Sunday, October 10, 2010
Janice Fedarcyk takes reigns of New York's FBI office, but don't call her 'first woman anything'
Navy brat. Former Reno cop. FBI veteran.
These are titles that Janice Fedarcyk, the new head of the FBI's New York office, readily accepts. Just don't call her the "first woman anything."
She joined the FBI in 1987 and says a long line of women blazed the trail before her. So she doesn't dwell on the fact that she is the first G-woman to get the top New York job.
"I like to think I got this based on extensive experience and demonstrated abilities during the 23-plus years I've been with the bureau," she told the Daily News.
Fedarcyk arrived at 26 Federal Plaza in August and has been making the rounds.
Her early impression? "There's no shortage of work," the assistant director said with a wry smile.
New York is the biggest of the FBI's 56 domestic field offices, with some 2,000 agents and support staff.
Its cases - whether taking down the Times Square bomber, Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff or a cadre of Russian spies - often have global implications.
"New York is the flagship for a reason, and what happens here does set the tone - this is what we do, this is who we are," said Fedarcyk.
The daughter of a Navy man, Fedarcyk, 52, joined the Reno, Nev., Police Department after college.
She patrolled a beat; worked in the K-9 unit with her German Sheperd, Nick, named for the witty sleuth in Dashiell Hammett's "The Thin Man," and headed the child abuse division.
When she joined the FBI, her first job was investigating gangs, drugs, money laundering and organized crime out of the Los Angeles office.
She got a promotion to FBI headquarters in 1996 and was the first staffer assigned to work with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
In 2003, she was tapped to expose and dismantle terrorist funding conduits. Two years later, she became the agency rep at the National Counterterrorism Center, where she helped draft a classified operational plan in the war on terror.
Her last stint before New York was head of the Philadelphia office, where she oversaw the bust of Colleen LaRose, aka "Jihad Jane," who was arrested for trying to recruit Islamic terrorists online.
The memorabilia in her 28th-floor office has a definite Philly slant, with framed 2008 headlines of the Phillies' World Series win.
Fortunately, some New York transplants in the Philly office gave her a Yankees and a Mets cap before she left.
"So I could pick a team," she said. "Otherwise, I'll never live it down."