Heith Janke, former supervisory special agent and current chief of police for West Fargo, spoke at an event hosted by the North Dakota State department of emergency management Wednesday, Sept. 26.
Janke spoke about his role and experiences with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other matters related to terrorism and national security, but focused on changes to the FBI following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
Janke served as a special agent within the FBI from 2004 to 2011 and as a supervisory special agent from 2011 to 2017, bringing him to Kansas City, Missouri and Washington, D.C. throughout the course of his career. During his time with the FBI, Janke said he and his partner had numerous hits ordered on them due to their work.
Janke’s work while with the FBI included investigating human trafficking crimes — the sale of humans as a commodity — and hate crime investigations. Janke said this work forced him to be intelligence driven during his law enforcement career, even throughout today in West Fargo.
Janke continued his discussion by addressing how the FBI changed fundamentally following the events of 9/11, highlighting expanded intelligence and information sharing and that FBI operations became more intelligence driven.
Daniel Klenow, professor in the department of emergency management, was the host for Janke, inviting him to speak in his class, “Dealing with Terrorism, Cybersecurity and Other Emerging Threats.” The event was also open to the public.
Klenow said conversations like this one with Janke are important for students studying emergency management and anyone who is interested in pursuing a career in federal law enforcement, the intelligence community or Homeland Security.
Klenow said that having speakers brings a lot more than factual information. It allows individuals to interact with someone that has lived through those experiences and receive a first-person account. According to Klenow, having speakers like Janke personalizes the education that students receive in the classroom environment.