because ICE and a lot of federal agencies have affirmative action hires – people who got hired and promoted because they had the right ancestry or in some cases, on the political side because they the right connections. With ICE, think Julie L. Myers.

NormanF on December 30, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Odd because ICE and homeland security just came to my house and took away my palistinian roommate whom is now in jail… And he sent the worst Bully Palistinian friend of his whom threatened me to extort money to put my house up to bond him out. Although, I don’t know his charges I still don’t understand why they don’t go after the violent terrorists that live in Detroit directly related to harming me rather then just an immigration case. I guess it is all politics.
I report them all but I have been waiting for 8 years for my rights personal injury claim and defense for me against those arabs whom ruined my life and lived in Detroit. And if i could find the name of his lawyer the nerve of him and lovely Judge Elders seems to think I don’t have a right to ask for personal injury claim when attacked by terrorist during war conflict in foriegn country and I am the orrigional American citizen not them. Someone needs to check their values in the US government and don’t support criminals and bullies immigration crimes are lot less important then terrorists whom take or give money to kill or abuse and opperate freely with support of Detroit and Wayne County government

Heidi Peterson on December 30, 2010 at 6:02 pm

I read his letter like others I have read and read about– “Why should little Jimmy get the only first place ribbon for his efforts, it makes all the other little kids feel bad, let’s take away all the first place ribbons and no one will get their feelings hurt.”

It’s BS for kids and adults.

Lorena on December 30, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    Right On! Lorena, you hit the nail on the head. Competition is now “bad”, and having no outright winners is “good”. I am sick of this garbage that I see in sshools having 25 “valedictorians” in a high school graduation class, and everyone on a kids team getting trophies, whether the team won of lost. What a nation of panseys we have become.

    TEXAG57 on December 31, 2010 at 9:04 am

    L: Very good point.

    Mike on December 31, 2010 at 11:21 am

I think Jon hit it on the head. I was a GS 13 in another federal law enforcement agency. We had to compete for 12s and 13s and it took years. Some agents retired as 12s. No more; agents now can get a 13 without ever making an arrest, going to court, or working a complex case. Many are doing collateral duties because they are too lazy and/or incompetent to work cases. Quota hiring and promotions are the rule. Do you know how much a grade 13 makes now? Amazing!

BSmitty on December 30, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Ever heard the saying “making something out of nothing?” This is nothing more than former Customs Agents doing more of their griping and whining. They were so bitter and angry when they merged with INS and so afraid their precious “standards” would be lowered…they have done nothing but cry and have done all they could to get rid of immigration work so they could concentrate on those huge counterfeit NFL jersey cases keeping the homeland safe!

Mahalo on December 30, 2010 at 6:28 pm

A similar thing happened years ago – pre-DHS days. When INS existed – the natural progression of the Immigration Examiner was 7/9/11….with a Senior Examiner postion requiring competition to get a GS-12. The Examiners were then upgraded because of the complexity of the work they performed – and all Examiners – whose title was changed to ‘District Adjudication Officer’ were paid at a GS-12 level. The title of Senior Examiner went away as that was no longer the progression for promotion. There was no ‘Senior District Adjudication Officer’ position which allowed for another promotion to a GS-13. District Adjudication Officers were the same title across the board… a gs-12 level – expected to do the same level of work. Only those receiving promotions to Supervisory District Adjudication Officer were promoted to a GS-13.

belugajedi on December 30, 2010 at 7:10 pm

No, Debbie, I don’t think that you are totally right on this one. In my view, the actual purchasing power of the disposable income earned by homeland security officers carries far more weight than ping-ponging sentimental ideas over titles and names.

sid on December 30, 2010 at 8:01 pm

ALL you upper grade GS humps get paid WAY too much money for what you bring to the table in real law enforcement.
In my city, you are all just a bunch of working welfare recipients that bleed resources from the real police.

