New Detroit FBI boss is no 'sit-behind-the-desk' admin

Paul Abbate comes to Detroit with background in SWAT, counter terrorism

By Kevin Dietz - Reporter

DETROIT - His name is Paul Abbate and if you're a bad guy, your life just got a whole lot more difficult.

He may be the new boss of Detroit's FBI but don't mistake him for a sit-behind-the-desk administrator. This guy is tough. He worked counter terrorism for the FBI in Iraq and Afghanistan -- boots on the ground -- and he has been a member of a SWAT team.

"Yeah, I was on the SWAT team in the New York field office when I started out. It was a really great experience. You work in a close-knit, small, tight group, doing often very dangerous work," said Abbate.

His priorities: fighting terrorism like the underwear bomber, corruption like the Kilpatrick conspiracy and white-collar and street crime which is rampant in southeast Michigan.

"Sustain the high level that we have across the board in all those programs, and then find as I learn about what's going on out here and get to know people and our partners in the community, find ways that I can work to advance it and improve it even more," he said.

Abbate grew up and went to law school in Connecticut. He is new to Michigan. He plans to live in downtown Detroit. So far, he likes what he sees.
"It's a very positive energy that I can see and see and hear from people about the city and the resurgence and revitalization that's taken place, it's very good to see that," said Abbate.

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