FBI Essay, Research Paper
The Federal Bureau of Investigation
A paper submitted in partial fulfillment of the Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and the class 490 Seminar in Criminal Justice Agencies
Chaminade University of Honolulu
Delmy E Garay
June 10, 2000
Instructors: Karen Kaniho and Sheryl Sunia
An Abstract of the paper entitled Federal Bureau of Investigation submitted by Delmy E. Garay in partial fulfillment of the class CJ 490 Seminar in Criminal Justice Agencies during the Spring 2000 semester at Chaminade University of Honolulu
Instructors: Karen Kaniho and Sheryl Sunia
Since 1908, The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been the most admired and respected agency. For over 80 years, the FBI has been able to uphold its strong image as America?s Finest. The FBI is characterized by its persistent efforts of enforcing federal criminal statutes, securing information, apprehending violators of federal laws, and assisting other agencies with their criminal investigations. In Emergency situations, the FBI takes appropriate actions in accomplishing the mission. In order to become part of this elite force FBI Agents have to abide, breathe and live FBI motto, ?Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity.? The purpose of this paper is to show you the selective process of becoming a Special Agent. Applicants have to meet competitive entry requirements, written tests, polygraph examinations, drug-testings, interviews and background investigations. After the selection process is complete candidates will go through sixteen weeks of intensive training at Academy in Quantico, VA. There are many benefits of being part of the FBI: pay, promotions, paid leaves and retirement plans. The information in this research was obtained from the FBI homepage, books, pamphlets, briefs and the interview with Special Agent Kal Wong .
Table of Contents
The Professional Support PositionsP.8
The Profession JobsP.8
Becoming a Special AgentP.10
The Application ProcessP.12
Physical Ability P.14
The Federal Bureau of Investigation
The FBI is a Federal Law enforcement Agency that has been around for over 80 years. It began with a small group of Special agents and developed into the most talked about and admired agency. There are many reasons why many people would like to join this professional force. But one thing is sure; those who get in will benefit from its rewards. Throughout this paper you will learn the FBI?s history, mission, employment demands, and how to become a Special Agent. After Reading the information you will determine if the FBI is something you would like to consider.
History When Theodore Roosevelt was appointed president in 1901 he appointed Charles Bonaparte as Attorney General. They had the same views about hiring individuals who were professionals and trained to serve the government and not hired based on political connections. During his presidency, The Bureau was created in 1908 under the command of Attorney General Charles Bonaparte who wanted his own force separate from the Secret Services. He wanted complete control of criminal investigations once his attempts with the Secret Services failed. Most of the information the agents in the Secret Services obtained was reported to the Chief of the Secret Service and not the Attorney General. The FBI began with a small group of agents who were specialized in different fields and were former detectives. Then March of 1909 the group of 34 agents became part of the Department of Justice. On March 16, 1909 Attorney General George Wickersham officially name the Bureau as the Bureau of Investigation. Then once again, congress changed the name of the Bureau to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1935.
The FBI was created to protect our constitutional rights and put a stop to national
Crime. Yet the Bureau?s duties originally were ill defined. (Schlesinger 1986). Some examples of the crimes that they investigated were treason, crimes on the seas, crimes on Indian reservations, opium smuggling, impersonation of a federal officer, fraudulent bankruptcies, and violations of anti-trust laws as mentioned by Schlesinger (1986). Then
Later on the Bureau began to investigate crimes such as naturalization, national banking, and land fraud. The Bureau originated without any formal training, law enforcement experience and was limited to the types of crimes it could investigate.
The Bureau has been tried and put to the test through every aspect of society?s changing evolutions. It has adopted new policies and laws from the Lawless years, the gangsterism era, the 1929 stock market crash, postwar America, the Vietnam war era, the aftermath of Watergate, the rise of international crime and the post-cold war world, all these have been great incidents that shaped the image of the FBI. The Bureau has gone through one director after another, each with its new sets of policies and laws while bringing negative or positive publicity to the Bureau. From Hoover?s corrupted terms to Freech?s current outlooks of the Bureau, Yet Despite of all the different types of leadership the Bureau still remains as the most respected and sophisticated agencies.
The current director of the Bureau is Louis J. Freech who was sworn in on September 1, 1993. Louis J. Freech was a prior agent and had high credentials and insights about the bureau upon taking his role as director. Freech came to the Bureau bringing new employee policies and conduct standards. He appointed the first woman, Hispanic man, and the second African American man to be named Assistant director. He is currently making changes on how to approach criminal cases, crisis groups, computer investigations, cyber attack approaches and began to build the new FBI forensic laboratory. Currently the FBI has reduced the number of offices; more agents work in field operations instead of administrative jobs. Professional support personnel fill most of
these jobs. Also, it focuses on maintaining internal programs to inspect, evaluate administrative and financial operations as seen on the FBI home page.
