Fbi History

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Lucia DiEmidio
April 6th 2011
Police Operations
Professor Spellman-Frey
Federal Bureau of Investigations

Throughout its more than hundred year history, the Federal Bureau of Investigations has been a very important agency to the United States. As a threat-based and intelligence-driven national security organization, the mission of the FBI is to protect and defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats, to enforce the criminal laws of the United States, and to provide leadership to federal, state, and international agencies (“A Brief History of the FBI”). The Bureau’s success has always depended on its agility, its willingness to adapt, and the ongoing dedication of its personnel. But in the years since the tragic attacks of September 11, 2001, The FBI has adapted to globalization and new technologies. They have developed new ways to fight international criminal organizations, cyber criminals, fraud and terrorists working to commit mass murder. The FBI will continue to protect America, and keep our country safe.

The FBI started in 1908 from a group of special agents by Attorney General Charles Bonaparte during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. The two became fast friends after they met at the Baltimore Civil Service Reform Association (“A Brief History of the FBI”). Roosevelt and Bonaparte both were called "Progressives." They shared the conviction that efficiency and expertise, not political connections, should determine who could best serve in government. Theodore Roosevelt quickly appointed Bonaparte to be attorney general. In 1908, Bonaparte applied that Progressive philosophy to the Department of Justice by creating a corps of special agents. It had neither a name nor a designated leader other than the attorney general. Yet, these former detectives and Secret Service men were the beginning of the FBI (“A Brief History of the FBI”). The establishment of this kind of agency at a national level was highly controversial; the people weren’t sure they wanted an agency with this much political power. However, Roosevelt continued to enforce his progressive ideas. A federal investigative force consisting of well-disciplined experts and designed to fight corruption and crime fit Roosevelt's Progressive scheme of government (“A Brief History of the FBI”). Attorney General Bonaparte shared his president's Progressive philosophy. However, the Department of Justice under Bonaparte had no investigators of its own except for a few special agents who carried out specific assignments for the attorney general. This situation frustrated Bonaparte, who wanted complete control of investigations under his jurisdiction. Congress then allowed for Bonaparte to acquire his own force. On May 27, 1908, it enacted a law preventing the Department of Justice from engaging Secret Service operatives (“A Brief History of the FBI”). The following month, Attorney General Bonaparte appointed a force of special agents within the Department of Justice. Accordingly, ten former Secret Service employees and a number of Department of Justice investigators became special agents of the Department of Justice. On July 26, 1908, Bonaparte ordered them to report to Chief Examiner Stanley W. Finch. This is celebrated as the beginning of the FBI (“A Brief History of the FBI”).

There are many qualifications in order to become an FBI Special Agent. The job is rigorous and very demanding. You must legally be a United States citizen, you must be at least 23 years of age, but younger than 37 upon your appointment as a Special Agent. You must possess a four-year degree from a college or university accredited by the United States Secretary of Education. You must have at least three years of professional work experience. You must also possess a valid driver's license and be completely available for assignment anywhere in the FBI's jurisdiction (Grabianowski 1). An applicant must qualify under one of the five specific programs a...
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