you and good morning. I can't tell you how
happy I am to be here -- to be among friends
and partners, from America and around the
We in the FBI want to thank our Canadian hosts
for their hospitality and for the outstanding
support they've given to American law enforcement
and particularly to the FBI. We want to thank
the dedicated law enforcement professionals
here today for everything you've done to help
the FBI and make the world a safer place since
September 11th. And we want to thank your
families for bravely standing behind you through
Just three days after joining the Bureau,
and four days before that horrific day in
September, I had the opportunity to attend
my first graduation of the FBI National Academy
in Quantico. It was a tremendous experience.
I was able to meet and talk with more than
260 professionals, the people who work for
you and with you, the proud graduates of the
206th session. I thanked them for their service
to the country, and talked about the journey
of cooperation and mutual respect that I hoped
we'd walk together in the weeks and months
to follow. I felt proud to be part of the
law enforcement community, and I marveled
at the warmth and friendship present that
day. More than ever, it was clear to me that
our common bond is forged by our common mission
-- to protect the people we serve. That day,
even though we represented 27 nations, we
all spoke the same language.
Seeing the energy and optimism on the faces
of your colleagues that morning, and their
renewed sense of determination, we could not
have imagined that our entire world would
be changed forever just four days later. That
we would personally and collectively face
our toughest test ever as protectors and defenders
of the people. That in just a few short hours,
some of our closest colleagues and partners
and friends would no longer be with us.
But even as the world around us seemed to
be turned upside down, we were heartened to
see the bedrock values we all share stand
firm. And we were proud to see all of you
leading the way, giving dignity and sacrifice
new meaning. The terrorists acted out of hatred
and anger. You answered with courage and compassion,
with heroism and honor. The terrorists murdered
innocent bystanders. You and your colleagues
risked your lives to save complete strangers.
On September 11th and in the days that followed,
you showed your true colors. You showed us
why law enforcement blue is not a cliche,
it is a way of life.
From the very first moment on the job, I was
resolved to build a stronger, more seamless,
and more supportive partnership between your
law enforcement communities and the FBI. I've
been privileged to work along side you and
your colleagues for nearly thirty years. I've
always believed that law enforcement is only
as good as its relationships, that our combined
resources and expertise and ideas are far
beyond the sum of their parts, and that the
potential for greater successes through mutual
cooperation and respect is boundless.
As the events of September 11th unfolded,
and we began coordinating our response with
law enforcement around the country and the
world, our resolve to partner with you only
intensified. And it seemed that the sometimes
artificial walls that divide us in law enforcement
were coming down. Suddenly, jurisdictions
or affiliations didn't seem to matter. What
mattered was serving. What mattered was saving
lives. Barry Mawn, who is here today and heads
our New York field office, expressed it well.
He said that on September 11th, "All of law
enforcement came together as one."
In the difficult days that followed, that
unity has emerged in many places, in New York
and other cities, here in Canada and across
the ocean in places like England, France,
and Germany. Many of our Special Agents in
Charge and our Legal Attaches overseas have
reached out to you -- enlisting your expertise
and drawing upon your resources.
As time passed, though, we heard that in some
areas of the country, the FBI was turning
away your offers to help. We learned that
concerns about not giving you information
had begun to surface. Both are unacceptable.
One of the first steps I took was to call
Bruce, your president, asking him to tell
me bluntly and honestly what issues have come
up since September 11. Bruce minced no words.
I was convinced, after that conversation,
that many of your concerns are valid and need
to be addressed.
In response, I met in Washington with representatives
of the IACP and other leading law enforcement
organizations. In these meetings, we talked
through issues, addressed some misperceptions,
and agreed to explore ways to improve our
As a result of those meetings and in response
to your concerns, we have taken steps to strengthen
our partnership and serve you better. In cities
where we don't already have a Joint Terrorism
Task Force, I've asked our SACs to get one
up and running ASAP. While these task forces
aren't a panacea, they do break down stereotypes
and communications barriers, more effectively
coordinate leads, and help get the right resources
in the right places. In short, they meld us
together in ways that make information sharing
a non-issue. We've also asked SACs to look
to local law enforcement to cover local investigative
leads where possible. We've asked your organization
and others to help us identify representatives
to work with us in our strategic command center
at FBI Headquarters, in the heart of our predictive
intelligence operation. We're also exploring
the possibility of putting together a working
group of FBI and state and local law enforcement
officers to identify other specific issues
and find workable solutions. And most importantly,
if we have specific threat information about
an attack planned or suspected in your jurisdictions,
we will make sure that you get that information
every time, no matter what.
