FBI's Omaha division recruiting more women, diversity

Posted at 6:54 AM, Jul 09, 2019

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - — "As a woman you can do anything you want, so if you want to be able to do it you're going to be able to do it," Special Agent Alexandra Cassar said.

From bomb techs to intelligence analysts, women can do every job in the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Omaha division is putting a special emphasis on recruiting women from all backgrounds.

"We can't do our job effectively if we don't represent and reflect those communities," Special Agent Michele Stevenson said. It's really important that we get a variety of cultural, religious, ethnic backgrounds to join our agency so that perspective, and that background to our agency and help us do our job more effectively."

"I think women think a little differently than men," Cassar said. I truly believe that having that input into cases is going to be helpful, because you're getting full-circle investigating."

Cassar says at a scene, women offer a different perspective.

"When it comes to crimes against children or human-trafficking, or sometimes there's victims that are women ... I think a lot of times women feel more comfortable talking to other women," Cassar said.

It's not easy to become an agent.

"You have to be physically fit," Cassar said. You have to be able to do the same firearms and weapons standards as men do."

I tried the physical fitness test and although I didn't train for it, even for people in the best shape, the fitness test is hard.

"We have a lot of folks that come to us that have a variety of athletic backgrounds," Stevenson said. But if they're not training for those four events to that test it's going to be a struggle."

The test consist of sits up, 35 for women in under a minute.

A timed 300-meter sprint within 65 seconds.

At least 14 consecutive push-ups, and a one and half mile run.

If the physical fitness test isn't for you, there are 800 jobs within the division.

The special agent position is the only job that requires a fitness test.

Jonna Sabo is an intelligence analyst.

She tell us one of the first things she does at a scene, is put on personal protective equipment.

That sometimes includes, a Tyvek suit, and gloves.

Sabo says the suit protects you from bio-hazards at a scene, and it keeps you from contaminating the scene with your own DNA.

She also showed us how she processes fingerprints.

"You can see you've got a lot more [prints] on this one, a little less on this one--you can see a little more details," Sabo said. You really have to look at them and see what's going to be your best print."

The women are a good shot, too.

Stevenson tells us she shot 100 the last time she qualified.

Special agent Claire Caetano says, although a gun isn't always necessary it's an important part of her job.

"As you see in the news, unfortunately (monthly--weekly) you know, there could be an active shooter in your workplace ... there could be an active shooter at the movie theater with my kid."

So like many others she's always prepared and can shoot just as well, or better than a man.

The Omaha division will host a diversity agent recruiting event on July 23 from 5-8 p.m.

You can find out more about the FBI's recruiting process at,