In a first, FBI selects a black woman to join the SWAT team
The first Black woman to be accepted to train for any of the FBI’s SWAT teams is said to be an FBI agent in Puerto Rico.
According to the FBI, the newly selected agent, who has only been known as Tai, will attend New Operator Training School (NOTS), a 10-week training that trains selectees for SWAT field operations.
“I’m one of those people where I have a task at hand and I just focus on that task,” she said in the release. “I don’t really think about people looking at me.”
“Hopefully, somebody will see that I was able to do it,” Tai added. “I’m not the biggest person. I’m not as strong as some of these guys. But as long as you have perseverance — because it does get really tough — you push through it and keep going.”
While nothing is certain yet, San Juan SWAT Senior Team Leader Mike Dubravetz “sees a lot of promise in Tai,” according to the release.
“There are no guarantees for success, but she’s been willing to tackle this,” Dubravetz said. “I’m impressed with her performance. She wouldn’t have made it through the selection process if she didn’t demonstrate that she has what it takes to be successful.”
Before joining the FBI, Tai was a deputy with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Orlando for five years. As someone who grew up surrounded by drugs and crime in a neighbourhood outside Tampa, Tai has always been dedicated to doing the best for her community both in Florida and Puerto Rico, according to the FBI.
Tai was sent to Oklahoma City for a temporary duty assignment when she was starting NOTS in May. She’ll return to NOTS later this year with a new group of selectees to finish her training.
“I’m definitely thankful for all the Black women before me in the FBI,” Tai said. “Because if it didn’t start with that one, who knows how many there would be today if any. I’m definitely grateful for all of them before me.”