100 Years of African-American Special Agents: Aaron LaSure

100 Years of African-American Special Agents: Aaron LaSure


I’ve always wanted to be an FBI agent, and
be in law enforcement. And that was a desire of mine throughout high
school, when I was young. Just actually watching the FBI Story, I used
to watch it all the time, every time it came on TV. It’s black and white, but that really drew
me to the FBI, understanding what it did and because of the FBI Story, I wanted to come
into the FBI and work espionage and counter intelligence matters. And that’s what I ended up doing. When I finally got into the FBI in 1997, and
arrived at the Academy, I was the only African American in my class of 50. There were seven African Americans in the
classes above me, but they all graduated. And at one particular point in time, we were
having classes every two weeks, I was the only African American agent walking around
at the Academy, and there were classes coming in every two weeks during that time period
in ‘97, to make up for the hiring freeze at that time. It was pretty interesting for me. I think it’s very important for any law enforcement
organization to mirror the community that it serves. If you don’t have that, you cannot connect
with that community because, that’s the first thing that they see and trust. If they see someone like themselves, then
that may take down a barrier to helping you to solve some of the issues and challenges
that any community may have. It is the diversity of thought; it is also
bringing in individuals who have different backgrounds, that are rich, and that can contribute
to any community, but also can contribute to solving any problem that you may face. I think for me, to recognize African-American
agents is one of the greatest things that the Bureau could do. To recognize the diversity within its ranks,
to recognize those who have sacrificed, along with all of our brothers and sisters who serve
within the Bureau, is amazing. I think over time in our history, a lot of
folks who have a different background, a different race, as African Americans, we are overlooked
in our history at times, and I believe that this is one of the most important things that
the Bureau could do, to help long-term in building a great foundation of individuals
who care about this country, who are diverse, who are African American, who want to serve
in a different capacity. The struggle still continues. But we have to have people who are willing
to step forward and take on that challenge to take the mantle. If I see talent in someone, if I see an ability
and a drive in someone and I think that they can offer something to the Bureau, I would
strongly recommend that they seek that out. I speak to them about my particular experience
in what the Bureau can offer them because it offered me so much. It offered me opportunities that I never dreamt
of during my career.

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