CIS Adjunct Professor Publishes Book About His Career as an FBI Agent
Computer Information Science Adjunct Professor William Ebersole, JD, CPA, CFE, GISF published his first book, “Another in the Fire: An FBI’s Agent’s Life, Faith, and Relentless Pursuit of Crime” this summer, where he shares stories from his work as an FBI agent and the gratitude he’s had for his career and those who’ve influenced him over the years.
During his career, Ebersole worked on record-setting drug seizures, arrests of assassins and other high-level targets, and the taking back of neighborhoods from drug dealers. As part of a joint, task-force environment, he views these accomplishments all as team efforts.
Ebersole grew up in Scranton, Pa., the son of a police officer. When he first began his work for the criminal justice system, he made a point to keep track of news articles and press releases related to investigations he’d worked on. After 26 years, he retired from government work. Then, when the COVID pandemic hit, he decided to document his career in writing.
What inspired “Another in the Fire”?
“The book started out as a letter to my kids to explain my faith and the experiences in life that make me a little stricter than most parents. Writing the book was very enjoyable and reminded me just how lucky I have been to have wonderful parents, mentors, and the ability to participate in righting some of the wrongs I have seen in this world. It was truly humbling to come to a deep understanding of how lucky I have been in life.”
What helped you cope with being exposed to some of the worst of humanity due to your line of work?
“More than half of my career was spent working narcotics violations and the money laundering offenses that go hand-in-hand with drug trafficking. Working these types of investigations will put you face-to-face with violent felons on a routine basis.
“In Operation Clean Sweep, we had to serve search and arrest warrants on dangerous subjects who were highly armed. One of the locations I searched had 91 firearms, blasting caps, and the component parts for two-shoulder fired rockets. Physically you get ready for this type of event by training, using proper equipment, and preparing for any contingency. Of more importance is to prepare for this type of event by trusting in your faith and realizing that all things will work together for the good.
“Apart from the physical danger is the anguish one feels when seeing children at these locations. In Operation Clean Sweep, I witnessed the children of methamphetamine addicts, living in a squalid trailer with drugs and weapons openly available. Many times at night, when I close my eyes, I still see the children who lived in these violent locations. The concern, frustration, and sometimes guilt that one experiences when trying to reconcile why innocent children are victimized by circumstances can adversely affect even the most seasoned law enforcement officer.
“Seeking answers from my faith and decompressing with family and friends has helped keep me focused over the years.”
Beyond your work as an FBI agent, what accomplishment are you most proud of?
“Passing the CPA exam at 46 years of age is my favorite personal accomplishment. I had a particularly impactful accounting professor during my college years who encouraged me to take the CPA exam when the time was right. In 2012, Pennsylvania changed the regulations for becoming a CPA and officially recognized non-traditional accounting work as acceptable for completing the work experience that was necessary to obtain the CPA certification.
“So for more than a year, I studied hard and took my flash cards to little league games, cheerleading practice, and even on the treadmill.
“I was able to pass the exam, and my experience working money laundering, terrorism funding, and other types of financial crimes was deemed sufficient for certification purposes.”
What do you hope readers take away from your book?
“First, my hope is that readers will realize despite all of the evil and frustration in this world, there is still hope, kindness, and joy. Especially after the past two years, it is helpful for us to think about the goodness in life.
“Second, I hope that my readers feel encouraged to pursue their dreams. During my senior year of high school, I was told by a college admissions counselor that I had less than a 20% chance of finishing a four-year college program, and that I should consider a semi-skilled labor position instead of wasting money on higher education. From that point forward, I refused to allow someone else to define what I could achieve.
“I would encourage anyone who reads my book to rise above their own circumstances and follow their dreams.”
More About the Author
In addition to his years as an FBI agent, Ebersole has also worked for the private sector, including Disney’s Cruise Line as a Security Compliance / Emergency Manager. As an adjunct professor at GMercyU, he’s enjoyed teaching classes such as Cybersecurity and Cybercrime. “It is very rewarding to work with students who have such promising futures,” Ebersole says. “I feel as though I learn at least as much from them as they learn from me!”
This fall, Ebersole will teach CIS’ Auditing Information Technology course.