WASHINGTON – The FBI (search) is looking for more than a few good men and women.
Hoping to attract up to 4,000 new employees by the end of September, the bureau has launched a major nationwide advertising campaign. It includes a television, print and radio blitz in the Washington area.
There are plans to expand the campaign to other large cities where there are military bases or a large population of foreign language speakers, said FBI spokeswoman Megan Baroska.
"We're looking to add to our intelligence cadre, to our special agent numbers," Baroska said. The agency also wants to beef up its support staff.
The CIA (search) and National Security Agency (search) are also looking to hire thousands of analysts, who research terrorism, foreign affairs and other subjects. That has lead to a shortage of qualified people.
Advertising is nothing new to the FBI, but this is the first time the agency has tried a national TV campaign, Baroska said.
One of the first ads aired before the start of the Super Bowl earlier this month. The fast-paced commercial flashes sleek graphics and quick shots of military helicopters and aerial photos. If features an Indian FBI intelligence analyst (search). Dressed in a suit and turban, he encourages viewers to join him because, "It's not the same world. It's not the same FBI."
Hundreds of motorists are passing a huge billboard in suburban Silver Spring, Md., just before the Capital Beltway. It shows a man in a suit and has the caption, "Little League coach, accountant, FBI special agent. Today's FBI, it's for you."
The agency is looking for computer whizzes, accountants, engineers and translators. They also want lawyers and people with backgrounds in the military, intelligence or law enforcement.
"These are the critical areas which will support our mission," Baroska said.
The 96-year-old agency changed its focus after the Sept. 11 attacks from of one of combatting mainly the mob and white-collar crime to terrorism, espionage and cyber attacks.
FBI officials said the number of cities the campaign will reach depends on the available funds. They declined to detail the budget for the ad campaign.