Choose WIFLE When You Contribute to CFC 2013

Combined Federal Campaign Fund # 29777

Catherine Sanz, President
WIFLE Foundation, Inc.

This is WIFLE’s second year as a Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) charity.  I know 2013 is a tough year and 2014 could be even harder.  Sequestration, furloughs, and the threat of more budget cuts has everyone feeling on edge.  However, if you are inclined to give this year, please consider giving to the WIFLE Foundation, Inc., to support our many initiatives and programs.

v  WIFLE provides leadership-training opportunities to all federal personnel.  Each year we hold an education-training event that is open to all federal law enforcement employees.  This training was highlighted by the Office of Personnel Management in 2013.  Additionally, WIFLE presents the Women’s Executive Leadership Institute, an executive leadership training program for those employees aspiring to, or currently in, the Senior Executive Service ranks.
v  WIFLE holds an annual Human Trafficking Seminar that examines the best practices of the various agencies and organizations working to combat this terrible crime domestically and internationally.
v  For 14 years, WIFLE has granted scholarships to women pursuing college degrees in a law enforcement-related field.  These scholarships have helped many women continue their education and enter into their desired career in the federal law enforcement arena.
v  WIFLE recognizes the heroic contributions of women and those who continue to remove the systemic barriers to the recruitment and retention of women in federal law enforcement through our annual awards program.
v  WIFLE advocates for the improvement of the status of women in federal law enforcement by issuing model policies and guidance, most recently the Pregnancy Policy now adopted by several agencies.
v  WIFLE partners with agencies to recruit women and has targeted women veterans in our efforts.
v  WIFLE is the leading organization conducting research on women in federal law enforcement, and shares that research with agencies and federal employees to better assist agencies in designing their recruitment programs and retention policies.

If 20 people give $10.00 per month, WIFLE can award one additional scholarship each year to a deserving woman seeking her dream for a career in federal law enforcement.  If 25 people give $5.00 per month, it will cover the costs of continuing WIFLE’s annual Human Trafficking Seminar.  If one person gave $100 per month, WIFLE can help fund further research to pursue the issues that women in federal law enforcement continue to face and to work towards eliminating barriers to effective recruitment.

To make a donation, please go to www.cfcna.orgOn the left-hand side of the form click the Donate button; enter #29777 to donate to WIFLE.

  WIFLE Treasurer Betsy Casey at the WIFLE Table at a CFC Event.

DEA Administrator Leonhart, USMS Director Hylton, WIFLE President Sanz, Discuss Federal Law Enforcement on FEDtalk

On Friday November 15, 2013, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Michele Leonhart, U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) Director Stacia Hylton, and Women in Federal Law Enforcement (WIFLE) President Cathy Sanz appeared together on FEDtalk, a radio program on Federal News Radio produced by the law firm of Shaw Bransford & Roth P.C.
Guests on the program discussed their law enforcement careers, what it is like to lead major federal law enforcement agencies and operations, how law enforcement interaction has changed since 9/11, and issues and trends in federal law enforcement that may be flying below most people’s radar.

Administrator Leonhart, Director Hylton, and President Sanz talked about their law enforcement careers, which began like many with childhood dreams of growing up with a desire to protect and serve. While Administrator Leonhart and Director Hylton worked their way up through the ranks inside their respective agencies, Ms. Sanz’s federal law enforcement career took a more circuitous track, with stints at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), DEA, the U.S. Customs Service, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), before retiring as the Assistant Director Mission Support for Homeland Security Investigations. The guests talked about the personal and professional transitions they experienced as their federal law enforcement careers progressed and they rose to positions with increasing levels of responsibility and authority.
The guests also discussed how law enforcement has changed since 9/11, including agency efforts to address “stove-piping” concerns that arose after the tragic events of that day. Director Hylton discussed partnerships that have evolved among law enforcement agencies at the local, state, and federal level, and pointed to USMS Regional Fugitive Task Forces and Joint Terrorism Task Forces as examples of efforts by the agency to leverage collaborative resources among law enforcement agencies. Administrator Leonhart discussed information sharing initiatives being spearheaded by the El Paso Intelligence Center and the Special Operations Division. Both Director Hylton and Administrator Leonhart discussed the rising importance and use of Fusion Centers and Multiple-agency Enforcement Operations and Investigations.

