Episode 189: Michael Harrigan – Crime in Indian Country, FBI National Academy

Retired agent Michael Harrigan served in the FBI for 22 years. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Michael Harrigan reviews his assignment as the Supervisory Senior Resident Agent (SSRA) in the Farmington and Gallup offices of the Albuquerque Division where he conducted and supervised investigations of crime in Indian country involving homicide, sexual assault, kidnapping, missing persons and unidentified human remains and was responsible for federal criminal matters on three Native American reservations. He also discusses his assignment as the Chief of the National Academy (NA) Program, the leading national law enforcement executive leadership institution, graduating over 1,800 senior law enforcement officers from every state and more than 40 countries.

Mike Harrigan previously reviewed the  Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP), the largest repository of serial violent crime cases in the country, and the Highway Serial Killings Initiative. He was the unit’s chief and oversaw the development of the web database which allows client law enforcement agencies direct access to conduct independent analysis. Before he retired, Harrigan was the Chief of the FBI Academy’s Firearms Training Program. Currently, he is a subject matter expert for Eagle, a security and risk management service, for whom he provides consultation and expert testimony related to violent crime analysis, the use of force continuum, police procedures and policies, and various issues related to policing Indian Country.

Special Agent (Retired)

Michael Harrigan

October 1996 – December 2018







“Thirty-six of our field offices have agents assigned to investigate crime in Indian Country, that’s the term that goes back many decades.” —Retired Agent Mike Harrigan

Crime in Indian Country

The following are articles on the FBI responsibilities in investigating crime in Indian country and the crisis of serious crimes of violence against Native American women:

FBI Website:  What We Investigate -Indian Country Crime

FBI Statement Before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs – 12/12/2018:  Missing and Murdered – Confronting the Silent Crisis in Indian Country

CBS News (VIDEO) – 6/12/2019:  Congress tackles crisis of missing and murdered Native American women

This photo of Mike Harrigan has appeared in recruitment ads promoting the many unique assignments agents can have in the FBI, such as serving in Resident Agencies working crime in Indian Country.







In the background of this photo of Mike Harrigan is an ancient volcano core on the Navajo reservation just outside the city of Shiprock, New Mexico. It’s called “Shiprock” and is a sacred place to the Navajos.











FBI National Academy

FBI Website:  Services – National Academy

The FBI National Academy Associates, Inc., is an organization of more than 16,000 law enforcement professionals who graduated from the National Academy and actively work to develop higher levels of competency, cooperation, and integrity across the law enforcement community.














Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 300 episodes available on all popular podcast apps and YouTube.


  1. RachelJanuary 26, 2023

    I am glad that Jerri asked about MMIWG (Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls), and whether Mr. Harrigan agreed it was a crisis.

    I was surprised by Mr. Harrigan’s response. He did not dismiss the problem, as Jerri asked him again about the statistic that indigenous girls and women are ten times more likely to be murdered than average. However, he said that the vast majority of these murders are domestic/family. Being a social problem, it wasn’t something he felt law enforcement could fix. (I am paraphrasing to the best of my recollection.)

    Some of the .org sites addressing MMIWG suggest that there are legal loopholes protecting non-Native offenders, that US attorneys have tended to decline to prosecute violence against women on reservations, that there is a huge data gap (e.g. 5000+ violent crimes against Native women in NCIC, 100+ in Justice Dept. stats), and that Native victim services are massively underfunded. Legislation at a federal level has been introduced (not passed) to help address the data and funding issues.

    Mr. Harrigan’s attribution of these crimes to “social” factors may be incomplete.

  2. MLA Web DesignsDecember 12, 2019

    Excellent explanation, It;s simple and focuses. Keep up the great work!


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