In my mind, it comes down to two things. First,
giving you the information you need to make
judgments about protecting your communities.
And second, capitalizing on the "force multiplier"
effect that comes when we work together. We
are committed to doing both.
In these meetings, I discussed what I believe
to be some misperceptions. For example, some
think that the Bureau is withholding significant
amounts of information due to security concerns.
I don't believe that to be the case. The problem
is that we often don't have the credible and
specific information you sometimes think we
do. That's certainly true for the Watch List,
which has now been added to NCIC. In most
cases, we don't have much more than the names
and aliases for the individuals on that list.
I should also point out, when it comes to
the electronic age, the FBI is sometimes far
behind you and your colleagues. That's why
we often can't provide information in an electronic
format. But let me be clear: overhauling our
electronic infrastructure is a top priority
for us. And we will get it done.
These are some initial first steps. More will
follow. Some issues may need to be addressed
through legislation. As we move through this
process, please bring any problems or issues
to our attention. Let us know what you're
experiencing, how the FBI is treating you,
and we'll respond.
This I know: the FBI can't be successful in
preventing terrorism without your help. No
one institution is strong enough to tackle
that challenge alone. That's why we're determined
to be open and cooperative. We're in new territory
here. Each new day, it seems, brings a fresh
challenge. We need to be flexible. We need
to be willing to change course in mid-stream
if need be. And we need to be open to a broad
array of input and ideas from your ranks and
Together, I'm confident that we will succeed
in defeating terrorism. Our will is strong,
and our commitment absolute. We will not relent
until we have exhausted every angle and every
lead, until we have identified and prosecuted
the terrorists and terrorist networks responsible
for launching the most devastating terrorist
attack in history. We will work together to
find those responsible for the anthrax attacks
that are terrifying America and the world.
And most importantly, we will do our utmost
to ensure that terrorists do not strike again.
This resolve, this new level of partnership,
however, should not stop with our collective
efforts to end terrorism. It should expand
to other areas of criminal investigation.
There are plenty of criminals to go around,
and plenty of global challenges we can only
The tragedy of September 11th has touched
us all personally. Some of us have lost colleagues,
perhaps even friends and family. The FBI lost
one of its own as well, a brave New York Special
Agent named Lenny Hatton. Lenny saw the first
World Trade Center tower on fire on his way
into work on September 11, and he instinctively
raced to the scene. He was last seen helping
a victim out of one of the towers, then rushing
back in to help more.
I had the honor of attending Lenny's funeral
Mass in his home town in New Jersey. A close
friend and colleague of Lenny's named Chris
O'Connell paid tribute to the fallen Agent
that day. Chris talked about how Lenny devoted
his life to serving -- how Lenny had served
as a husband and father, as a Marine, as an
FBI Agent, as a volunteer fireman, and how
Lenny had served until his last breath, rushing
into a burning building to save the lives
It turns out, Lenny saved Chris' life, too.
Had it not been for Lenny, Chris would have
been at the World Trade Center on September
11. Just days before the tragedy, Chris was
thinking of skipping an upcoming class at
Quantico because his workload was so heavy.
Lenny talked him out of it. He said to Chris,
"Don't be silly. Just go. You'll have a good
time." Chris did, and he never saw Lenny again.
Chris O'Connell closed his eulogy by saying:
"On September 11, we saw a horrific event
in this country and our city. Special Agent
Lenny Hatton stood shoulder to shoulder with
the finest and the bravest. Until we meet
again, my partner, my friend."
Chris O'Connell was Lenny's partner, and Chris
O'Connell is a detective on the NYPD. Lenny
and Chris cared for each other like brothers.
It didn't matter to them that one worked for
the feds and one for the NYPD. They just wanted
to get the job done. They were a team. And
they are an inspiration to us all.
September 11th has called upon all of us to
be leaders, to play a key role in defeating
the scourge of terrorism, and to make the
world safe and free. In the spirit of Lenny
and Chris, let's go forward as one team, united
by our common challenge, strengthened by our
differences, and confident in our collective
strength. The world is counting on us.