The agency heads were asked to identify issues or trends that are being under-reported or not talked about enough. Administrator Leonhart cited prescription drug abuse, increased heroin abuse, the growth in availability and popularity of designer synthetic drugs, and marijuana legalization. Director Hylton discussed the challenges imposed by budget reductions and sequestration, Adam Walsh Act violations of non-compliant sex offenders in communities, increasing threats on government officials and responsibilities for protecting the judiciary, safety of law enforcement personnel and HFRA Training, and the Task Force multipliers provided by partnerships with state and local law enforcement agencies as those under-the-radar issues the USMS is currently focused on.

The recorded audio for the radio program can be accessed at the following link:
http://www.federalnewsradio.com/215/3508030/FEDTALK-EXCLUSIVE-An-inside-look-at-the-DEA-and-US-Marshals-Service
 

FEDtalk is a live radio talk show produced by Shaw Bransford & Roth P.C. Bringing you the insider's perspective from leaders in the federal community since 1993.

Michele Leonhart, Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) graduated from Bemidji State College in Minnesota with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice in 1978. She began her law enforcement career by attending the Baltimore Police Academy, after which Leonhart served as a patrol officer in the Northwest District of Baltimore. Leonhart took over as acting administrator in November 2007, and was confirmed as permanent administrator in December 2010.
 

 

 

Stacia Hylton, Director, U.S. Marshals Service attended Northeastern University on a full athletic scholarship and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. She began her 32-year law enforcement career as a Deputy United States Marshal. During her tenure with the U.S. Marshals Service, she has held several positions in diverse mission areas, including 10 years as a member of the USMS Special Operations Group. In 2010, when she was appointed Director of the Marshals Service.

 

 

 

 


 


Cathy Sanz, President, Women in Federal Law Enforcement (WIFLE) 
holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University and an M.A. in Forensic Psychology from Marymount University. She has 29 years of law enforcement service. Ms. Sanz began her law enforcement career in 1977 as a police officer with the Federal Protective Service in Boston, Massachusetts.

 


Take the  Financial Planning Quiz

What percentage of your preretirement income will you need to maintain your lifestyle in retirement?

You should assume at least 70% of your pre-retirement income will be needed to maintain your current lifestyle.

Think of your retirement in phases. The first phase is the 10-15 years immediately following retirementFrequently one’s spending increases during the first part of this period – for some of you, you are doing all the things you didn’t have the time to do while you were working.  For others you will have a second career earning as much or more than you are earning in your federal position.  If this applies to you, live on either your pension or your salary, not on both, and invest the other.

In the second phase, your spending will have likely stabilized and you will be covering your day-to-day expenses.

The third phase of your retirement could be a continuation of the second phase but could also result in increased outgo due to the need for assistance, care and medications.

Take the Quiz at this link:  Quiz.pdf


By Peter J. Jeffrey, Esq., Member, The Jeffrey Law Group, PLLC, The Federal Employee’s Law Firm ®

Same-Sex Spouses Still Face Barriers in Obtaining Federal Benefits

On June 26, 2013, in its landmark decision – United States v. Windsor – the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S.(2013).  In practical terms, the Supreme Court ruling makes many federal employee benefits available to same-sex spouses of federal employees.  However, that ruling left untouched Section 2 of DOMA.  Under Section 2 of DOMA, states are still free to define marriage as their legislatures so choose, which includes prohibiting marriage between same-sex partners, as well as not recognize a lawful same-sex marriage from another state.  See 28 U.S.C. § 1738C.  Even if couples have a valid marriage license from a jurisdiction where same-sex marriage is legal, the state in which they currently reside may refuse to consider this union a marriage for the purpose of legal benefits.  Thus, even same-sex spouses entitled to certain benefits under federal law may be unable to access these benefits if the same-sex spouses require their state of residence to process or otherwise provide benefits. 