Real police on December 30, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Interesting, Mr. Dinkins asserts that the “senior” title should not be awarded because people generally getting it do not have enough experience with only 5-6 years on the job to accurately receive the title. Can’t argue with that. But then what about all the people that get a supervisory or management position with only 2-4 years on the job, or the people that come into the agency into LE management positions (GS-14/15) with NO prior LE experience and become 1811’s (criminal investigators)? What are their new job titles going to be?

King David on December 30, 2010 at 9:40 pm

From what I gather, if what he says is true, it basically looks like the title became much too easy to acheive. (Babe Ruth fans take note)
For instance, how many soldiers get the Purple Heart? Now if you could get one for a paper cut it make it meaningless, so best to eleminate it and let it keep it’s honorary place, right?

Still, I don’t see why he simply just didn’t change the criteria for acheivement.
Mounds of beurocratic paperwork perhaps?

theShadow on December 30, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Good response from Mr. Dinkins, obviously he is concerned about the level of expertise of ICE criminal investigators who use the title “Senior Special Agent”, with no prior experience, and only 5-6 years on the job. The reason Customs finally raised the S/A journeyman level to GS-13 in the late 1990’s was partly do to the large numbers of agents that had 10-15 years in Customs and worked investigations in many of the Customs disciplines, such as narcotics interdiction, money laundering, Customs Fraud, Strategic, etc., (the late Bonni Tischler actually stated that fact). Although there were always some agents who did attain GS-13 through merit promotion with only 5-6 years on the job (and it was because of a major criminal investigation that had resulted in convictions), there was a huge pool of qualified and talented agents that did not because the number of GS-13 slots were few. You have to consider that GS-13 Senior Special Agent carried with it additional responsibilities, most knew how to run a group, showed the newer agents how to do their work, and in many cases a GS-13 was the back-up supervisor who acted while the regular G/S was absent. Usually in a group of 10-15 agents there was one G/S and 2-3 Senior Special Agents. The level of experience was higher in SAC offices along the border, in Miami, New York City, and Los Angeles. The not so active SAC offices, such as Chicago, and others, had fewer agents, did less work, lacked experience, and relied on other methods for merit promotion. Today, at ICE OI, or whatever, it is meaningless, it has become only a pay grade, and I think there is a method to this madness: After the merger between Customs and Immigration, Customs S/A’s were already GS-13 journeymen, or on track to get it, Immigration agents weren’t and for them the possibility of attaining journeyman GS-13 wasn’t even being considered by I&NS. Now the new “ICE” had a large number of Immigration agents that were going to benefit from the GS-13 journeyman level, although without the experience and training that had gotten Customs the GS-13 journeyman level. During the merger process numerous meetings were held between both managements and the consensus was that Customs agents had a higher level of training and experience than their Immigration counterparts, there are many examples of Immigration agents who have never attended basic criminal investigator school at FLETC, not even Immigration investigator school, and some of them are now G/S’s and ASACS! Say what you will, but that just did not happen at Customs, if you wanted to be an Agent/Criminal Investigator, you had to complete both schools, and there was also other in-service training such as Senior Special Agent seminars, and Title 21 School. ICE has nothing like this now and it is sad that the level of expertise that is expected of ICE agents is so low, just catch, process, and release.

QTD on December 30, 2010 at 10:05 pm

Well, I guess that what Mr. Dinkins says does make sense. After all, ICE employees are expected to ignore any violations of the law committed by illegal aliens (including being here in the first place). So it follows that they are not expected to stand out in their performance. If they do, they are ignoring the de facto ICE policy of tolerating and fostering illegality. So it is reasonable that the title was abolished. It is consistent with the goal of doing nothing to stifle initiative, and promote the most rigid bureaucrats. This is not a reflection on Mr. Dinkins who appears to be a decent person.

Little Al on December 30, 2010 at 10:09 pm

I’m not sure if Mr. Dinkins is trying to be politically correct but ‘Happy Holidays’ is an old and very common term among Christians. Since the Christmas season lasts for more than one day (Advent to Epiphony) it’s a more proper term than that silly ‘Merry Christmas’ anyway. It works without trying to be or not to be ‘politically correct’ or overly ‘sensitive’ to other faiths. soooooooo…..
Happy Holidays!

