PERRYSBURG – Retirement: the action or fact of leaving one’s job and ceasing to work. That’s what two former special agents with the Toledo Federal Bureau of Investigation are trying to work around, as they continue their fight for credentials.
But Bill Radcliffe and Bill Roccia aren’t looking to work as full-time agents – they say they don’t want their jobs back. They want to help save the lives of missing and sexually trafficked children across the country as retired agents.
“There are a thousand kids each year, 11, 12, 13, years old, who end of being trafficked,” Radcliffe said.
Over dinner, the former agents and their wives talk about their lives working with the FBI, sharing funny and dramatic stories of their time spent working as special agents together. But the conversation quickly turns serious – they’re still fighting red tape as they try to volunteer their time to help find local missing children before they get immersed into a life of sex trafficking.
“We still have the desire to help people,” Roccia said. “That might sound trite and corny, but it’s the kind of thing that we did all our careers and you don’t lose that fervor.”
Roccia and Radcliffe spent 15 years working together as FBI Agents in Toledo.
They say they’re just trying to fill a void because they don’t think there are enough specially trained officers to look for missing children in Toledo.
The Toledo Police Department only has one missing persons detective, for both adult and child cases.
“In Toledo…if these runaways aren’t located within two weeks, there is an excellent chance they will be absorbed into human trafficking,” Radcliffe said.
Roccia and Radcliffe have unsuccessfully asked for credentials and liability insurance from the Toledo Police Department, Lucas County Sheriff, Toledo FBI, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
The former agents say they don’t want their fight to help to end here. They want other former agents across the country to get on board, too.
“We have thousands of agents who are most anxious and willing to give up their time, “Roccia said. “Our only request is that we have the authority and some liability coverage, and that’s it.”
They aren’t the only ones making this request. Ohio Senator Rob Portman (R is trying to help out, as well.
“They are well informed, they are focused on taking their retirement and doing something constructive, which is to help find some of these missing kids,” Portman said. “I think they can play an important role.”
For now, the men are frustrated. They have skills developed over a career; they have the desire to help people. But even after pushing for nearly three years, they still have to wait.