To that end, same-sex spouses must pay close attention to which jurisdiction’s definition of marriage a particular federal law relies upon to determine whether same sex spouses can access their promised federal benefits.  Federal benefit laws typically look to one of two classifications when determining which jurisdiction’s definition of marriage to apply: (1) the place of residence/domicile; or (2) the place of celebration.  If a federal law defines marriage by the law of the state of a couple’s residence or domicile, couples legally married in a different state may be unable to access federal benefits in their current place of residence.  Conversely, if the federal law applies the law of the place of celebration, couples legally married anywhere should be able to access their federal benefits, no matter where they currently reside.

Pursuant to a Department of Defense memorandum, the Secretary of Defense confirmed that all benefits available to hetero-sexual married couples, including family identity cards, would be available to same-sex married couples who married in a jurisdiction that permitted same-sex marriage.  (See Memorandum from Sec’y of Def. to Sec’ys of the Military Dep’ts Under Sec’y of Def. for Pers. & Readiness (Aug. 13, 2013), Su: Extending Benefits to the Same-Sex Spouses of Military Members).  Despite this directive, at least six states are refusing to fully comply.  In Oklahoma for instance, Governor Fallin has prohibited state-owned National Guard facilities from issuing military ID cards to same-sex spouses.  See Randy Krehbiel, Oklahoma to Defy Hagel’s Same-Sex Order at State-Owned National Guard Bases, Tulsa World, (Nov. 2, 2013).  

Texas has also refused to issue IDs for same-sex spouses at its National Guard facilities, and Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and West Virginia are also resisting the directive. See Richard Oppel, Jr., Texas and 5 Other States Resist Processing Benefits for Gay Couples, N.Y. Times, (Nov. 10, 2013).  Therefore, although federal employees can access health insurance, retirement, and medical leave benefits for their same-sex spouses, obstacles still exist in obtaining other federal benefits, and states may still deny state-sponsored privileges and benefits to same-sex spouses married in other jurisdictions.

The information contained in this article is of a general nature and is subject to change; it is not meant to serve as legal advice in any particular situation. For specific legal advice, the authors recommend you consult a licensed attorney who is knowledgeable about the area of law in question.


Special Emphasis Program Training - Convincing or Condescending?

By June Werdlow Rogers, PhD

Retired DEA Special Agent in Charge

The year was 1998 and I was ambivalent.  WIFLE was being forced into charting out a new course.  Before the transformation our organization was known as ICWIFLE (Interagency Committee on Women in Federal Law Enforcement) and I was the Recording Secretary.  As a member of the executive board, I was involved in the discussions about how we would respond to the concerns the U.S. Departments of Justice and Treasury had provided to us in writing. 

The jig was up: while we had been regarded as a government entity having started out as a task force, many of our activities, such as, the annual training conference were being interpreted as a private undertaking.  We recognized two options:  continue as a government entity and curtail the activities regarded as private or become a not-for-profit organization.  Okay, I admit to thinking of another alternative: What if we maintained an interagency committee to act as an advisory board to department officials and splintering off a non-profit organization?  But you know it, “having your cake and eating it too” is an elusive concept.  All I can say now is that it was nice while it lasted.

It can be beneficial when decision-makers create special emphasis programs to develop and retain a diverse and talented workforce.  In addition to government managers being briefed on how to retain women in law enforcement positions, back then some agencies even designed specialized training.  In a setting of the mid-1980s, the “Women on the Team” training DEA sent me to was reasonable.  Factoring in that the male-dominated culture was well established and entrenched, the training was designed to orient and indoctrinate us into their world.  Learning that sending flowers when a male colleague does you a favor does not excuse the fact that he sees you as now owing him a professionally- related- favor was crucial.  Our final exam took place at a high powered restaurant where headquarters personnel regularly dined.  There we were required to “work” the room practicing sophisticated conversation while seeking potential career mentors.  In present day, this type of training might seem unnecessary. 

