Last year, the United States Postal Service® delivered over 146 billion pieces of mail to almost 159 million addresses. Who protects all this mail, the network of employees who deliver it, and the customers who receive it? The United States Postal Inspection Service® does.
The Postal Inspection Service traces its history to August 7, 1775, when Postmaster General Benjamin Franklin appointed William Goddard the first Surveyor of Post Roads (the precursor to today’s Postal Inspectors). Since then, Postal Inspectors have protected the mail, Postal Service™ employees, and customers at every address in America.
Postal Inspectors are tenacious, federal law-enforcement agents who carry firearms, make arrests, execute federal search warrants, and serve subpoenas. They also work in close cooperation with other law enforcement agencies to investigate all manner of postal crimes and expertly prepare criminal cases for court.
While more than 600,000 Postal Service employees work diligently to deliver almost half the world’s total mail volume — every piece, every day — our Postal Inspectors aim to protect every person, every day from all crimes involving or attacking the U.S. Mail™. Their work impacts the daily lives of all Americans in positive ways.
Whenever and wherever a crime occurs involving Postal Service employees, customers, property, or revenues and assets, highly trained and experienced Postal Inspectors are called in to help. When a thief takes something out of a mailbox or a scam artist mails fraudulent materials, Postal Inspectors are on the case. When a criminal assaults a Postal Service employee, robs a Post Office™, or mails drugs or dangerous items, Postal Inspectors immediately investigate. And when natural disaster strikes, Postal Inspectors are on the scene, helping to restore vital mail service.
The work Postal Inspectors do assures millions of postal customers they can depend on the security, privacy, and reliability of the U.S. Mail. That’s a value no other mail service in the world can provide. Last year alone, Postal Inspectors arrested:
- 2,487 persons for mail theft;
- 2,321 persons for prohibited mail narcotics;
- 24 persons for mailing suspicious substances or items;
- 71 persons for nonmailable, restricted matter;
- 160 persons for robbery and burglary;
- 499 persons for mail fraud; and
- 269 persons for assaults and threats against on-duty postal employees.
Additionally, the success rate of the Postal Inspection Service at winning convictions is remarkable. Historically, the Postal Inspection Service exceeds a 98-percent conviction rate for all persons who go to trial.
Just as they have since the days of Benjamin Franklin, the Postal Inspection Service will continue protecting the Postal Service, securing the nation’s mail system, and ensuring public trust in the U.S. Mail — every day, to every person, at every address.
— Communications, Governance, and Strategy,
U.S. Postal Inspection Service, 7-18-19