Good morning, and thank you for that kind introduction. Thank you all for being here today.
We are pleased to join you today to dedicate our newest field office building, which will provide the Tampa Division with greater space and security, state-of-the-art technology, and, I should also note, one of the best views available to FBI employees anywhere.
I want to recognize a number of individuals whose hard work helped guide this project through to its completion:
1) The building owners, Highwoods Properties;
2) Louise Long, the Contracting Officer from GSA;
3) The Tampa Project Managers, Arline Vargas, William Jones, and James Whatley;
4) And those from the Facilities Division, particularly Fran Kern, who shepherded this project through the various agencies.
We appreciate all you have done to see this new building take shape.
There are unique challenges constructing a facility like this for the federal government. We did not just require more space, we required more of the secure spaces to analyze the critical intelligence that allows us to disrupt and dismantle terrorist and criminal organizations.
We did not just require technological capabilities. We required state-of-the-art technology—and we got it in our high-tech Emergency Operations, computer training, and communications centers.
Overcoming these challenges is a credit to your professionalism and expertise, and I thank you.
I also want to thank our local law enforcement partners for their cooperation and support. We cannot do our jobs without you. Thank you for coming today to celebrate this new office with us.
And I want to thank the men and women of the Tampa Division for your service. I trust that you will enjoy this new facility and know that you will take advantage of all that it has to offer in support of our mission.
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In a world made smaller by technology, our nation’s law enforcement and intelligence agencies face criminal and terrorist threats that are increasingly asymmetrical and complex. Here in Tampa, and in communities across the country, law enforcement may be called on to handle diverse challenges that span the globe, from international terrorism and violent gangs to human trafficking and computer intrusions.
The ability to meet these threats is not found in the capabilities of any one agency, but rather in our capacity to work together in support of our common mission to protect the security of the United States.
Simply put, working together is not our best option, it is our only option.
The new Tampa Field Office reflects this reality. It will house two Joint Terrorism Task Forces, an Internet Fraud Task Force, an Innocent Images Task Force, and a Safe Streets Task Force. These vital task forces help bring state and local law enforcement, federal agencies, and the FBI together to work side-by-side and share information.
It is also one of our first field offices to have the capability to receive, disseminate, and share our most sensitive intelligence electronically with the Intelligence Community. The Joint Terrorism Task Forces, Field Intelligence Groups, and counterintelligence squads will all have this capability.
No one agency, community, or country alone can prevent terrorism or fight crime in today’s global climate. This facility will help foster the partnerships so vital to our security. And our combined efforts will make us safer, here in Tampa, across the United States, and throughout the world.
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Whenever the security of the American people has been threatened, law enforcement has always answered the call. And as the threats have changed, so have we. Whether we were combating gangsters, organized crime, or drug dealers, the United States has been made more secure as a result of our joint efforts.
Now we face our greatest challenges. In a world where our security is not assured by distance from our enemies, our mission is to protect the American people from another terrorist attack and combat crime that can originate from anywhere on the globe. But as we dedicate this building, we know that, ultimately, the key to meeting these challenges lies not in new facilities or new technologies, but rather in the men and women of the law enforcement and intelligence communities.
We will rely on their commitment to our mission, their devotion to our founding values of freedom, liberty, and justice for all, and their faithfulness to the Constitution. And it is on this foundation that we will build a lasting security for the United States—for this generation, and for generations to come.