One odd thing, this year I haven’t heard any talk anywhere about other holidays except Christmas and Channakah.
…no mention of that ripoff muslim holiday or kwanza at all, anywhere…
anywhere at all…
very weird….

I like it!

theShadow on December 30, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    Shadow, you must have missed Pres & Mrs. Obama’s heartfelt Kwaanza message to all Americans, extolling the seven (Marxist) principles of Kwaanza and how they are the ideals our country is built on. Kind of brought a tear to my eye…

    DG in GA on January 1, 2011 at 9:47 am

Well how many other religions have a holiday based in December?

Also I have a question for you all, maybe you can answer it without any insults or non answers. Here goes…

Debbie, you have refereed to Muhammad as a false prophet on this site before yet do not say the same thing about Jesus of Nazareth. As a Jew you must agree that Jesus was nothing more than a false prophet and false messiah, one whose religion has been at the forefront of antisemitism for more then a millennium. So basically, why do you defend a false prophet and his religion when you are aware that they have broken the commandment forbidding other gods and idol worship?

Nick a/k/a “Nak” a/k/a many other names of the same Islamo-pandering Arab I Keep Banning, who Keeps Coming Back: Not sure what the heck your dumb comment has to do with ICE and the title of Senior Special Agent (as in, NOTHING). As you well know, I’ve noted repeatedly on this site that “I don’t believe in Jesus.” I think that’s pretty clear of an indication that I don’t believe Jesus was the savior. If I did, I would be a Christian, not a Jew. I don’t believe the messiah has come yet. Go. Away. DS

Nick on December 31, 2010 at 1:49 am

    It’s very simple, Nick. Muhammad believed and did many things that Jesus would not do. Muhammad was a child molesting, woman beating, infidel killing, lying bastard who would steal and then have sex with animals. I don’t ever recall Jesus doing these things in my studies of Christianity.

    Jarhead on December 31, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Dear, Nick. Your post sets up an impossible task. How can one adequately address the things you assert on this limited forum? Yet you demand that any response fulfill your arbitrary mandates. It didn’t occur to you that you posted insults and non-issues/false dilemmas?

    Aurora on December 31, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Nick, first of all, what difference does it make to you? Instead of commenting on point, you write about Jesus Christ of Nazareth. When you have nothing smart or relevant to say, try not saying anything.

    But, since you did not bring up the point, let me answer the question for Debbie (since she does not like to bother herself with such silliness).

    Debbie supports Jews and Christians, and does not wish to insult either group. She has repeatedly written that she does not believe in Jesus – and that she does not believe that Jesus is G-d. No Jew with a brain would ever deny the birth of Jesus in Nazareth, or that he was crucified/ murderered by the Romans, but we do not believe that he was resurrected or that he is G-d.

    However, history will attest that Jesus Christ was neither a pedophile nor a mass murderer nor a Jew-hater like Mohammed. It serves no purpose to denounce him as a false g-d or anything else. Christians have the right to their beliefs, and Debbie has the right to hers. What no one has a right to do, however, is to impose his beliefs on other people. Muslims try to do this all the time by forcing us to abide by their idiotic sharia law; Debbie, however, does not try to impose her religious views on others. Jews are forbidden from proselytizing to gentiles, anyway.

    But, again, what difference does it make to you what Debbie believes about religion? This is not a religious blog; it is a political one. Why are you trying to distract us from the main point here? Let me guess: because you are a fool.

    You think you know everything, and preach that Debbie “defend[s] a false prophet and his religion” and complain about “breaking the commandment forbidding other gods and idol worship.”


    As for Christian antisemitism, yes – we know – Christians killed Jews during the Crusades, etc. But that was THEN.