Many of us have heard of the FBI or seen them in action. The Bureau is very dedicated and is defined as the principal investigative arm of the United States Department of Justice. The FBI has authority and responsibility to investigate specific crimes assigned to it. It is also assists other law enforcement agencies with services as finger identification, laboratory examinations and police training as stated on their Homepage. Their mission is ?To uphold the law through investigation of violations of criminal law; to protect the United States from foreign intelligence and terrorist activities; to provide leadership and law enforcement assistance to federal, state, local, and international agencies; and to perform these responsibilities in a manner that is responsive to the needs of the public and is faithful to the Constitution of the United States?. Their motto is ?Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity?.
The FBI?s duties and responsibilities are to enforce 260 federal statutes and conduct sensitive national security investigations. Some examples of such investigations given by the FBI are organized crime, white-collar crime, fraud against the government, bribery, copy-right matters, civil rights violations, bank robbery, extortion, kidnapping, air piracy, terrorism, foreign counterintelligence, interstate criminal activity, fugitive and drug-trafficking matters and many more federal violations.
The Professional Support Positions
There are many jobs in the Bureau. The Professional Support Positions include professional, administrative, technical, craft/trade/maintenance Operations, clerical and other jobs that involve security and protective services.
The professional Jobs
These jobs consist of Electronics Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, and Attorneys, contract specialists and chemists.
Administrative jobs consist of Personnel Security Specialist, Intelligence Research Specialist, Computer specialist, Management Analyst and Language Specialist. Under technical jobs would be fingerprint examiner, evidence technician, Computer Operator, Telecommunications Equipment Operator and Accounting Technician.
Under Craft/Trade/Maintenance Operations the jobs are Laborer, Utility Systems Repair-Operator, Maintenance Mechanic, Carpenter and Automotive Mechanic.
The clerical jobs consist of Clerks, Typists, and Stenographers. All the other jobs are Police officers and Security Warders.
Each of the qualifications varies depending on the specialty of the job. All the applicants must be U.S citizens and need to complete the application process, testing for positions, interview, background investigation, and physical examinations for specific jobs, polygraph and drug screening test. The FBI academy in Quantico, Virginia is the training center for FBI Special Agents and the Professional Support Staff. The FBI has nine divisions, four offices, fifty-six field offices and over 30 Foreign Liaison Offices where agents and staff work in.
Becoming a Special Agent
Many of us want to be part of this elite force. The task is not easy and only the strong are left standing. If you are serious and committed about serving the FBI then becoming a Special Agent is the job for you. There is a long process and many requirements to become a FBI Special Agent, ?America?s Finest?. The process is very challenging and rewarding. The first step is to learn about the FBI. The FBI is consistently holding briefs, seminars and attend many job fairs nation wide. If you want to know about the FBI the best place to get the facts are their Homepages on the Internet.
There are schedules and phone numbers of the nearest FBI recruiter. Once an individual has decided they want to pursue it, they have to talk to a FBI recruiter.
The first thing the recruiter will do is to see if you qualify for the Special Agent position,
He will ask you a series of questions that consist of the following; ? Are you a United States Citizen or a citizen of the Northern Mariana Islands, at least 23-36 years of age, have uncorrected vision not worse than 20/200 and corrected 20/20 in one eye and not worse than 20/40 in the other eye, have a valid driver?s license, have a degree obtained in a four-year resident program at a college or university that is accredited by one of the six regional accredited bodies of the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education??. If you fail to meet any of the following requirements, you do not qualify as a Special Agent. Most of the time, they suggest you get all the entry requirements before seeing them. The FBI Special Agent position is very competitive. Applicants who only have a four-year degree also need three years of work experience to be seen. Applicants who have a master?s degree only need two years of work experience. Military experience is classified as work experience as long as the individual has obtained an honorable discharge.
In order to get all the facts about becoming a Special Agent I interviewed the FBI recruiter named Kal Wong on May 3, 2000 in Hawaii. I called to interview him about what an individual needs to become a Special Agent. The first things he asked me were the entry requirement questions. He explained to me that it is very important that an individual meets the requirements before he is considered for the application process. I informed him that I served honorably in the U.S. Marine Corps, fluent in Spanish and would obtain my college degree by December of 2000. He was very impressed by my ability to speak another language and of serving Honorably in the military. If I had my degree he would have made a formal meeting and began processing me through the system.
