afternoon! Thanks, Walt, and thank you all for
having me. It's great to be able to spend some
time with you today talking about our relationships
and the new reality of terrorism that we're
all dealing with today.
me say at the outset how much I respect and
appreciate the National Academy program and
how much I respect and appreciate all of you
and your leadership. In my mind, you have done
a great service to the law enforcement community
by coming together in the FBI National Academy
Associates. By staying connected, by continuing
to train together, by building relationships
with fellow graduates around the world, you
have multiplied the success of the National
Academy many times over. And to your credit,
you have made the FBINAA one of the most positive
and influential forces in law enforcement. On
behalf of the men and women of the FBI, and
on behalf of everyone in our profession, I thank
and congratulate you all.
no surprise to me that you are focused on terrorism
this week. You have been leaders for years,
and I appreciate your tackling what has become
the most dominant issue on all of our plates.
In many ways, this new specter of terror is
the toughest challenge we have ever faced. Al
Qaeda is the most elusive and the most openly
hostile terrorist network to ever come after
us. Their terrorists are willing to go to virtually
any length to destroy us -- whether it's suicide
attacks or "dirty" bombs. They are
studying our every weakness. And they have the
means, the motivation, and the money to strike
us at any time.
is no question, it's a new era for law enforcement.
We simply cannot protect a seemingly endless
number of targets here and overseas without
working together. We simply cannot take out
an international terrorist network like al Qaeda,
one that has put down roots in one out of four
countries, without working together. To win
this fight, we have got to link up operationally
in ways we have never done before. Sitting back
and waiting for the next attack to take place
is simply not an option for the FBI or for any
of us. We have to work together as seamlessly
as we can. We have to be true partners.
in the FBI understand that more than ever. We've
had productive relationships with you and your
colleagues for many years, but we have not always
done the best job of sharing information. I
am here today, though, to tell you that we are
committed to changing and that we are changing.
It began shortly after the events of September
11. When concerns began to surface, we sat down
to talk with you and leaders throughout law
enforcement. You told us that you wanted to
be full partners in the war on terror. You asked
that we give you the full benefit of our intelligence
and information so that you could better protect
your communities. And you said you wanted every
relationship with the FBI to be open and constructive
heard you. And we have made a series of changes.
I put out the word to our Special Agents in
Charge to make building and maintaining relationships
with you a priority. I asked them to fold you
and your colleagues into the fight against terror
at every turn. And they have responded.
we put together an advisory group made up of
key representatives throughout law enforcement,
one that comes together regularly to air issues
and to find solutions. Walt Corter is a member
of that board, and we very much appreciate his
recent years, our Joint Terrorism Task Forces
have been critical to sharing information and
fighting terrorism together. In my mind, having
all of us sit together in one room -- literally
shoulder-to-shoulder -- is one of the best ways
we have of developing the kind of abiding relationships
that carry on for years. That is why, shortly
after the attacks, I asked every FBI office
that didn't have a task force to get one up
and running in short order. Today, 47 out of
56 field offices have fully operational task
forces. We expect the rest to be in place by
December, as part of our reorganization, we
also announced that we were creating two posts
specifically devoted to building law enforcement
relationships. And we filled those jobs with
two professionals with extensive police experience
and strong reputations in your ranks.
is Kathleen McChesney, who is Executive Assistant
Director for Law Enforcement Services, one of
the four major branches in our new structure.
Many of you know her, and she is on point to
build relationships nationally and internationally.
She is also responsible for many of the programs
that you have come to rely upon, from training
to criminal justice services to laboratory support.
Kathleen is meeting with our law enforcement
partners in Germany today.
to Kathleen is an Assistant Director of a new
office for Law Enforcement Coordination. As
many of you know, we recently selected former
High Point Police Chief Louis Quijas for this
job. Louis has been here with you this week
and is here today. His responsibility is to
be your voice in the Bureau -- to take your
pulse, to find out what you need, and then to
let us know so we can act on it. He is also
there when we in the FBI develop investigative
strategies, ensuring that we incorporate the
capabilities of the people in this room as well
as our other counterparts. Louis has already
put together a strategic plan for his office,
and I know he will be sharing it with you in
the days and weeks to come. And by the way,
Louis wanted me to tell you that he is a graduate
of the 168th session of the National Academy.
in the FBI are also tackling full force the
information-sharing issue and its many different
pieces. We've made some progress. We have appointed
Bill Eubanks, the former SAC in St. Louis, to
lead a National Intel Sharing Program that is
working to get you the information you need
to do your jobs.
Some areas, though, are going to take time to
fix. For example, we simply won't be able to
solve all our technology problems overnight.
