I received a call from Special Agent Kramer on May 16, 2010. When I answered he introduced himself and explained, “ Some of my questions I know I won’t be able to answer, but I will be glad to precede with the interview. ” I in turn explained that this was more of an interview about his career rather than cases he has worked. With that said, I began the interview via telephone. I started by asking him what steered him to choose to work in the Criminal Justice area.
Mr. Kramer explained, in detail, that as he was growing up a majority of his family worked as Police Officers, Investigators, Firefighters, and so on. They were a family that was closely connected with Criminal Justice. So he always knew that he would at the very least be a police officer, which was his dream. He also stated that the main reason he chose to be a police officer was his father. He went on explaining that his father worked as a police officer in Pennsylvania for over 35 years. Growing up he admired his father’s work with the police department.
He said, “ My dad worked a lot in the community and I saw it bring him so much joy. ” He explained that not only did he serve the community but also he always put together charity events and helped other people. He stated that he himself was always a big people pleaser so it would make him even happier to do as much as his father did. He also admired his father’s views on right and wrong. He said he believes what his father always said, “Right is right and wrong can be made right! ” He finished with his father’s views of justice stating that his father loved to see justice prevail, but took it to heart when justice didn’t right a wrong.
To proceed, my next question touched on any other interests besides working in the Criminal Justice field. Mr. Kramer laughed and continued on stating that he did desire to be a professional baseball player. When I asked why this was funny to him he laughed even harder saying, “ At that point in my senior year I had played baseball three times! ” He stated that he was just a fan of the game and he never was any good at it. So I proceed with the next question. We continued on with me asking what type of education he sought in order to assist him in becoming a member of law enforcement.
He stated that throughout his high school years he participated in a lot of Sheriff’s Office sponsored programs an that he had a great time in doing so. Upon receiving his High School Diploma, he pursued an Associate’s Degree at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. After receiving his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. He then pursued a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology but did not get to complete due to the fact that he received a job offer with the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office. All together he completed 9 years of school to obtain his degrees.
This prompted me to ask about the process in working in the law enforcement field. I explained that I was asking about the application process, training process, test, etc. He stated that he had to take a 16-week course for his training at the Academy in VA. I asked what the qualifications were to join the academy. He stated that you must have H. S. D or GED, be 21 years of age or older, have excellent physical health, and have no prior felonies. I then asked what did the Academy training consist of. He stated that they are trained in a variety of skills needed to work as a police officer.
They also covered Booking, Driving Skills, CPR and First Aid, Investigating, and Ethics. He said they learned about proper firearm and safety. He said he enjoyed the police academy although it was extensive and challenging. Even after completing the academy he was assessed on everything he had learned and tested before he received his certification. I continued asking how he became a member of the FBI and what his main duties were for his current position. He explained that what he does is what we call “Criminal Profiling” but his title is Behavioral Analyst.
He further explained that his full title is Supervisory Special Agent of the Behavioral Analysis Unit for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I asked was there any special training he had to do pursue in order to work for the FBI and he quickly answered, “Heck Yea! ” He stated that the initial application process was very lengthy. The background check was extensive. They performed a criminal background check, personal background check, and even questioned neighbors during these background checks. All of the references you put on your application they call and ask if they have a reference for you as well.
Not only did he have to fill out a lengthy application he also endured an oral interview. He stated that many test were given. One being physical fitness must be excellent. You must be able to run 300 meters and a mile and a half. Psychological test and Polygraph tests are administered as well during the application process. All in all he described this as the hardest part of his job. Mr. Kramer continued by stating that you also have to have some Language School with the Military for at least 6 months prior to applying to the FBI. He stated that he had to complete 12 weeks of internal training within the FBI itself.
The interview continued with me asking him to explain duties he performs throughout a day of work. He stated that it really isn’t what I would expect. Mr. Kramer made it very clear that everyday is unpredictable. One day he may be swamped with paperwork of cases dating back to 3 or more years. Then some days he may receive 2 or 3 more new cases. He also states that he bonds with the Field officers and works along with law enforcement in cases that they may have. He does interviews and works along side with a financial analyst to review financial documents. It is not your particular nine to five job.
Being that he cannot openly tell me of what in particular he does he made it known that a lot of things for this particular question he has to be as discrete as possible. Moving along we discussed his likes and dislikes of his profession. He stated that he loved working with law enforcement and solving crimes that have been long overdue. Many times he has found himself stumped as to how they may have missed certain evidence that can close a case that may have been looking directly at him. He dislikes all of the paperwork that is presented to him on a daily basis.
He wishes that he could have more interaction with the community and such. Some of his greatest achievements in his line of duty he states are the cases that he has worked, the people he has met, families he has met, and victims he has assisted. He states that this is more of a “Behind the Scene” type of position. I continued asking that if he could change anything that he does in his line of duty what would that be and why? He stated besides the excessive paperwork that he would like more direct contact with local law enforcement.
He touched on that further by explaining that he always saw himself doing what his father did. He loves his current position just hoped for more interaction with community and fellow street level law enforcement. He also wants to work a little closer in the field with the U. S. Intelligence community. All in all he states that he would not change anything that he has done up to this point but complete his Master’s in Clinical Psychology. I have always leaned toward Criminal Profiling. It amazed me as to how television can really twist the concepts of a Behavioral Specialist.
I have always been a mind picker so for me I think this would be a very good path for me to take. Mr. Kramer helped me to understand what all I have to look forward to in pursuing this career choice. It seems intensive and extensive but in the long run I feel like it is all worth it. I did not expect for the process to be anywhere near easy. I also didn’t know that the application process was as technical as he explained. I always thought that you had to have some type of degree to become a member of law enforcement but Jody helped me to learn that you can start with as little as a GED/HSD.
What I took from this interview is that if you are focused and determined then you will succeed in obtaining a position with the FBI. I feel as I should start now on my physical fitness seeing that I have just had two children in the last two years. I think the physical fitness will be my only challenge if I pursued that career path today. I am a hard worker and pretty good with tests and evaluations. Police Academy to me seems more informative than what I expected to be boot camp. It seems as though this is where you learn all of the fundamentals that you will need to have in order to be productive as any type of law enforcement worker.
I am with helping the community all the way. It is kind of disappointing knowing that there is not as much interaction with the community in this line of duty, but I’ll get over it. I always strive to do my best at any task given to me by any means necessary. I feel like this quality that I possess will help me in this field as well. I have always been drawn to Psychology as a major. I believe that my Forensic Psychology class will aid even better with me landing the career of my choice.
I feel very honored to have interviewed a Special Agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It could not have played out any other way. This project has opened my eyes to explore even more fields of duty other than “Profiling”. I am a people person and love to help others even when I get nothing in return. If I can find a similar position that works closer to the community that it serves this may be better for me. I appreciate this being an assignment and had a great time learning in the process. The people I met were cooperative and very informative.