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FBI Short of Agent Applicants With Language Skills Like Farsi

farsi2

By Allan Lengel
Ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — The FBI, in the midst of a major campaign blitz to fill more 3,000 jobs, said it is having trouble attracting enough prospective agents who speak Chinese, Farsi, Russian, Somali and Swahili.

To boot, the agency said it has had a dearth of agent applicants with backgrounds in computer science, information technology, accounting and certified fraud examination.

Denise Ballew, an FBI spokeswoman, said the agency is running television ads to drum up interest in these jobs. She said the target cities for the remainder of the year are likely to include Los Angeles, New York, Detroit, Chicago, Washington and Atlanta.

Not to say there has been a shortage of applicants for other jobs.

To date, the agency said it has had more than 270,000 applicants for about 2,100 professional staff jobs and about 850 special agent positions. Since fiscal 2009 began on Oct. 1, 2008, the agency has hired 435 agents to fill the 850 openings and 600 professional staff posts out of about 2,100 openings, she said.

She said the FBI anticipates screening a pool of about 5,000 applicants to try and fill many of the remaining jobs by the end of fiscal 2009.

Ballew said the initial hiring blitz, first announced in December, was intended to address  the “then current and projected positions due to attrition and retirement.”

She said the agency expects to continue recruiting for agents beyond fiscal 2009.


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