Since I can speak a different language I would be eligible for one of the following entry programs: Law, Accounting, Language, and Diversified. Under the Language program, I have to have a BS or BA degree in any discipline of the FBI plus fluency in any foreign Language that is needed by the FBI. Then I would expect to pass a Language Proficiency Test. If I had a DLPT score from the Language Proficiency Test of the Military I would qualify. They prefer for the most current scores from the military, this test has to be done yearly to be considered by the FBI. The Law program requirements are law school graduates with two years of undergraduate work. The Accounting Program requires a graduate of a four-year college or University with a degree in accounting or degree in another discipline, preferably economics, business or finance, with a major in accounting. An applicant must also pass the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination or provide certification from the school at which the accounting degree or major was earned that he/she is academically eligible to sit for the above examination. Under the Diversified program an applicant must obtain a four-year college degree plus three year?s full-time work experience. Applicant?s who have a Master?s degree only need two-year?s full-time work experience. Above all these requirements, applicants must be willing to relocate anywhere in the bureau?s jurisdiction, meet the FBI?s hearing standards by audiometer tests and be in physical condition with no defects which would interfere in firearm use, aids, or defensive tactics. All this information has been obtained from the interview, pamphlets and briefs done by Special Agent Kal Wong.
The Application Process
Once an individual has met all the requirements, the first step is to complete the following forms; The Application Checklist for the Special Agent Position, Preliminary Special Agent Application, Applicant Background Survey and the Special Agent Qualification Questionnaire. The Application Checklist is the primary application that determines whether you qualify for further processing based on requirements and credentials. Some things in the application can qualify you while others can disqualify you from further processing. As stated in the FBI Employment Homepage, ? If you meet entry-level criteria and are competitive with other candidates applying for the position, you will be considered for further processing, including applicant testing. You may be competitive if you possess a special skill needed by the FBI, an advanced degree, Language Proficiency, professional certifications or licenses, supervisory experience, and /or complex work experience.?
The applicants who are found competitive will go on to to the next phase of the process. They have to complete written and psychological tests in the field of the applicant?s experience. The written test is a multiple-choice test with only pass or fail results. The written examination tests an individual in academic subjects, algebra, Geometry etc. The individual has only one minute to answer each question. An individual has only two opportunities to pass these examinations. If they fail the second time, they will be disqualified.
Once they have completed the examinations successfully, they will be considered for an interview based on the individual?s qualifications, competitiveness with other candidates and the current needs of the FBI. The interview consists of three special agents asking questions testing your strengths and abilities. Once the applicant passes the written exam and the interview, they are ranked numerically with other candidates.
The background investigation will follow shortly after a successful completion of these tests. As stated on the FBI home Page, ?The background investigation consists of credit and arrest checks, interview with associates, contacts with personal and business references, past employers and neighbors, and educational verification.?
Drug Screening Tests
The things that can disqualify a candidate are conviction of a felony or a major misdemeanor, the use of illegal drugs or not wanting to take a drug-screening test. The FBI is a drug-free society and workplace. Federal employees do not tolerate drug use. The following is the criterion that determines whether an applicant is unsuitable for future employment with the bureau. The criteria of the FBI is, ? An applicant who has used any illegal drug while employed in any law enforcement or prosecutorial position, while employed in a position which carries a high level of responsibility or public trust, will be found unsuitable for employment. An applicant who is discovered to have misrepresented his/her drug history in completing the application will be found unsuitable for employment. An applicant who has sold any illegal drug for profit at any time will be found unsuitable for employment. An applicant who has used any illegal drug (including anabolic steroids after February 27, 1991), other than marijuana, within the last ten years or more than five times in one?s life will be found unsuitable for employment. An applicant who has used marijuana within the last three years or more than the total of 15 times in one?s life will be found unsuitable for employment.? To determine if you qualify, applicant?s have to answer no to all the
following statements under the FBI drug policy, ? Never sold any illegal drugs. Cannot have ever used any illegal drugs within the last three years. Cannot have ever used marijuana more than 15 times in your life. Cannot have used any illegal drugs other than marijuana more than five times total or within the last ten years. Cannot have ever used illegal drugs while employed in a sworn law enforcement or prosecutorial position or in a position of high public trust. Once the individual has passed the drug-screening process, they will be questioned in the polygraph regarding drugs to ensure the honesty of the individual. The polygraph test is given to test the individual?s integrity based on the information that was acquired from the application for employment on drug usage and other issues important to the bureau.
