Detroit FBI head steps down for job with Penske

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The head of the FBI in Detroit is retiring to take on a new job in the private sector.
He is required to step down this year because of age limitations and only with FOX 2 he talks terrorism, crime and what he will miss most about Detroit.

On Nov. 13, 2015 Paris was attacked by terrorists. About 4,000 miles away, David Gelios was named the special agent in charge of the FBI in Detroit. 

After a month on the job, Twitter blew up and angry, anti-Muslim posts flooded Twittersphere. Gelios knew it had to stop.  

"Someone just north of Detroit tweeted people should go out and 'F-up' all Muslims," he said. "One of my points of pride was we consider violations of people's Civil Rights every bit as serious as a terrorist incident."

 Like all of the leaders of FBI Field divisions across the country, preventing and dealing with potential terrorism part of the job. A tall order that landed in our backyard when a Flint airport police officer was stabbed in June. 

"We were able to go out there and hopefully put the public at ease so they could go to bed that night sharing the belief we had that it was an isolated incident," Gelios said. 

Then there's crime.  Detroit police recently released new crime numbers boasting of the lowest number of homicides in decades. DPD says it is a 5 percent drop in violent crime in Detroit from 2015 to 2016, the FBI showed an increase. 

It was a discrepancy he and Detroit Police Chief James Craig talked about. 

"He told me they had a system that was not capturing the stats as accurately as they had hoped," Gelios said. "So they invested money to develop a system to capture their accomplishments in a much more accurate way."

One thing Gelios is proud of is relationships he built with the community.  Instead of showing up when crime happened, FBI showed up at Mack and Bewick this summer. Agents played basketball, kids shook hands and adults were able to embrace the FBI in ways like never before.  

"I remember coming up to one woman and I stuck out my hand and introduced myself and she said I don't want to shake your hand I want to hug," Gelios said. "It was one of the most meaningful things we've done in my tenure."

Why retire now? He's soon to be 57 years old.  That's the age limit for the job of special agent in charge.   His birthday is in September and a new job popped up. 

Roger Penske offered him a job at one of his properties out west 

"I'll be a west region vice president of security situated out of San Diego, California," Gelios said. 

Gelios steps down at the end of the month. A nationwide search for his successor is already underway.