Saturday, June 01, 2002

Retiring FBI man would stay

If not for age cap, agent's want ads would be unpublished

By Jennifer Edwards,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A Cincinnati FBI agent who assisted high-profile investigations such as the 1993 Lucasville riots and the 1996 Olympics bombing in Atlanta retired Friday.

        Ed Boldt served as FBI counsel and spokesman in Cincinnati since 1979. He started at the agency in 1968 after graduating from Toledo Law School. He also worked at FBI agencies in Memphis, Tenn., and Richmond and Bristol, Va., and taught recruits at the Cincinnati Police Academy. Mr. Boldt, 58, is one of thousands of veteran FBI agents leaving the agency this year under the mandatory retirement age cap of 57.

        He received an extension in 2001, but it expired this year and was not renewed.

        “I still love what I do and wouldn't be retiring if it weren't for that mandatory age,” he said Friday just before leaving his office in the Peck Federal Building for the last time.

        “What I have enjoyed the most is the feeling of accomplishment and service I have gotten from working not only with various FBI offices around the country but also with state and local police agencies. I have a great deal of respect for all of them, especially the Cincinnati Police.”

        He leaves the FBI at a tumultuous time as the agency undergoes drastic change to focus more on terrorism following Sept. 11.

        “Obviously today's FBI isn't what it was 30 years ago,” he said. “But what hasn't changed is the FBI's ability to investigate huge crimes on a national basis.

        “But clearly the events of Sept. 11 have reshaped and will continue to reshape the bureau. We have to be able to adapt, and that's what's ongoing right now.”

        He says he holds a special place in his heart for the Cincinnati police recruits he taught for nearly 20 years. The topics included use of force and criminal procedures.

        “You could walk across any street and ask these young Cincinnati cops about Mr. Boldt, and they think he's the greatest thing since sliced bread,” said Dave Welker, acting/assistant special agent in charge of the Cincinnati field office.

        Ask him about his best case, and he fondly recalls finding and returning a kidnapped 11-year-old girl unharmed to her grandparents several years ago while working in Richmond.

        “To be able to have gotten her and gotten the bad guy and have a happy ending when so many cases don't have happy endings, it was terrific,” he said.

        Now he is looking to the future — and searching for work in Cincinnati. After living here for decades, the married father of three grown daughters and proud grandfather of a baby says he can't imagine leaving the Tristate. “I am looking to take the next step, whatever that may be,” he said, then joked: “You should headline this, "Ed Boldt's looking for a job.' My house is for sale, too. Can you get that in?”


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