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At the College

Real Talk with U.S. Postal Inspector Stephaine Harden, who protects the U.S. Mail from illegal and dangerous use.

U.S. Postal Inspector Stephanie Harden

Come rain, sleet, snow or hail, Stephaine Harden’s job is to support and protect the U.S. Postal Service and its employees, infrastructure, and customers and to enforce laws to defend the system against dangerous or illegal use.

During her 13 year career as a U.S. Postal Inspector, Harden worked a wide variety of cases from Oregon to Texas, including mail fraud, mail theft, facility security assessments, analysis of suspicious powders and liquids, and threats and assaults against postal employees, to name just a few. Postal inspectors enforce more than 200 laws covering investigations of crimes that adversely affect or fraudulently use the U.S. mail and postal system.

“It’s like putting out fires every day,” said Harden. “You never know what the day will bring and how long it would last.”

To practice for work with suspicious powders, Harden dons a gas mask.Harden began her federal career in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where she served as a field auditor at the Packers and Stockyard Administration. Her assignment was to ensure the auction markets in the state of Texas and Oklahoma were bonded and financially sound to pay the sellers after their livestock was purchased by a buyer. She joined the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in 2000 and, after 14 weeks of training in Potomac, Maryland, she was assigned to Portland, Oregon.

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