The last portion of the application process is to test the individual?s physical ability. The individual has to pass medical examinations to qualify for the Special Agent position. The FBI needs candidates who are physically fit for the academy and can accomplish their duties after the completion of the academy. Candidates have to complete a 1.5-mile run. The males have to complete it in 12.5 minutes; the females have to complete it in 14.5 minutes. In order to go to the academy the candidates have to meet the standard weight /height ratio or body fat requirement. Small, medium or large body frames divide the desirable weight ranges. Each range has different weights based on the individual?s height and weight. The larger the frame the more weight is acceptable. All individuals have to be mentally and physically ready before they make the journey into the academy.
The final process is the training at the academy. The academy is located on the U.S. Marine Corps base at Quantico, VA. The other federal agency that has training there is the Drug Enforcement Administration. The length of time for newly appointed special agents is 16 weeks. The training at Quantico, is a program of 654 instructional hours that consists of physical fitness, firearms, defensive tactics, academics, investigative subjects, federal laws, practical exercises, and teamwork. The individuals are tested on tactical situations and mirror real life situations. All candidates are expected to have a minimum-passing grade of 85 percent on each academic examination. There are 10 examinations at the end of training. The following are conditions that can disqualify a candidate: Failing two examinations, lacking proficiency in defensive tactics, unable to demonstrate proficiency on all qualifying firearms courses by the eleventh week of training, failure to safely handle weapons during firearms training regardless of score, unable to show proficiency in simulated arrest situations and violations of conduct rules and regulations during training.
Once at the academy all the agent trainees are expected to pass physical examinations during their training. The total point to achieve is a 50. The physical exercises are pull-ups/modified pull-ups (women), push-ups, sit-ups, 120-yard shuttle run, and a two-mile run. The minimum of points is 1 and the maximum point is 10 in each exercise. There is 2-minute time limit for the sit-ups. Both male and women have to get 100 sit-ups in two minutes in order to Max out the exercise. The minimum of amount of sit-ups for both genders is 46 sit-ups. The two-mile run time minimum is 18:45 for women and 16:30 minutes for males, the Max is 12:00 for males and 13:45 minutes for females. The 120-
yard shuttle run time minimum is 29.0 for females and 26.0 for males, the Max time for women is 24.0 and 21.5 for males. In the pull-ups exercise the minimum amount for women is 10-11 modified and 2-3 for males, the Max for females is 28 and for males is 20. The push-ups minimum requirement for females is 14-17 and males are 25-30, the Max for females is 50 and 71 for males. In order to pass the examinations, trainees are required to have a minimum total of 15 points. Every trainee is required to performance their best and maintain physically fit.
All candidates will accept a salary of mid-30, 000?s per year while training at the FBI Academy. After graduation they will make mid 40?s (it does not include the amount of locality pay, prior federal service credit, availability pay, etc.) upon graduation. Once you graduate, the individual will get the FBI credential?s of a Special Agent. They will be issued a pistol, laptop and the FBI badge. The new agents will be committed to serve the FBI, be available at all times when the FBI needs you, weekends, holidays, emergency situations, and possible cancellations of special liberty/vacations. New agents are aware of the stressful and dangerous duties of the job. They will be drive vehicles, work 10 hours a day, witness crimes, crime scenes, pursue and apprehend violators of the law. In some situations, they will be required to defend themselves and others using physical tactics. If necessary, they have to use deadly force under strenuous circumstances. The Special Agents will be committed to serve three years upon graduation from the Academy.
Newly appointed agents will be assigned to a duty station based on the staffing needs of the FBI. At the initial process of the application, applicants are instructed to inform
their spouses, significant others and family members that agreeing to relocate is a requirement in order to apply and pursue the special agent position. Future Special Agents would be assigned to any of the field offices of the FBI?s jurisdiction according to the needs of the FBI. On a wish list, Special Agents get an opportunity to write down three duty stations they would prefer to live in. Their preference for assignment is known and some consideration is taken during the selection process.
The first assignment of Special Agents consists of a two-year probation period. Special agents will train and guided by experienced agents who will evaluate their conduct, performance and their ability to do the job in a professional manner. An agent will remain on their first assignment for a minimum of four years. Special Agent Wong informed me that some move one to three times their entire career. Once again it?s all on the type of work you do and their needs. In addition, he informed me that the FBI gives you a chance to go back to whatever station you wish to live in once your first 10 years. If you were stationed in Hawaii, Alaska or Puerto Rico, the FBI will give you two chances to go back to any duty station. The field offices are located in every major city of each of the states. Some states like Alabama, California, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia have more than one field office. These states are bigger, have more people and one field office would not be enough.
