The FBI Director: One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show!

The FBI, our nation’s premiere law enforcement agency that, in addition to criminal investigations, has major focus on national security.

The FBI conducts thousands upon thousands of investigations concerning domestic and international terrorism, foreign counterintelligence, cyber crime, public corruption, civil rights, organized crime/drugs, white-collar crime, violent crimes and major offenders.

There are 56 FBI field offices in major cities, and in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Hundreds of smaller field offices are also positioned throughout the country.

The FBI employs over 35,000 people who serve in a variety of positions.

That’s 35 THOUSAND individual employees.

Let this figure sink in a moment. Having this many people is comparable to employing every single man, woman, and child who reside in Sedona, Arizona, St. Augustine, Florida, and Brattleboro, Vermont , combined!

The director of the FBI is a person who oversees the daily operation of the bureau. The position is administrative. The director does not go out in the streets to conduct investigations. He/she is not someone who is totally hands-on in any investigation. Agents in various positions with various duties are the people who conduct those investigations.

Agents involved in investigations report to their superiors. They, in turn, when necessary, report findings to their superiors. Eventually, when appropriate, supervisory agents report their finding to their bosses. Eventually, if the case is of high-profile status, the case information winds up in front of the FBI director and/or deputy directors.

So what happens if we remove the person at the head of the agency? Do those 35,000 dedicated and highly-skilled employees cease to function? Are they suddenly unable to walk and speak, breathe and blink, or no longer possess the ability to swallow food or drink? Will criminals all over the world suddenly have free reign to do as they please?

Will all investigations come to a screeching halt?

Okay …

FBI Director Comey

Well, did the earth suddenly spin out of control?

No FBI Director Comey

Of course there’s no change. Removing the head of any agency, including the FBI, is no more than discharging a CEO from a corporation. The next in charge, always an extremely qualified person, steps in and the operation continues. Those further down the chain will see absolutely no change in their daily operation. None. Well, unless the interim or new director implements new policy, etc. But a disruption of everyday duty … no way!

To say or imply otherwise is a huge insult to the men and women at the FBI. They’re extremely good at what they do.

So, as much as I playfully bash the FBI from time to time, I’m 100% behind them during this change of department head. Sure, he was the boss, but I know first hand what it’s like to have the boss of a law enforcement agency suddenly removed. I was part of an investigation where a chief of police was terminated and charged with a criminal offense.

Take a guess as to what happened after he was escorted from his office and the police department.

Okay, I’ve waited long enough. Your answers were coming far too slowly.

NOTHING HAPPENED. The next in command was placed in charge and everyone went about their daily routines of investigating cases (serious and not so serious), writing traffic tickets, working car crashes, testifying in court, collecting evidence and surveillance, etc.

Absolutely nothing changed except an instant uptick in morale.

So no, “one monkey don’t stop no show,” especially when the person in question is incompetent and unable or unwilling to carry out the basic functions of the job description in a manner that’s within the law, guidelines, policy, and other rules and regulations.

The decision to remove this director was sound and should’ve been done a long, long time ago.

just a monkey

By the way, the FBI is not a national police force. They do not conduct local police-type investigations. It is not the FBI who shows up to investigate your hometown murder. That’s not what they do.

** Please, no political comments **


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3 replies
  1. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Ann, I understand your concern. However, this is business as usual in law enforcement. It’s worse at sheriff’s offices with no union protection because deputies are appointed, not hired, meaning they work at the pleasure of elected sheriffs (sound familiar). I’ve seen deputies fired for what seemed like nothing more than the boss having a bad day, or as a result of a poker playing buddy complaining about receiving a traffic summons from a deputy, or a family member arrested.

    As far as Jim Comey … well, let’s just say he was the wrong person for the job. I say this as someone who’s personally familiar with him. He was U.S. Attorney in the area where I worked for many years. Good riddance.

  2. ann bennett
    ann bennett says:

    True, the big boss rarely affects the day to day workload. When I taught school, I did not care who was on the school board in that it really did not affect what went on in my classroom. I answered to the parents and the children I taught first. I worked with strong administrators and weak administrators at different points in my career. The weakest ones were always political hires.

    I have concern that James Comey was fired. One aspect of law enforcement being able to function is that they are not overly induced to have positions due to the politics of the day.

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