Federal Agent Role Play Startles D.C. Residents


The FBI, CIA, Capitol Police, Secret Service, and U.S. Marshals Service stage training exercises in public public parks, suburban golf clubs, and downtown transit stations, in the Washington, D.C., area, sometimes startling local residents, says the Washington Post. Says the FBI’s Joseph Persichini, Jr., “What better way to adapt agents or analysts to cultural idiosyncrasies than role play?”

A boy in water wings steps out of his seventh floor hotel room into a stampede of federal agents; at a retirement home, an elderly woman panics as a role-player collapses, believing his seizure is real; at a museum, a father sweeps his daughter into his arms, running for the exit, while a raving, bearded man resists arrest. Scenarios can resemble a film shoot — minus the lighting — with prop knives, assistants with clipboards, and a tense director talking into a headset.

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