    Right now, the enemy of world peace is not Christianity, but Islam. Name one Christian organization that calls daily for the eradication of Jews, America, or Israel. You can’t – because no such organization exists or has existed for many, many years. With Islam, however, we have a whole laundry list: al-Qaeda, the Taliban, HAMAS, Hizbulluh, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Holy Land Foundation, al-Shabbab, etc, etc, etc. As long as the United States of America remains a Christian country, Jews will be mostly free to live here and to practice as they please. I can’t say the same about Muslim countries, where Jews are dhiminis and have to pay a harsh quranic tax if they refuse to convert to Islam. A lot of Muslim countries have expelled or oppressed their Jewish populations; in fact, Orthodox Jews were recently urged to leave the Netherlands because of Muslim anti-semitism and hate crimes. Instead of punishing the offenders and preventing offenses, let’s get rid of the victims, right?

    But, go ahead – preach to Debbie about what she should and should not write, how she should and should not think, etc. Ridiculous.

    Mike on December 31, 2010 at 11:40 am

      Sorry, should say, “since you DID bring up the point.” Typo 🙂

      Mike on December 31, 2010 at 11:44 am

In order for the DHS/ICE/HSI/ to work like a well oil machine, and until then no matter how many new S/A’s are hire, the S/A division need to be separate, period. When the new S/A report for duty, they are told by others to keep away from immigration work, and to do customs investigations, with that said, both agencies bring something to the table, but if they don’t get along it will never work. The merger might have look well on paper, but in the S/A’s world is a sense of dissatisfaction within both legacy agency.
This merger has been going on for quite awhile, you think is going to be fix by a name change, “ICE-HSI” there are still too many legacy agents, and will be here for a while leaving the same mentality to the newer S/A’s to pass on; I have seen it, is sad but that’s the way it is.

Think, will the fire department and the police work well together?

JOE on December 31, 2010 at 5:12 am

QTD, very well said. It’s always amazing to see the “legacy” INS personnel call Customs type whinners when a well stated case is expressed. Like most welfare recipients would say, the INS response is always “get over it.” Those of us who actually earned the title (yes, it actually did mean something once upon a time) do resent it being handed out like cancy on Halloween to children.

Once upon a time, the Senior Special Agents essential ran investigative groups in the field, Supervisors supervised. SSA’s were essentially supervisors-in-training. Sorry, but Journeyman level personnel are not Senior based purely on having time-in-grade to promote. We should still have the “Senior Special Agent” title, but as in days of old, it should be competitavely EARNED. Then, Supervisors should only be selected from those who have earned the SSA status, and not those golden children who simply have time-in-grade as a GS13. HSI is full of Supervisors who barely know how to conduct a complex investigation, much less supervise a bunch of them.

Mr. Dinkins is basically right, but it should not have been applied to all GS13 SA’s. HSI has GS13 Special Agents who have earned the title of Senior Special Agent – through years of experience. But then, years of experience is something that too few GS13’s have.

Jus Soli on December 31, 2010 at 9:51 am

I side with Deb. Plus, I’ve never been comfortable with the title “Special” to begin with. Senior Agent, sure. “Special” …. what’s next “Precious”? “Unique”? “Fabulous”?

I’m not special, I’m senior, and earned it.

Jack MacKenzie on December 31, 2010 at 10:49 am


Your example of separate police and fire departments is ridiculous, and really shows how legacy Customs snobs look at legacy Immigration folks. I’d go along with your ‘separate but equal’ idea, except that it’s not really any different to investigate a criminal enterprise whose focus is fake merchandise/child porn/whatever FBI drops in your lap as opposed to people and/or narcotics. If I were to use your idea, I’d say that legacy Customs is the Police Department while legacy Immigration is the Fire Department; because, well, the cops are smarter than firemen, right? All right smarty-pants, now Rome is burning while you stand there with your fiddle. Smuggling organizations have entrenched themselves in almost every facet of our lives in this country. Once legitimate businesses have adopted cutthroat practices that prefer to hire non-citizens while you nod and wink at them. The black market thrives while our economy gets buckets of worthless dollars thrown at it. Thanks for nothing legacy Customs Keystone Cops.

nadie on December 31, 2010 at 11:51 am

Well Mr. real police, ask your supervisor if he resents the agents, who also, through asset sharing, pay for local law enforcement (your) overtime, vehicles, vests, training, etc. Don’t bite the hand that feeds some of you. The goose that lays the golden egg for some state and local agencies would love to quit sharing assets seized during investigations with you, believe me. The agents that I worked with, alongside with S&L officers, never talked down to police officers as you suggest.

