New FBI District Chief Fulfilling His Dream; He Always Wanted to Be in Law Enforcement and the FBI Is "The Ultimate," He Says

By Patton, Charlie | The Florida Times Union, March 27, 2006 | Go to article overview

New FBI District Chief Fulfilling His Dream; He Always Wanted to Be in Law Enforcement and the FBI Is "The Ultimate," He Says


Patton, Charlie, The Florida Times Union


Byline: CHARLIE PATTON

Michael Folmar grew up in Pittsburgh, so you might assume that he was delighted when the Steelers won the Super Bowl last month.

And he was happy. But Folmar, who recently took over as special agent in charge of the Jacksonville office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, had mixed feelings.

He was bothered that a series of controversial calls by the officials had led some to suggest that the Steelers title was tainted.

"You don't want things coming down to the calls," Folmar said.

Such attention to the scrupulous application of the rules is what you would hope for from a man who will spend the next several years running the FBI's operations in North Florida.

Being a law enforcement officer, Folmar said, is something he has wanted to do since he was a young child.

"And the FBI is the ultimate law enforcement agency," he said.

But when he graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a degree in criminology in 1982, the economy was in serious recession and jobs with civilian law enforcement agencies were scarce.

He toyed with the idea of joining the Air Force as a pilot. But in his heart, he wanted to be a cop.

So he entered the Army as an enlisted man. Two years as a military policeman led to another two year stint as a Criminal Investigations Division agent. That work brought him into contact with FBI agents.

In December 1986, he joined the FBI.

His favorite assignment was with the Organized Crime unit of the Newark, N.J., division, between 1992 and 1996. He and his partner managed to turn a mob associate into a cooperating witness. Eventually, they helped put 26 mob figures behind bars.

"It was fun," Folmar said. "It was a great time."

Beyond the thrill of the chase, Folmar said, what was gratifying was that their witness changed his ways. Now in the witness protection program, the man has been a model citizen for the last decade. …

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