law enforcement agency

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    Senior Member
    American English
    From Wikipedia: Law enforcement agency: In North American English, a law enforcement agency (LEA) is an government agency responsible for the enforcement of the laws. Outside North America, such organizations are called police services.

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    Senior Member
    USA English
    Absolutely not (in the U.S.). The judiciary exists to keep police and other enforcement agencies in check, among other things.
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    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Notice that all police agencies are law enforcement agencies, but all law enforcement agencies are not police agencies. For example, the United States Coast Guard may be considered a law enforcement agency, but is is not a police agency -- it is instead a military service. In the same way, the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service is also a law enforcement agency (it investigates tax fraud and violations of the tax laws), but it is not usually thought of as a police agency.


    Senior Member
    American English
    My understanding is that, in some countries (France, perhaps?) the judiciary is involved in the investigation of crimes. We in the US, as sdgraham says, think that's a bad idea.
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