Former Gainesville police officer Christopher Todd Doss, who has risen in the ranks of the FBI, always had a knack for solving crimes, his colleagues said.
But he had an even better knack for people.
“I think something that sets any police officer apart is their people skills, and Todd had very strong people skills,” said retired Gainesville Police Chief Frank Hooper. “He was very personable. He could talk to anybody, and I think that was one of this greatest traits.
“He genuinely cared about people, and I think that’s another strong attribute for a police officer,” Hooper added.
Doss, a 14-year-veteran of the FBI, has been named assistant director of the FBI’s Laboratory Division. The agency’s director, James B. Comey, named Doss to the position on May 15. He had most recently served as deputy assistant director for the division.
Doss began his career as a Gainesville policeman, and went on to work as an investigator for the Hall County District Attorney’s Office, led by now-Superior Court Judge Andrew Fuller.
“I worked with Todd when I was the district attorney and I got to know Todd when he was a patrol officer with Gainesville police,” Fuller said. “His work there was so impressive that I ended up hiring him as one of the district attorney office’s investigators.
“Todd Doss is one of of the finest law enforcement officers I’ve had the pleasure of knowing,” he added.
Fuller said Doss investigated every major crime, including several murders, for about seven years.
“He just had impressive investigative skills, an enormous work ethic and an integrity that could never be questioned,” he said. “That did not surprise me when the FBI hired Todd, and it’s not surprising to me now that he’s again being promoted to an assistant director position.”
According to a news release from the FBI, Doss began his career with the bureau as a special agent in 1995, working in Phoenix. In 2002, he transferred to FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., as a special agent in the Criminal Investigative Division, leading a multiagency team that provided operational support for major transnational drug investigations.
He moved to the Counterterrorism Division in 2003 and was promoted the next year to chief of a unit for national security investigations.
In 2005, Doss was selected as assistant special agent in charge of the Louisville Division, returning again to FBI headquarters two years later to be a unit chief in the Operational Technology Division.
Hooper said he kept in touch with Doss throughout both their career advancements, and in fact, Hooper was Doss’ training officer when he began on patrol.
“Todd is a great police officer, and he was very ambitious, and we became good friends both at work and away from work,” he said, recalling a hunting trip they took. “I’ll never forget ... we were all at deer camp, and while we were hunting, he was studying for an exam.”
As that ambition pays off, Fuller said that not just him, but all of Doss’ colleagues are proud, and expect more to come.
“Todd has made everybody in the Northeast Judicial Circuit community proud by the successes he has had in law enforcement, and I’m certain he’ll continue to have other opportunities to rise and impress us,” he said.
Hooper agreed, stressing Doss’ good character.
“He is a good man, with a good family, who I’m proud to call my friend,” he said. “Gainesville should be very proud of him.”