Agent is first woman to lead local FBI office
She is chatty, relaxed and likes "American Idol" -- not the stereotypical G-man image of FBI agents. But she has also busted drug cartels, and resolves to stay vigilant in fighting terrorism.
Honolulu's new FBI chief, the first female in the position, will help stay the agency's course in protecting the nation's interests.
"We cannot let our guard down," said Janet Kamerman, the FBI Honolulu division's new special agent in charge. "Part of my responsibility will be to look for things we don't know about."
But that does not mean the FBI will be lax in local law enforcement, including drug investigations. In fact, 60 percent of the office is devoted to local law enforcement, with the rest focused on counterterrorism.
Kamerman has taken over the FBI office with the retirement of Charles Goodwin in March. She brings with her 17 years of experience within the agency, including serving as special assistant to FBI Director Robert Mueller.
She also has served as an assistant special agent in charge of the Washington, D.C., field office, and an investigative agent in Houston, where she looked into Colombian and Mexican drug cartels.
In her third week in Honolulu, Kamerman introduced herself to the media Wednesday morning, outlining the FBI's top priorities of counterterrorism, counterintelligence and cybercrimes.
She also discussed her shock about the prevalence of drug-related crimes in Hawaii, given the state's distance from the mainland.
She declined to comment on specific cases but did say that any case involving drugs from the mainland would cause the FBI to observe changes in how drugs are moved into the state.
Kamerman said she looks forward to building the relationships with local law enforcement established by her predecessors.
The Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, she said, shifted the FBI's attitude toward local police forces from a need-to-know basis to "a need-to-share basis."
"We cannot do it without the police departments," she said.