Do we really want to receive a particular instruction because we are women?  It’s not a rhetorical question, and clearly one that executives of a law firm in hindsight may wish to have considered more thoroughly.  The company and its women’s committee made national news headlines last month for distributing a memo advising its women lawyers about how to dress, speak and behave during presentations.  The “Presentation Tips For Women” document was emailed to women lawyers with a host of what has been regarded as elementary suggestions.  I agree that telling women to “iron your shirt” and “don’t mess with your hair” does sound kind of condescending.  On the other hand, the memo contained timeless advice that transcends gender, such as, stressing the importance of preparation before presenting.  

Perhaps experienced women having served in the workplace for long periods of time have advanced to the point that certain advice appears simplistic.  But I do not believe society has progressed to the extent that women no longer suffer the effects of disparate treatment.  The memo itself is clear and compelling evidence, given that it was written with the premise that clients more harshly analyze and react to the appearance and behavior of women attorneys.  And as long as this is the case, seeking ways to mitigate the harm to women’s careers and advancement is a worthwhile venture.

If we want the nation’s workforce to perform optimally, there has to be a balance sought that recognizes that while we have conquered some concepts we still seek growth and improvement on an individual, societal, and organizational level.  Rather than mocking effort, let us each commit to finding solutions that permit us to periodically adjust our vision because it has been realized. 

When as WIFLE visualizes we have achieved equality for women in law enforcement by maximizing the benefits of gender diversity the whole nation will be victorious.


Excelsior College Adds New Options for WIFLE Members

Excelsior College, a WIFLE educational partner, has two new programs designed to enhance the knowledge base of law enforcement professionals.

In January, a concentration in investigative forensics will be available in Excelsior’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree program.  Offered online, as are all of the College’s criminal justice programs, this new concentration includes core and elective courses such as Forensic Psychology, Computer/Digital Forensics, Cyber-attacks and Defense, Crime Reconstruction, Analysis of Violent Crimes and Serial Crimes Investigation, and Forensic Pathology (non-lab).  The concentration comprises 12 of the 120 credits needed to earn a bachelor’s degree.  Enrollment is now open for this concentration and all the programs offered among Excelsior’s five schools: Business and Technology, Health Sciences, Liberal Arts, Nursing and Public Service.

Also in January a new, free course “Introduction to Cybersecurity” will be available online through the National Cybersecurity Institute at Excelsior College.  Designed as an introduction to the fundamental concepts of cybersecurity, students progress through eight modules consisting of video lectures, written assignments, interactive exercise and participation in social learning.  Students participating in the course will learn about cybersecurity standards and law, as well as common cyber attacks and the techniques for identifying, detecting, and defending against cybersecurity threats.  They will also gain a basic understanding of personal, physical, network, web, and wireless security, as well as a foundation for more advanced study of cybersecurity.  Registration is now open for this free, online course.  An instructor will guide students through each of the modules, moderate discussions and share expertise in the course that will be administered by the Canvas Network.

As an Excelsior partner, WIFLE members receive reduced fees and tuition at Excelsior College, a nonprofit distance learning institution that is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.  For more information on Excelsior College and the partnership benefits, please visit the special WIFLE page at http://partnership.excelsior.edu/wifle.


Federal Law Enforcement Draws Attention to Drug Trafficking

After an intensive three-month campaign centered on the smuggling of drugs, weapons, money, and migrants in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, federal law enforcement agencies are prepared to start targeting high-level drug traffickers on the island.  The effort is part of Operation Caribbean Resilience, which began in July 2012, and will rely heavily on intelligence gathered in the recent blitz.  The intensification of federal law enforcement operations in Puerto Rico has led to the seizure of approximately 24,000 kilograms of illegal drugs and 170 firearms, along with the arrest of more than 320 suspected criminals.  John Sandweg, Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), said “We have not only made the streets of Puerto Rico much safer, but also improved security in the mainland United States.”

