The thought of FBI agents is typically met with visions of chase scenes or a sweaty culprit hooked up to a lie detector test. Fortunately for agents, their days aren't always filled with intense pursuits and relentless interrogations. FBI agents spend a lot of time and effort to research, study and plan their actions for every case they handle. Aside from the colorful details associated with their investigations, FBI agents have one of the most interesting occupations.
They Investigate Odd Circumstances.
Agents investigate whatever matter they are assigned to, regardless of how ridiculous it may seem. In the 1950s, several agents investigated extrasensory perception, or ESP, to analyze its potential of being an espionage tool. The study was eventually dropped due to lack of scientific evidence. In the 1960s, after parents complained of pornographic language hidden in the song "Louie Louie," a 2-year investigation ensued. The result was a 120-page report explaining the song was "unintelligible at any speed."
They Have Their Own Jargon.
Some phrases are used so frequently that they begin to take on a shortened identity. This is often the case in conversations between agents, who use "UNSUB" for unknown subject and "bucars" to mean agency vehicles. FBI personnel who work directly in the streets are usually referred to as brick agents, while female support employees who spend their entire career with the FBI earn the nickname "Betty Bureau."
They Receive Street Training in Hogan's Alley.
The FBI has a perfectly constructed town for training purposes in Quantico, Virginia. Known as Hogan's Alley, the local bank gets robbed at least twice a week, the mailboxes are welded shut, the restaurant is actually a classroom, and the movie theater houses an FBI office. Agents respond to staged events and receive the latest tactical training in real-life scenarios, which are complete with actors who play terrorists, drug dealers and mobsters.
Female Agents Were Rare Until 1972.
In the 1920s, three women worked for the FBI. During J. Edgar Hoover's time as the bureau's director, no additional females were accepted into the academy. It wasn't until shortly after his death in 1972 that two women joined the force, and employment of females began to increase. There were 2,675 women special agents as of May 2012. As of May 31, 2013, the FBI employed a total of 15,560 women.