FBI talks to criminal justice club

FBI representatives from the Detroit division came to talk to more than 20 students Wednesday. The criminal justice club hosted the event.

Many criminal justice majors are interested in joining the FBI, said Nick Walter, criminal justice club president. He had the representatives speak “to make sure people know exactly what they’re getting into.”

Willie Council, FBI community outreach specialist, one of the representatives, told more than 20 students that the FBI investigates crimes involving copy right, embezzlement, kidnapping, human trafficking, terrorism and serial killers.

Many FBI employees aren’t the special agents seen in popular TV shows.

“We are such a unique, diverse place,” Council said. “We have every job you could imagine.”

The workers who aren’t special agents are called professional staff. These workers are everyone from mechanics who keep vehicles running to scientists who defuse bombs. Most FBI workers have at least a bachelor’s degree.

Every job in the FBI requires some sort of training. For example, some workers have to take a finger printing class.

Paul Harris, special agent, also talked to the students. Special agents go through five months of intense physical training and classwork. The FBI only wants those who can handle it.

“My job – this may sound a little ironic – is to talk you out of it,” Harris said.

He has been a special agent for more than 18 years and has come face to face with lead gang members.

“I’ve taken an oath to serve and protect each and every one of you,” he said.

He trains daily to keep in top physical shape and told students that agents have to always guard their own life and their partners’ lives.

“You never, ever underestimate your opponent,” he said. “We go after the most dangerous individuals in the world.”

The representatives also gave general job-finding advice.

“Take internships. They are gold,” Council said.

He also mentioned the value of a foreign language.

He said that when applying for a job in government, it’s best to have a résumé that’s longer and more descriptive than usual.

After hearing how intense special agent work is, Kimberly Vicente, a criminal justice major and member of the criminal justice club, said she was glad to learn about the professional side.

“There’s something for everyone,” she said.

Vicente said she likes that the criminal justice club brings in lots of speakers to talk about different careers in criminal justice.

Walter said it would be beneficial for any student to join the criminal justice club because participants better understand the relationship between law enforcement and civilians. The club also discusses current events and social issues involving law enforcement such as prison overcrowding.

The criminal justice club has three more events planned.

At noon on Tuesday, March 10, in Gold Rooms B and C, the criminal justice club and department are sponsoring a panel about the different concentrations available in OU’s criminal justice department.

At noon on Wednesday, March 18, in room 128 in the OC, Dr. Albert Meehan will talk about his police field research.

At noon on Wednesday, April 1, in room 128 in the OC, Dr. Daniel Kennedy will talk about forensic criminology and psychology.