Homeland Security Investigations hopes to welcome more female special agents – KITV Honolulu

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The local federal HSI office has 39 agents, 11 are women.

Thursday, May 6th 2021, 6: 21 PM HST by Nicole Tam

The local federal Homeland Security Investigations department has 39 agents, 11 are women. Special Agents Marielle Schultz and Molly Reeve want more girl power added to their team.

"I think everybody has something to bring to the table, the more diverse you have as your workforce, the better you are in protecting and serving your community," Schultz said.

Not all the work is done in an office. Special agents also get to go out in the field and conduct investigations, surveillance, serving warrants and making arrests.

"Some days you're working on paper work, you can expect you'll be there doing paper work. Next thing you know you're in the field doing surveillance on a subject," Reeve said.

The agency investigates crimes including gang activity, smuggling, money laundering and cyber violations. Finding evidence to provide justice for victims is what the ladies believe drives them.

"Moments like that are what really keep me going. Even if they only happen once in a while, that's really enough," Reeve said.

"Doing something that's bigger than myself. I've been fortunate in this career," Schultz said.

Schultz says she wanted to be in law enforcement since she was four-years-old.

"I was driven at a very young age to be as world rounded as possible," Schultz said.

For Reeve, the interest developed in 5th grade as a junior deputy but her realization didn't come until 15 years ago.

"I used to play cops and robbers, I'd run around arrest my brother, it was just as I was going through this exploration phase, I thought about law enforcement again," Reeve said.

Khara Jabola-Carolus, executive director of the State Commission on the status of Women, reports job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on wahine.

"We expect them to do childcare and taking care of all the work that became and went into hyper drive during school closures and day care closures and that fell on women," Jabola-Carolus said.

She also says law-enforcement is a male-dominated industry.

No matter what gender, Reeve and Schultz know they can trust all of their partners.

"They're there to back me up. I'm there to back them up. The training has been excellent," Reeve said.

The department is expected to recruit female agents this fall. Qualifications for candidates include women between 21 and 37 years old with a four-year degree. After acceptance into the program, each person must pass a physical fitness test and attend a six-month academy.

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