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Hometown Helpers: FBI agent protects and serves community

Hometown Helpers

Every week, EastIdahoNews.com is introducing you to Hometown Helpers in our community. We want to spotlight a firefighter, police officer, city worker, snowplow driver and others who quietly keep our cities and counties running.

POCATELLO – This week, we are featuring special agent Kristin Almeda. She’s the only female FBI agent in Pocatello.

“I never would have thought in a million years that this is where I would have ended up,” she tells EastIdahoNews.com.

Almeda has been with the FBI for almost 11 years.

“I work exclusively in national security. So we do everything in the national security side from national security cyber intrusions to counter-terrorism and fighting extremism and counterintelligence which is catching spies and stopping foreign threats to US technology,” Almeda said.

Almeda explained she was a mathematician prior to joining the FBI. She loved working with numbers but wanted to do something more. That’s when she made the leap.

“It is not easy to get into the FBI. It took me about 18 months to get in and then after that, you go through about five or so months of training in Quantico, Virginia at our training facility. It definitely takes a while to get in,” Almeda explained. “There’s a lot of background checks and a lot of different aptitude tests and physical tests.”

She said one of the misconceptions that people have is that you can’t get into the FBI but it shouldn’t prevent you if you want to try.

“I never would have thought as a kid that I would have ever gotten into this job and I think that deters good people from trying. If you are athletic and good at what you do, whatever it is, the FBI has a place for you,” she said.

She inspires, showing that hard work and dedication pay off. She has loved her job ever since. Every day is different.

“Some days, we are going through trash, and some days we are going through evidence and some days we are doing search warrants. Most of my time is spent doing interviews and talking to people. I spend a lot of time with different companies trying to help them protect their information and their people,” Almeda said.

A lot of the day-to-day stuff is similar to what you see in movies and TV shows. Almeda says much of the investigative process happens sitting at a desk or writing on a whiteboard to try to link people and places together. The ultimate goal is to prove that somebody committed a crime.

And, as with any profession, it’s all a great balancing act. When she’s not on the job, her personal life revolves around her husband and two small kids.

“Protecting my family is very important to us but we are very much part of this community and when you are an agent, you move. Every single time you move, you pick up and your family goes with you,” she said.

Despite that, Almeda says it’s rewarding to be able to work on a team and travel all over the world.

“I still love what I do every day. It’s hard work and you really have to be committed to the mission and to protecting this country,” she said.

Almeda shows every day that she’s a Hometown Helper by serving her community and country.

Recognizing her achievements is particularly timely because this year marks the 50th anniversary of female agents in the FBI.

“Female agents are about 20% of our agent force. The FBI very much believes that diversity is the best way to do what we do,” Almeda added.

If you are interested in applying to the FBI, there are many job opportunities that vary from IT careers, victim specialists, intelligence analysts and more. Click here to learn more about a career with the FBI.

If you know a Hometown Helper that we should feature, email andrea.olson@eastidahonews.com.

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