The surge in federal law enforcement action in Puerto Rico has also involved the U.S. Custom and Border Protection and the U.S. Coast Guard.  In the last three months there were some 30 agents with Homeland Security Investigations assigned to Puerto Rico, with an additional seven agents permanently deployed to the island.

Many federal employees who are familiar with or have professional liability insurance are unaware that the coverage extends with the insurance holder wherever they would be stationed as part of their federal employment.  While you may encounter “worldwide coverage” as an option available for additional premium in other policies, the FEDS program extends worldwide protection as part of the base policy at no extra cost.  With a FEDS policy you can rest assured that your PLI provider will cover you, even if you are stationed outside of the United States.  In the scenario discussed above, the federal law enforcement officers participating in the operations in Puerto Rico would be eligible for the FEDS PLI program, even the agents permanently deployed to the island.  Having a FEDS policy will provide you with the worldwide coverage that you need.

For more information, or to enroll, please call FEDS at 866.955.3337.

Webinar on Federal Security Clearances – January 2014

In September, one of WIFLE’s partners, the Jeffrey Law Group, provided the WIFLE Agency Representatives with a session on security clearances.  Participants found the class very informative and asked Mr. Peter Jeffrey, the instructor, to provide a similar class for WIFLE members and students. 

WIFLE is pleased to announce that the resulting webinar, entitled “Beer Pong, Facebook and File Sharing: Why You Might Not be Eligible for a Security Clearance,” is scheduled on January 29, 2014 at 11:00 am. For current federal employees, students and all others interested in working for the government or private sector companies (many require employees to maintain a security clearance), this class will assist you to better understand security clearances and the process involved in granting an individual a clearance.  The webinar is approximately 45 minutes long.  The directions for registering are below.  We will also publish these directions on the WIFLE website.

Security clearances are a privilege, not a right, and any questions concerning granting or revoking a clearance will always be resolved in favor of national security.  Employees need to be informed.  Security-related questions in your background can make or break a career in the federal government.  An applicant for a security clearance is judged not only on their answers to questions, but as a “whole person”, pursuant to thirteen (13) adjudicative guidelines.  These guidelines include, but are not limited to, foreign preference and influence, sexual behavior, financial consideration, alcohol and drug use, and use of IT systems.  How an applicant responds to the security clearance questionnaire and interviews may determine whether they are granted a clearance.

Topics covered in the webinar:

·         Guidance on preparing a “Questionnaire for National Security Positions” (Standard Form 86) and/or “Electronic Questionnaire for Investigations Processing” (e-QIP).

·         Tips on responding to investigative interrogatories.

·         Discussion of assisting an applicant’s investigative interviews.

·         Preparation of responses to “Statements of Reasons (SOR)/”Letter of Intent to Revoke or Deny a Security Clearance.

·         Overview of hearings before administrative judges of the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA), and appeals of adverse decisions of administrative judges.

Register for this important January 29, 2014 (11:00 am EST) webinar, at: 

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4425445596016163330

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Brought to you by GoToWebinar® Webinars Made Easy®



Special Benefits for WIFLE Members and their Adult family members.
Click HERE for details (PDF format).


Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP)

Informational Webinar and
FLTCIP Virtual Health Fair

 

Long Term Care Partners, LLC, offers a variety of information webinars which can assist in deciding what plan best meets your and your family’s needs.  Two webinars, “It’s Always a Good Time to Apply – Part 1” will be offered on December 3, 2013, and “It’s Always a Good Time to Apply – Part 2” on December 10.  These webinars will explore the realities of long term care and family caregiving, possible LTC funding options (and their tradeoffs) such as Medicaid and investing, and will include a thorough review of the benefits, features and costs of the FLTCP plans.  We invited industry experts to help us explore topical issues, such as retirement planning and caregiving, and highlight the advantages of enrolling in the FLTCIP.  Employees who are unable to attend the live event may register to view the archived version.

