FBI Careers: Chemist
FBI Chemist Hope Copeland talks about her experience working with the FBI.
My name is Hope Copeland. I am a chemist, non-examiner, in the Scientific Response Analysis Unit, FBI Laboratory.
Our unit, it is composed of scientists that are chemists, microbiologists; we even have veterinarians and nuclear specialists. We respond to crime scenes that involve any sort of chemical, biological, or radiological threat.
When there are white powder letters, for example, we get all the experts on the phone, we hold what is called a threat credibility evaluation, and we all give our expert opinions regarding how to handle each specific white powder letter. So that's one of our major responsibilities in my unit.
In the Laboratory, the environment is extremely conducive to learning. It's kinda like a no-brainer amongst the scientists that there's no way you can stay stagnated. You have to have drive to learn new things every day.
One of my most, one of the most fulfilling things that I've done since being here is a couple of years ago when, I forget his name, but a criminal, sent threat letters to the president, as well as to a senator and a federal judge. I actually responded to that particular case and provided support for that case by going and helping to conduct a crime scene search for the location, where we found where that particular criminal was making ricin and sending it to the president. That was very fulfilling. He's now in jail, and it feels good when you go and get the bad guy and actually see a case like that through.
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