Thursday, March 3, 2005
OU alumnus heads Michigan FBI
By Rebecca Wyatt, OU Web Writer
OU alumnus Daniel Roberts, SBA ’84, said his education didn’t end when he completed his degree. In his role as the top FBI agent in the state, every day on the job is an education.
Roberts became the special agent in charge of the Detroit Division of Federal Bureau of Investigations in July 2004, 22 years after he began as a beat cop in Franklin, Mich., working his way through college at OU.
He oversees an office in Detroit and satellite offices in various parts of Michigan and manages 450 people.
“Overall, the education I received at Oakland University prepared me for my career at the FBI,” said Roberts, who has a bachelor’s degree in business management from OU and a master’s degree from Northern Illinois University.
Roberts also continues to learn on the job. When he hired in to the FBI in 1987, the big crimes were bank failures, then it shifted to drug cases, then gang cases and then corporate fraud. And, with each wave of new crimes, the FBI has to learn about them.
“We are focusing now a lot more on cyber crimes,” Roberts said.
Roberts went into the FBI looking for more challenges. He began working on a SWAT team and quickly advanced, working on a gang task force, violent crime and fugitive unit, as an instructor at the FBI Academy and special agent in charge of Salt Lake City, helping secure the city for the 2002 Winter Olympics, the first Olympics after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Salt Lake City reported lower than normal crime rates during the Olympic Games.
After helping keep the 2002 Winter Olympics safe, Roberts expertise may be used in the coming year to help keep Detroit and visitors safe during the Super Bowl and Major League Baseball’s 2005 All-Star Game.
However, Roberts devotes a lot of time and energy to keeping Michigan safe even when there isn’t a high-profile event happening. One of his goals as special agent is to “make sure we have a good handle on preventing another terrorist attack, especially in Michigan.”