FBI Interview Part 1
In an earlier Blog Post entitled "Now THAT's Credibility!" I wrote about a former FBI Special Agent who had read Dark Harvest and left a review on GoodReads, saying that she really enjoyed the book. Since then, I have connected with her and asked if she would be willing to talk about her experiences on the force. That Special Agent's name is Connie, and she has agreed to be interviewed. I will post that interview in serial format, with each segment taking only a few minutes to read. Here is Part 1 of that fascinating journey behind the scenes at the FBI. Don't forget to check back here for the rest of that interview!
David: So, Connie, thank you for kindly agreeing to this interview.
Connie: Thanks David – I’m really looking forward to the chat.
David: That’s great – so am I, so let’s get started. I’m fascinated to learn more about your experiences in the FBI and we will be getting to that shortly, but for the sake of those who will be reading this blog, why don’t we start out with you giving us a bit of your background. Why don’t you tell us about where you grew up and where you have lived / travelled in your life.
Connie: Sure. I grew up in a small town close to St. Catharines, Ontario and lived there until I went to university. My education took me to the United States (Connecticut), and then I returned to Canada and lived in Hamilton, Ontario while I was in medical school. Ultimately, I ended up living in New York City, and then Los Angeles for almost ten years.
David: So, you must be comfortable on either side of the border, and we’ll come back to that. Just to round off your background for now, are you married, and do you have any children?
Connie: I am married to a pretty cool guy and we have one, amazing little boy.
David: We don’t often think about the families of those on the frontlines of policing. The spouses and children of those carrying a badge are real heroes as well. Now, can you tell our readers a little more about your professional background. What made you decide to go into policing? I always wondered if policing is a calling - something that people have wanted to do from the time they were young - or something that they decided looks interesting later on in life.
Connie: My undergraduate degree was not in criminology – it was in biology. After finishing my undergrad education, I decided to go to medical school. I think that my decision to go into medicine was perhaps a bit naïve – I had always been good at math and science and wanted to help people, so somehow this only equated to pursuing a career in medicine. After I started medical school, I realized that I had not made an informed decision and that it wasn’t the right fit for me. Sometimes I describe it like picking up the wrong suitcase at the airport – you might be able to wear the clothes inside, but they just don’t fit quite right. I realized that I wanted a career that I could be excited and passionate about, and for me, that was not medicine. Around that time, my husband saw a book in a bookstore about “how to become an FBI Agent”. He showed it to me and said, “I’ll bet I know what you would like to do.” I realized immediately that he was right and that this was what I truly wanted to pursue. Interestingly, I had been fascinated with law enforcement and investigating when I was younger, but until that time, had not seriously considered pursuing a career in the area. I decided that I should finish medical school, but from that point on, I began “investigating” the career of an FBI Agent. As for whether someone is born to be a police officer or not, I believe that for some people policing may be a calling and for others, it is something that they develop an interest in and then they decide to pursue it. I certainly don’t believe that one path is better than another.
David: I’ve watched too many stories about undercover police officers working in very seedy areas around some very dangerous people and have always known that this was not for me. Real kudos to those of you who are willing to take on that kind of frightening challenge. But just before we leave this background section of the interview, one more question. What are your favorite ways to spend down-time? Do you like to watch television, read books, go for a jog? How does an FBI special agent actually relax?
Connie: I’ll admit – I actually love reading spy novels! I also enjoy walking my dog and listening to true crime podcasts.
David: Wow! What can I say? I really could have benefitted from your experience and passion for police work when I wrote Dark Harvest. I’ll keep that in mind for the future! Which segues beautifully to your FBI experience. When did you decide to apply to the FBI and what was that application process like?
Connie: I decided to start the application process when I was in my last year of medical school. There was an initial test which was followed by a formal interview and written exercise. Additionally, there was an extensive background security investigation, polygraph, and physical testing. The process took well over 2 years! After that, I waited to be assigned to a class at the academy in Quantico, VA. The training there lasted 6 months……
(to be continued!)