City and Burleson ISD partner for informative session
Todd Hulsey, city councilman and retired FBI agent, spoke to criminal justice students at Centennial High School last Thursday about life in the FBI.
Hulsey was in the FBI for 21 years and was invited to speak to the students at Centennial by Burleson Superintendent Dr. Jimerson.
“The experiences I had in the FBI were experiences I would never have had in any other walk of life,” Hulsey said. “Those experiences helped me become the person I am today, as does anyone’s experience.”
Hulsey started out in the United States Custom Service, which is an agency that no longer exists. Hulsey said he was a “drug enforcement agent carrying a different badge.” After several years he decided to go back to school to become a lawyer but quickly decided after graduation that he preferred agency life and applied with the FBI. He started with the agency in the Los Angeles division.
“At alternate times I would be on the Los Angeles safe streets task force and the southern california drug task force and a special counter-espionage task force,” Hulsey said.
The latter took him to Washington D.C. where he was a desk officer. There, he worked on counter-proliferation. He learned everything there was to learn about nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction. From there he was sent to the CIA for two years as a liaison to the counter-proliferation position. After that he was the field supervisor for the counter-proliferation unit in Albequrque, N.M. His last assignment was as chief counsel for the FBI’s El Paso division until he retired in March, 2014.
“The mission of the FBI is to protect the American people and defend the constitution,” Hulsey told students. “What most of you know about the FBI is either completely wrong or less than accurate because what most of you all have seen about the FBI has been on TV.”
Moreover, Hulsey told students that the FBI does what the CIA does overseas but in the United States.
“The United States is the only country that has a dual law enforcement and intelligence gathering agency,” Hulsey said “That’s the FBI. Usually, the FBI is portrayed on TV as a criminal investigative agency.”
Hulsey went on to say that joining the FBI is very competitive, with the average age of a new field agent in training 31. Individuals interested in joining the FBI must posses a bachelor’s degree, with preference given to those who have a master’s degree. The FBI is currently looking for special agent applicants that have degrees and skills in science, technology and math, foreign languages, law, emergency medicine, certified public accountants, detectives, military (especially special forces, explosives, WMD and intelligence experts) and pilots.
Hulsey said students who want to enter the FBI should start researching the career field now.
“Make it a goal and then overachieve in preparing oneself,” Hulsey said. “About 100,000 people apply annually to be FBI special agents, and only between 500-1000 new hires are made each year. It is highly competitive.”