WilliamMunny on December 31, 2010 at 12:03 pm

I think the real issue is that due to massive hiring the number of personnel with ten or less years of experience who are already GS13s is HUGE in ICE / HSI. This is an issue all over DHS. I work in an agency that had a Senior Special Agent duty position as all have 15 years plus experience conducting complex investigations, have received advanced training and experience, instructor at FLETC, worked in OPR investigations and had been a RAIC or Group supervisor. It’s all silly in the end. SSA used to mean been there done that and I have the stats and accomplishments to prove it

SemperFiVet on December 31, 2010 at 12:41 pm

I have to agree with SemperFiVet,before the mass hiring,most all Senior positions in the agency to include Inspectors in field operations had a minium of ten years on the job with alot of technical training,schooling,and experience to include competing for a Senior title. Currently,if you know somone or slept with same, you can become a manager/supervisor in three years.No kidding folks. Were in trouble!!

Tony on December 31, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Debbie, since you have Jim’s ear, let him know if they ever want to get serious about homeland security there are plenty of Israelis who could come over here and upgrade operations. I would think a handful of Israelis could replace several hundred current paper shufflers. Also, if he asks you to discuss your thoughts over dinner I’m available too.

A1 on December 31, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Don’t get me started about Task Force Agents! Throw the locals a few shiny beads and they’ll do all of your footwork and make the cases so the Fed Supervisors can take credit and get promoted. Puleeese!!!!!
They S&L’s you work with don’t complain, but I’ll bet their former coworkers on the force do.

Real police on December 31, 2010 at 7:27 pm

I DO respect the fact this guy took the time to explain his actions. It does mean something to us flunkies out in the trenches. Julie might have changed her hairstyle, but she would have never spoken her mind out loud……

#1 Vato on January 1, 2011 at 5:01 pm

this says it all….

How bout the $$$$ wasted on the stupid foolish video and the two clowns highlighted in it? What a colossal waste of $$$$…

Hit the play button in the bottom left.. Deb, you must do a story on this!

ICEpick on January 3, 2011 at 8:52 pm

How bout the $$$$ wasted on the stupid foolish video and the two clowns highlighted in it? What a colossal waste of $$$$…

Hit the play button in the bottom left.. Deb, you must do a story on this!

ICEpick on January 3, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    What the f*$k was that? I know I’ve seen these clowns around HQ’s but again wtf was the purpose of this video? Who in their right mind would release such garbage? The porn music is classic though. The public has to snicker at us at the joke we’ve become…

    WTF on January 3, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Neither the Customs nor ICE badges or credentials ever read “Senior Special Agent”. Special Agent is “special” enough for the FBI, Secret Service and ATF. I don’t think there are any “senior” agents left there anyway. HSI is a joke but don’t take my word for it. Watch THEIR “special” branding video and judge for yourself:

Bonzer Wolf on January 4, 2011 at 12:21 am

After more than 20 years as a Senior Special Agent with Customs and now ICE, it was a shock to be informed that this title has now been abolished. When I applied to become a Senior Special Agent, it meant a promotion that was earned by having done significant cases, and meeting criteria that measured knowledge, skills and abilities. It recognized experienced investigators whose job performance was consistently above and beyond what was expected. Being promoted to a GS-13 Senior Special Agent was considered an achievement, and really something to be proud of. Unfortunately, Mr. Dinkins is also right in that this title was greatly diluted when the job of special agent became a journeyman GS-13. I’m one of the last legacy Customs veterans left in my office, and I’ll be retiring soon enough, which is just as well, because this isn’t the job I signed up for. Too bad I’ll be going out with a pay freeze for my last two years, as well as losing the title I’ve proudly held for so long. Anyway, good luck to the newbies who have only known ICE, because you’ll need it.

