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FBI Agent in Puerto Rico Believed to Be First Black Woman Selected for SWAT Team

Tai is believed to be the first Black FBI agents to be selected for the SWAT team. Photo: FBI.

By Steve Neavling

An FBI special agent in Puerto Rico is believed to be the first Black woman tapped to serve on the bureau’s SWAT team.

The 32-year-old agent, whom the FBI identifies in a press release as Tai, began her first day of Now Operator Training School, or NOTs, a 10-week proving ground for selectees, in May. 

During the training, Tai said she wasn’t focused on breaking racial barriers.

“I’m one of those people where I have a task at hand and I just focus on that task,” Tai said. “I don’t really think about people looking at me.”

But, she added, she hopes her selection inspires others. 

Tai is training to be on the FBI SWAT team. Photo: FBI.

“Hopefully somebody will see that I was able to do it,” Tai said. “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.”

Tai’s career with the FBI began in 2017, when she was assigned to the San Juan Field Office, investigating corruption. 

Before joining the FBI, Tai was a deputy for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Orland, Fla., and is also a soldier in the U.S. Army Reserve. 

The mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando inspired Tai to join the FBI. 

“The amount of assets and the professional attitude of agents,” she said. “They were organized, and they got stuff done.”

TAI said she’s grateful for the Black female agents who preceded her. 

“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.”


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