Essay by Chad1College, UndergraduateA, January 1996

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To uphold the law through the investigation of violations of


criminal law; to protect the U.S. from foreign intelligence


terrorist activities; to provide leadership and law


assistance to federal, state, local, and international

agencies; and to

perform these responsibilities in a manner that is

responsive to the

needs of the public and is faithful to the constitution of

the U.S.:

this is the mission of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The agency now known as the Federal Bureau of

Investigation was founded

in 1908 when the Attorney General appointed an unnamed force

of Special

Agents to be the investigative force of the Department of


(DOJ). Before that time, the DOJ had to borrow Agents from

the U.S.

Secret Service to investigate violations of federal criminal

laws within

its jurisdiction. In 1909, the Special Agent Force was

renamed the

Bureau of Investigation, and after a series of name changes,

it received

its present official name in 1935.

During the early period of the FBIs history, its agents


violations of mainly bankruptcy frauds, antitrust crime, and


violation. During World War One, the Bureau was given the

responsibility of investigating espionage, sabotage,


(resistance against lawful authority), and draft violations.


passage of the National Motor Vehicle Theft Act in 1919


broadened the Bureau's jurisdiction.

After the passage of Prohibition in 1920, the gangster

era began,

bringing about a whole new type of crime. Criminals engaged


kidnapping and bank robbery, which were not federal crimes

at that

time. This changed in 1932 with the passage of a federal


statute. In 1934, many other federal criminal statutes were

passed, and

Congress gave Special Agents the authority to make arrests

and to carry


The FBIs size and jurisdiction during the second World

War increased

greatly and included intelligence matters in South America.

With the

end of that war, and the arrival of the Atomic Age, the FBI


conducting background security investigations for the White

House and

other government agencies, as well as probes into internal


matters for the executive branch of the government.

In the 1960s, civil rights and organized crime became

major concerns

of the FBI, and counterterrorism, drugs, financial crime,

and violent

crimes in the 1970s. These are still the major concerns of

the FBI,

only now it is to a greater extent..

With all of this responsibility, it is logical to

say that the FBI is a

field-oriented organization. They have nine divisions and

four offices

at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. These divisions and


provide direction and support services to 56 field offices


approximately 10,100 Special Agents and 13,700 other

employees. Each

FBI field office is overseen by a Special Agent in Charge,

except for

those located in New York City and Washington, D.C. Due to

their large

size, those offices are each managed by an Assistant

Director in Charge.

FBI field offices conduct their official business both

directly from

their headquarters and through approximately 400 satellite


known as resident agencies. The FBI also operates

specialized field

installations: two Regional Computer Support Centers; one

in Pocatello,

Idaho, and one in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey -- and two


technology Centers (ITCs); one at Butte, Montana, and one at


Georgia. The ITCs provide information services to support


investigative and administrative operations.

Because they do have so much responsibility, their


authority is the broadest of all federal law enforcement

agencies. The

FBI also stresses long term, complex investigation,

emphasize close

relations and information sharing with other federal,

state, local, and

foreign law enforcement and intelligence agencies. A

significant number

of FBI investigations are conducted with other law

enforcement agencies

or as part of joint task forces.

As part of this process, the FBI has divided its

investigations into

the following programs:

Applicant Program

Department of Energy and Nuclear Regulatory

Commission Applicants

Department of justice Candidates

FBI Special Agents and Support Applicants

and others

Civil Rights Program

Civil Rights Act of 1964

Discrimination in Housing

Equal Credit Opportunity Act

Counterterrorism Program

Hostage taking


Attempted of Actual Bombings

and others

Financial Crime Program

Bank Fraud and Embezzlement

Environmental Crimes

Fraud Against the Government

and others

Foreign Counterintelligence Programs


Foreign Counterintelligence Matters

Organized Crime/Drug Program

Drug Matters

Money Laundering

Organized Crime/Drug Enforcement Task Force


and others

Violent Crimes and Major Offenders Program

Theft of Government Property

Crime Aboard Aircraft

Kidnapping - Extortion

and others

These programs cover most everything that the FBI

investigates, and

some individual cases in a program often receives extensive

investigative attention because of their size, potential

impact, or


Because FBI Special Agents are responsible for

handling so many

different things, they have to go through rigorous training

in the

following areas: Academics, Firearms, Physical

Training/Defense Tactics,

and Practical Exercises. Within these four major areas are


like interviewing techniques, communications, computer

skills, and drug

investigations. Altogether there are 15 components in the

four areas I

listed previously. They receive all of this training at the

FBI academy

in Quantico, Virginia and must complete 645 hours (15 weeks)


instruction before they graduate.

The training in the academy is difficult, but those who

have made it

there have already passed the first test. To qualify for

training as an

FBI Agent, you must be:

1. a U.S. citizen

2. between the ages of 23 and 37 when entering on


3. hold a bachelors degree obtained in an accredited


resident program at a

college or

university; and

4. have three years full-time work experience, or

fluency in a

language for which the Bureau has a need


After graduation from the FBI Academy, a new Special

Agent is assigned

to an FBI field office. This assignment is determined by


individuals special skills and the needs of the bureau. As

part of

their duties, Special Agents are required to relocate during


careers. Special Agents enter service in Grade GS 10 on the


governments General Schedule pay scale and can advance to

Grade 13 in

field assignment.

In our society today, one of the most important things

to us is our

safety. Organizations like the FBI help protect us and


crimes to help prevent future ones. Their motto is

Fidelity, Bravery,

and Integrity, and I think that each one of those words is


when it comes to describing the Federal Bureau of

Investigation. When

the duties of the FBI are stated in the mission it says to

perform these

duties in a manner that is responsive to the needs of the

public and is

faithful to the Constitution of the United States.