The Special Agents enter the FBI as GS-10 federal employees. The FBI is one of the highest federal agencies; other agencies come in as GS-5 and GS-7. The entry-level salary begins from 36, 847 up to 46, 359 after graduating from the academy. The pay is
configured by grade and annual rates for steps. For example: an agent who has a grade of GS-10 and has an annual rate step of 6 will be making 41, 603. Special Agents get a pay increase yearly and get paid every two weeks. The base pay does not include the locality rates of pay, 25% extra after graduating, cola and BAH. They get additional compensation of 9, 212 for overtime and locality pay. Special Agent Kal Wong informed me that in 5 years many agents can make between 60-70,000 a year. As stated in the Internet, The special Agents can move up to GS-13 grade level in field non-supervisory assignments. Promotions to supervisory, management, and executive positions are available pay, which is an additional premium compensation for unscheduled duty equaling 25 percent of the Agent?s base salary.
As an FBI employee, you will be entitled to a variety of benefits, including group health and life insurance programs, vacation and sick pay, and a full requirement plan (The FBI Homepage). Special Agents get more training on the job and have opportunities to advance in vast areas of administrative and supervisory positions. Every year the FBI loses 500 agents and the need to hire and promote is beneficial to maintain this great organization.
There are many benefits in working with the Bureau. The benefits are paid leaves, medical insurance, and life insurance and retirement plans. These benefits are to ensure the employee?s health, morale, and efficiency at a very high level (The FBI Homepage).
Paid leaves consist of annual leave, paid holidays, family and medical leave, maternity leave, paternity leave, family friendly leave and other leave benefits.
Annual leaves are taken by employees for rest, vacation and many other personal reasons. The annual leave days are determine by an employee?s length of service and the
Accumulation of credit days. There are ten holidays that the government grants, Martin Luther King?s birthday, New Year?s day, President?s day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veteran?s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas day.
Every employee that has worked over 5 years is covered by the Federal Employment Retirement System (FERS). FERS consists of basic annuity benefit, the thrift savings plan, and social security. In order to retire, employees have to work certain years and have reached a certain age. Special Agents can retire when they are 50 years of age and have worked 20 years. They must retire when they reach the age of 57.
The federal Bureau of Investigation is the most admired and respected agency. Since 1908, it has been enforcing federal laws, statutes, securing information and apprehending criminals. Special Agents successfully accomplish the mission in emergency situations, both active and reactive. There are many competitive requirements such as, age, education, special skills and work experience to be considered for employment. The Bureau chooses wisely its employees through screening processes, background investigations, drug-screenings tests and polygraph examinations. Only selected few make it through the selection process and successfully complete the FBI?s Academy. I have shown you that the FBI is very demanding in the selection process, training and maintaining professional standards. Despite of the challenges, the FBI is very rewarding. It offers individuals a good pay, duty station preferences, Advancement, pay increase, paid leaves and retirement plans. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is America?s finest.
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U.S Office of Personnel Management (2000). 2000 General Schedule. [Pamphlets]
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U.S. Department of Justice (2000). Wanted by the FBI. [Pamphlets].
U.S. Department of Justice (2000). FBI Special Agents: America?s Finest. [Brochure]. Hawaii.
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Appendix 1Application Checklist for the Special Agent Position
Appendix 2Preliminary Special Agent Application
Appendix 3Application Background Survey
Appendix 4Special Agent Qualifications Questionnaire
When I began researching the FBI, I was already interested in becoming a Special Agent. I want to pursue a career with the Bureau because I have what it takes to become and Agent. I like challenges and am not a quitter. Competition is what I thrive for. I remember that many of my friends told me that I couldn?t make it in the Marine Corps. They all had bets that I wouldn?t make it through Basic Training. One of my friends went to boot camp five months before I went. He was sent back home in the middle of his training because he had asthma. He lied in order to preserve his strong image among us. I went and came back. I was in the Marine Corps for over 4 years and received an honorable discharge. Despite of being in the military, I went to college part-time. I am currently attending school and I am expected to graduate in December of this year. The military was not a set back; it only made me stronger and a fighter. All the skills that I received in the Marine Corps, I am going to use it in every place. Another good quality that I have is that I am fluent in both languages and I feel that I can use this skill in the FBI. When I was in the military, I worked long hours and trained really hard in order to get the job done. I was tested mentally and physically the four years in the Marine Corps. Nothing scares me, I like a challenge. After doing this research, I would consider joining the FBI. What is not to like? It is a very respectable job, pays well and offers rewarding outcomes.
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