Senior Special Agent on January 6, 2011 at 6:00 pm

OK…my first post on this site, or any site regarding issues at ICE OI, now ICE HSI. BOTTOM LINE: There are good/above-average investigators from both INS & USCS legacy agencies, just as there are bad/below-average investigators from both, as is the case with EVERY single federal investigative agency, and state/local agency out there. ANOTHER BOTTOM LINE: Things change, changes at home, changes at work, etc., and change can sometimes be hard to deal with, so I think that is definitely an element involved with much of the hard feelings towards the title change, and also with the general merger 8 years ago. The agency is what it is now…how about working to make it better, starting with you, your group, your office, etc. I’ve got 15 years on now and from one of the legacy agencies (don’t fell like I need to mention which, because it really doesn’t matter at this point), and personally like the direction the agency is going overall…yes, there are problems, but every agency has them, we are no different…just the newest federal investigative agency on the block, that’s all. I still love my job, as I did when I started…I hope there are more of me out there that feel like I do…title, or no title…legacy agency, or HSI academy grad…doesn’t matter…anybody with me here, or is everybody completely jaded…?

Get To Work on March 12, 2011 at 9:41 pm

GTW, no offense but you’re either came from the agency that processes illegal aliens, or from the other agency with a SAC office that was not very busy at all. If you were from a busy Customs SAC office, such as New York, Miami, LA, or the SW border, you would know that there was no time for petty bullshit like there is now in ICE. Not only were these SAC offices investigating CRIMINALS in reponse to border seizures, but they were also PROACTIVE, something that no one at ICE knows or cares about these days. Being proactive is definately not taking “cases to Immigration Court” or getting a high annual rating based on the number of illegal aliens that you processed last year, it is going out on the streets and beating bushes, cultivating informants, gathering information developing leads, prosecuting criminals. That is in a CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR’s job description, not being a whiny, sissified punk whose only goal is to ingratiate oneself with the supervisor by, among other things, always looking at what another agent is or isn’t doing. The Art of Criminal Investigation is a lost one at ICE/HSI. And that is without question because one agency brought to the table a bunch of unqualified, inexperienced, greedy, bureaucratic incompetants, from a dsyfunctional, racist, corrupt agency that thrived on gossip and vendettas amongst its personnel. Now they have succeeded in eroding what was once a premier agency, Customs, into another dysfunctional agency, starting at the highest levels. The clowns have benefitted from higher GS levels without doing any of the heavy lifting, and they never will. The new agents are stepping into something other than what they thought they were hired to do and that is to investigate criminals, they have no leadership or role models because many in management never did it, don’t know how to do it, and aren’t expected to do it.
So, No, I don’t agree with you because I don’t think that you know any better because you have not experienced it, the bar is too low for you, and ICE wants it that way.

Have to go now, the G/S is making his afternoon rounds to see if I’m sitting at my desk!

QTD on March 21, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Mr. Dinkins closed his response to Debbie regarding his reasons for eliminating the Senior Special Agent title with “…I don’t think the title does justice to the individual efforts of the true senior experts in the field”.

I have a question for him, as one of the “true senior experts in the field”. Since all we had to acknowledge our status as “senior experts” was this title, how do you plan to “do justice” to our efforts now?

ICEd on March 6, 2012 at 5:06 pm

You all,

Does anyone know if Dinkins was the different person that worked for Internal Affairs?

Just Asking,
Old School

Old School on May 2, 2012 at 9:12 pm

I didn’t read every comment so maybe this was already suggested. Those that actually competed and earned the GS-13 grade and title way back when should have been allowed to keep it.

NoName on April 29, 2013 at 12:45 pm

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