Employees can also log into the FLTCIP Virtual Health Fair (Tuesdays–Thursdays, October 14–December 6, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. ET).  At the FLTCIP virtual health fair, you can easily find the information you need to learn more about this important benefit, as well as:

  • register for upcoming FLTCIP webinars and view recorded events,

  • review FLTCIP materials before applying, and

  • chat online with a FLTCIP representative—ask any questions you may have for yourself or your qualified family members before and after webinars.*

*This service is offered to those who are not already enrolled in the FLTCIP.

To register for any of the events listed below, visit www.LTCFEDS.com/webinar<http://www.LTCFEDS.com/webinar.


Tax Returns, ID Theft, and the IRS Criminal Investigation

What Law Enforcement Needs to Know

Criminal Investigation (CI) is the law enforcement branch of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  As the law enforcement branch of the IRS, CI serves the American public by investigating potential criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code and related financial crimes in a manner that fosters confidence in the tax system and compliance with the law.

Since 2009, CI has seen a tremendous increase in tax fraud involving identity theft.  Tax fraud involving identity theft usually occurs when the identity thief uses a legitimate taxpayer’s identity to fraudulently file a tax return and claim a refund.  Generally, the identity thief will use a stolen social security number (SSN) to file a forged tax return and attempt to get a fraudulent refund early in the filing season.  Over the past several years, CI has made great strides in the fight against identity theft.  This includes working within the IRS, working with the Department of Justice (DOJ), and working with federal, state, and local law enforcement. 

Within the IRS, CI has worked with the civil functions to create filters which in turn are used to identify fraudulently filed returns.  In September 2012, DOJ Tax issued Directive 144, Stolen Identity Refund Fraud (SIRF).  SIRF provides Federal law enforcement officials with the ability to timely address identity theft cases, specifically focusing on identity theft in the context of fraudulent tax refunds and provides for streamlined initiation of these investigations and prosecutions.  

In March 2013, IRS announced the nationwide expansion of the Law Enforcement Assistance Program (LEAP).  Specifically LEAP provides for an increase in resources (i.e. tax information) to prosecute identity theft cases and assists states in the prosecution of these cases.  It should be noted that the intent is not to push these cases to the state in lieu of Federal prosecution, but instead use all resources (federal, state, and local) to aggressively prosecute these cases.  The Program uses a multi-functional effort involving personnel from various functions within IRS, including CI.  It allows for the disclosure of returns, and return information associated with accounts of known and suspected victims of identity theft, with the express written consent of those victims.  Prior to disclosing any tax information, victimized taxpayers are required to sign a waiver (Form 8821-A) authorizing the release of any information to the designated state or local law enforcement official pursuing the investigation. 

CI coordinates liaison activities with the local law enforcement officials participating in the program, handles incoming calls from victims responding to letters seeking their assistance, and coordinates any necessary witness testimony in conjunction with other operating functions within IRS.  The Form 8821-A is designed to be used solely for state and/or local law enforcement officials in investigating and ultimately prosecuting perpetrators in the state/local judicial system.  Federal law enforcement agencies already have a method to obtain tax information from the IRS through a federal ex parte court order.

In addition to the above ways CI is combating identity theft fraud, CI currently participates in over 70+ task forces/working groups throughout the country which investigate both financial crimes as well as identity theft crimes.  CI’s level of commitment towards the fight against identity theft is further evident through a designated management official who serves as the National ID Theft Coordinator to oversee national efforts concerning policy, procedures, etc.  In addition to a National Coordinator, there are ID Theft Coordinators within each of the IRS 25 Field Offices. 

For additional information on identity theft or to find an ID Theft Coordinator who handles your state, please call National ID Theft Coordinator Denise Rocawich at (912) 280-5279.

 

 

©2013 WIFLE.  All Rights Reserved.
Editors:  Dorene Erhard, doreneerhard@comcast.net, Betsy Casey, betsycasey@aol.com

 

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