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Retired FBI agent named executive director of homeless shelter

The Thurman Brisben Center’s board of directors has hired retired FBI Agent Roger Trott as the next executive director of the regional homeless shelter.

Board President Christen Gallik announced Monday that Trott, a Stafford County resident, will begin May 5.

He succeeds Bunny Melzer, who retired last July. Melzer had worked in homeless services since 1992 and directed the Thurman Brisben Center since 1999. The center, located in the city’s Battlefield Industrial Park, serves Fredericksburg and the counties of Stafford, Spotsylvania, Caroline and King George. Its mission, as stated on its website, is to “provide at-risk and homeless men, women, and children with appropriate and essential shelter and services to affect positive life changes.”

Trott retired from the FBI in January 2007. He had been employed as a supervisory special agent, leading the FBI’s training program for new agents at the FBI Academy on the Quantico Marine Corps Base. In that role, he instituted new initiatives, including creating an experimental criminal task force and a new organized crime program.

Since retirement, Trott has served as the executive director of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI and the group’s foundation and as executive director of the FBI National Academy Associates Inc.

Trott said his community activities have included working with African refugees since late 2007 through his church, Mount Ararat Baptist Church in North Stafford. He said that he also volunteers with SERVE and recently began volunteering with Micah Ecumenical Ministries.

He noted that the Brisben Center has “a unique anchoring role” in serving the region’s homeless and said his chief goal is to get clients of the center into permanent housing and on a path to successful, independent lives.

“It’s a God-size challenge to deal with,” he said, but he’s excited about the undertaking.

He said he looks forward to continuing to work in partnership with businesses, churches and nonprofits in the area to achieve those goals.

Gallik said the center received nearly 100 applicants for the executive director position and interviewed eight people before selecting Trott.

“Roger’s extensive experience, combined with his commitment and dedication to our community, particularly the homeless, will be a great asset to the center and those we serve,” she said.

Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972