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Officer completes coveted assignment with FBI

January 22, 1999|By MARLO BARNHART

After 24 years of police work, Hagerstown City Police Lt. Margaret Kline said her recent experience at the FBI National Academy was one of the best things that has happened to her.

"It was like the icing on the cake," Kline said, adding that her police career is far from over.

One of the 270 graduates of the FBI National Academy in December, Kline said she wasn't expecting to get the coveted assignment.

"There was classroom work, forensics and physical fitness," Kline said. "I actually got to run on the same course as Jodie Foster in her "Silence of the Lambs' role," Kline said.

Meeting other people, comparing how things are done ... all those factors made the experience very useful, she said.

"I also learned that we have a lot of advantages here, especially in the field of forensics," Kline said.

Indeed, she said there was a handout in her FBI forensics class that was actually written by Jeff Kercheval, director of the Western Maryland Crime Lab in Hagerstown.

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Kline said the instructors in the 11-week program were all top notch.

The daughter of Joanne Kline and the late James J. Kline, she graduated from North Hagerstown High School, Hagerstown Junior College, University of Baltimore and Hood College where she earned her master's degree.

Kline said it was rewarding to actually spend the 11 weeks on the Quantico, Va., campus - an opportunity she didn't have in her other college work where she attended classes and held down a job at the same time.

Promoted to lieutenant last April, Kline was the 12th Hagerstown City Police officer to attend the academy. She currently serves as a watch commander for the patrol division.

FBI Director Louis Freeh was the keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony in December.

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