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The G-man: Hoover’s “ideal law enforcement officer”

Posted by on Feb 7, 2011 in The War Begins | Comments Off on The G-man: Hoover’s “ideal law enforcement officer”

To better ensure that crimes got solved and criminals got caught, J. Edgar Hoover demanded that the Bureau’s agents meet and exhibit the highest professional standards. The expected qualities, and they were legion, were listed in a speech given in September, 1934, by Assistant Director Harold Nathan on his boss’s behalf. The “ideal law enforcement officer,” and that certainly meant the Bureau’s special agents, according to Nathan, “should be well educated, because law enforcement is now a profession.” In the FBI, that meant a law or accounting degree. He (and there was no “she” in the ranks of special agents) should also be “truly intelligent. He should possess a mind capable of thinking quickly and effectively along the shortest possible lines to the solution of the most complicated, baffling problems. His thinking should be supplemented by a broad experience...

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