In 1990, Special Agents Susan Sprengel and Helen Bachor were sent to London and Montevideo, Uruguay to serve as the FBI’s first female assistant legal attaches. In 2001, special agent Kathleen McChesney became the first woman to attain the rank of executive assistant director. Up until 1972 the FBI did not accept applications from women to become special agents. More than 2,600 women special agents currently serve and lead in all roles in the FBI. The FBI originated from a force of special agents created in 1908 by Attorney General Charles Bonaparte during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt.
Martha Dixon Martinez was the first female agent in the field office to be certified as a SWAT team member. In the four decades since women have served as FBI agents, they’ve taken on one of the most difficult—yet vitally important—roles in the Bureau: going undercover. It was in 1972—40 years ago this year—that women were allowed to join the ranks of FBI agents, reversing a policy that had been in place since the 1920s. The first major expansion in Bureau jurisdiction came in June 1910 when the Mann (“White Slave”) Act was passed, making it a crime to transport women over state lines for immoral purpose.
William J. Flynn, former head of the Secret Service, became Director of the Bureau of Investigation in July 1919 and was the first to use that title. From 2010 to 2012, the FBI disciplined 1,045 employees for a variety of violations, according to the agency. Eighty-five were fired. June 29, 1908 Attorney General Bonaparte begins hiring special agent force. March 1909 Named Bureau of Investigation. April 30, 1912 Alexander Bruce Bielaski appointed Chief of the Bureau. They were pioneers, the first trio of women known to serve as Bureau special agents and among the first women in federal law enforcement.
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All three women did well in training at the New York office and, in general, performed up to standard. Alaska Davidson and Jessie Duckstein were assigned to the Bureau’s Washington field office. Both were dismissed when newly appointed Director J. Edgar Hoover dramatically cut the Bureau rolls in the spring of 1924 to clean house following the Teapot Dome scandals. Lenore Houston was hired after these initial cuts and served the longest of the three. She, too, was assigned to the Washington office. She was asked to resign in 1928.
It would be nearly another half century—May 1972– before social mores would change and women special agents would become a regular and vital part of the FBI. October 11, 1925 First special agent killed in line of duty. January 1, 1928 Instituted formal training program for new agents. March 14, 1950 “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” program launched. May 8, 1972 New, modern FBI Academy training facility opened at Quantico, Virginia. October 10, 2001 Most Wanted Terrorists list created. OUTLINE FOR PARAGRAPH 2-4?
Cassandra Chandler Cassandra Chandler is a graduate of Louisiana State University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and English. She earned her Juris Doctorate from the Loyola University School of Law and became a member of the Louisiana State Bar. Prior to joining the FBI, Mrs. Chandler enjoyed a career as a television news anchorperson, reporter, and talk show host for a major network affiliate in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She also practiced law with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers in New Orleans, Louisiana. Mrs. Chandler began her investigative career as a Special Agent in 1985.
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She first served in the FBI’s New Orleans and Los Angeles Field Offices, where she investigated white-collar crimes, violent crimes, and civil rights violations. Mrs. Chandler has held numerous managerial positions throughout her career with the FBI, both in the field and at FBI Headquarters. In 1991 Mrs. Chandler was promoted to Supervisory Special Agent in the Legal Counsel Division at FBI Headquarters to support the defense of the Bureau and its personnel in civil litigation matters. She was later assigned as a manager in the Criminal Investigative Division, where she assisted with the creation of the FBI’s Health Care Fraud Program.
Following a promotion to supervisor of white-collar crimes in the San Diego Field Office, Mrs. Chandler oversaw numerous joint agency operations, including one of the country’s first international health care fraud undercover operations. She also managed the El Centro Resident Agency, which investigated violent crimes, including cross border kidnappings, and environmental crimes. In 1997 she was promoted to Assistant Special Agent in Charge in the San Francisco Field Office where she oversaw the office’s White-Collar Crime Program, National Foreign Intelligence Program, and Terrorism Program.
She also managed the division’s largest Resident Agency in Oakland, California. Her next promotion was to Section Chief in the Investigative Services Division, where she oversaw the FBI’s Analytical Intelligence Program for Criminal and Domestic Terrorism. She then was appointed Assistant Director of the Training Division, where she was responsible for managing the FBI Academy and the FBI’s other training and career development programs. In 2002, Mrs. Chandler was appointed Assistant Director of the Office of Public Affairs.
In that capacity she was responsible for managing all of the FBI’s public affairs operations and serving as the FBI’s National Spokesperson. In 2005 Mrs. Chandler was appointed Special Agent in Charge of the Norfolk Field Office. In that role, she is responsible for managing and leading all of the FBI’s investigations and operations in Norfolk, VA and the 17 surrounding counties. Charlene B. Thornton Charlene Thornton is a graduate of Marion College, Marion, Indiana, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Political Science.
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She later received a Juris Doctorate degree from Indiana University’s School of Law, and a Master’s from the University of San Diego’s School of Law. Prior to joining the FBI, she worked as an Intern in the Marion County Prosecutors office. Mrs. Thornton’s first assignment with the FBI was to the Indianapolis Field Office, where she was responsible for investigating bank robberies and property crimes. Next, she transferred to the Los Angeles Field Office, where she investigated white-collar crime, counterterrorism, and drug matters. Mrs.
Thornton has held numerous managerial positions throughout her career with the FBI, both in the field and at FBI Headquarters. She began her managerial career as a Supervisory Special Agent in the Legal Research Unit at Headquarters, and was later promoted to Chief of this unit. She then served as an Assistant Inspector in the Inspection Division, and as a Supervisor in the Baltimore Field Office and in the Southern Maryland Metropolitan Resident Agency. Her next promotion was to Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Honolulu Division, where she oversaw the FBI’s extraterritorial investigations throughout Asia nd the Pacific. In 1997 Mrs. Thornton was promoted to Deputy General Counsel, where she oversaw the FBI’s Legal Training, Legal Forfeiture, and Legal Advice programs. Next, she became an Inspector in the Inspection Division and in 1999 she was named Special Agent in Charge of the Birmingham Field Office, where she was responsible for managing all FBI operations and investigations in northern Alabama. In 2002 Mrs. Thornton became Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Office, where she was responsible for managing all FBI operations and investigations in the state of Arizona.
In 2004, Mrs. Thornton was promoted to Assistant Director of the FBI’s Inspection Division. In that capacity she was responsible for managing all Inspection Division operations and providing independent, evaluative oversight of all FBI investigative and administrative operations. In August 2006, Mrs. Thornton was appointed Special Agent in Charge of our San Francisco field office, where she manages investigations and operations for the northern and central coast regions of California. Kimberly K.
Mertz Kimberly Mertz is a graduate of Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Juris Doctorate degree. Ms. Mertz became an FBI Special Agent in 1989, and her first assignment was to the San Diego Field Office. She later served as the Supervisory Senior Resident Agent of the El Centro Resident Agency, San Diego Field Office. Ms. Mertz has held numerous managerial positions throughout her career with the FBI, both in the field and at FBI Headquarters. In 1999, Ms.
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Mertz was promoted to the Public Corruption Unit at FBI Headquarters, where she served as a Supervisory Special Agent. She was later promoted to Chief of the Public Corruption Unit. In 2001, Ms. Mertz was appointed Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Honolulu Division. In 2003 Ms. Mertz became an Inspector in the Inspection Division, and in early 2005 she was designated as the Chief Inspector. In November 2005, Ms. Mertz was appointed to serve as the Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Field Office. In that capacity she is responsible for managing all FBI operations and investigations in the state of Connecticut.