FBI plans large hiring blitz of agents, experts

WASHINGTON Mon Jan 5, 2009 5:15pm EST

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Wanted by the FBI: agents, language specialists, computer experts, intelligence analysts and finance experts.

The FBI said on Monday it had launched one of the largest hiring blitzes in its 100-year history involving 2,100 professional staff vacancies and 850 special agents aimed at filling its most critical vacancies.

The agency, which seeks to protect the United States from terrorist attack, fight crime and catch spies, among other duties, said it currently has more than 12,800 agents and about 18,400 other employees.

Since the Sept 11, 2001, attacks, the FBI has been criticized for not having enough employees fluent in foreign languages and for not moving fast enough to upgrade its computer system.

FBI Assistant Director John Raucci of the Human Resources division said the federal law enforcement agency is seeking to bring more people on board with skills in critical areas, especially language fluency and computer science.

"We're also looking for professionals in a wide variety of fields who have a deep desire to help protect our nation from terrorists, spies, and others who wish us harm," Raucci said.

He said the FBI, which has been investigating corporate wrongdoing in connection with the current financial crisis, also needs finance and accounting experts, along with those skilled in physical surveillance and various other employees.

The hiring initiative for FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., and for its field offices would replace departed staff and add some employees, officials said. (Reporting by James Vicini, Editing by Jackie Frank)

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