We've got some cutting edge technologies when
it comes to our ability to analyze DNA evidence,
or when it comes to using sniffers to go up
the line on a denial of service attack by some
hacker. But our own computer systems -- and
our own abilities to manage and share information
-- are far behind where they need to be. Congress
has given us nearly a half-billion dollars to
get up to speed. And I expect over the next
two or three years our infrastructure will dramatically
improve. And when it does, it will in turn dramatically
improve our ability to share information with
you and your colleagues.
events of September 11 have also made it painfully
clear that our ability to analyze and then share
intelligence is not where it needs to be. We've
established an Office of Intelligence to help
us improve. It will be headed by a respected,
long-standing member of the CIA, who will bring
with him approximately 25 analysts to help us
analyze the river of information that flows
into the FBI every day and put it out to all
of you in a form that strips it of its sources
and methods but gives you the texture you need
to do your jobs.
of the issues that I know is on your mind --
and is certainly on my mind -- is how we communicate
threat warnings and advisories. Let me say,
I understand your frustration with these alerts,
with both the content and how fast they get
to you. I know how disconcerting it is to hear
threat warnings for the first time on CNN. Right
now, we have a number of communications capabilities
as a law enforcement community. We have NLETS.
We have RISS Net. We have LEO. But in my mind,
not one of them alone is good enough to get
the job done. And one of the challenges we have
is to develop together a means of communicating
with each other that is better than the combination
of the three or four mechanisms that are out
there today. I assure you, we are working on
it as quickly as we can.
I will say that I am pleased with the way the
men and women of the FBI are responding to the
new call for partnerships. Many of you have
told me that they are reaching out more and
more, that they are getting you the information
you need and supporting you better all around.
We've still got a long ways to go. But our commitment
is strong and I think we're heading in the right
we move forward, I want to ask for your support.
Because the fact is, the FBINAA is important
to us. We need you. We want to work with you.
And we realize that you are in a position as
leaders to really make a difference.
you know, the FBI is in a state of transformation
today. We needed change before September 11,
and we need it more now. Prevention of terrorist
attacks is by far and away our most urgent priority,
and that means we have to refocus and reassign
are proposing to Congress to shift 480 FBI Agents
to prevention. Of the 480 Agents, approximately
400 will be moved from narcotics investigations.
The rest will come from violent crime and lesser
white collar crime.
This is an important decision for us, and we're
well aware of the burden it puts on you here
in United States. We're going to continue working
with you and supporting you, but we do need
you to backfill for us in some of these cases.
my expectation that we will do fewer narcotics
investigations. We will still play a role in
the various task forces, but where we had 10
or 15 Agents on a given task force, we may cut
back to five or ten. I expect that where there
is an overlap in the investigations of cartels,
we will defer to the DEA. But in the interim,
assuming our proposal is approved, we will not
pull Agents off key narcotics cases.
expect that we will continue to support you
on complex cross-county bank robberies, but
we may do fewer one note jobs. Having spent
some time as a homicide prosecutor, my own belief
is that law enforcement must address violent
crime as a substantial priority. And to the
extent that we in the FBI can bring something
special to the table, we will continue to participate
on violent crime task forces, but perhaps with
fewer Special Agents. We will also continue
our work in white collar crime, but we may raise
the dollar limits of cases we investigate.
me say, these are general guidelines and not
hard and fast rules. I want to give our Special
Agents in Charge a great deal of flexibility.
And I want to assure you that you that we will
not compromise our longstanding relationships
with you as we move through this process.
a broader level, we also need your help and
your leadership in building partnerships throughout
the law enforcement community. In many ways,
we are fortunate to have an organization like
the FBINAA at a time like this. You know the
value of partnerships. You have each spent ten
weeks at Quantico building friendships with
your colleagues, and you have extended your
reach through this organization. Within your
agencies and within the broader law enforcement
community, you have the respect and the influence
to spread the message of cooperation, to open
doors, and to facilitate the kind of information
sharing we all need and want. You have the expertise
and the leadership skills to help us find innovative
ways to link up our operations and our systems.
In short, you have what it takes to lead in
this new era of law enforcement cooperation.
me close with a personal word of thanks. Like
many of you, I have been in this profession
for many years. But I have never seen the day-to-day
stresses and strains higher than they are today.
Often, it feels like we are walking headlong
into the unknown -- trying to change and adapt
even as we move full steam ahead, knowing full
well that we really can't afford to miss a step
along the way. We have come through a time of
great grief, a time when we lost many of our
colleagues -- including two graduates of the
National Academy -- in just a few short hours.
hazards of our profession are real. The stresses
are real. And I want to salute all of you here
today, because you are our leaders. You are
the ones who are shouldering much of the burden.
You are the ones who are going to help steer
us through these tough times. You are the ones
who are going to build the partnerships and
the programs that will define our future.
On behalf of the men and women of the FBI, I
pledge to you our full cooperation and our full
support. You are not only our partners and colleagues,
you are our friends and part of the FBI family.
And we are honored to serve alongside you.
so much for all you do, and God bless.