honored to be with you this afternoon. I always cherish the
opportunity to get out of the hustle and bustle of D.C., especially
when those opportunities put me back in the company of the
real protectors of this great country: you, the cops.
joining the FBI, I had the privilege of spending the first
30 years of my law enforcement career in local law enforcement.
I must admit, there are days when I miss the excitement and
rush of real police work. Even though I'm not in the thick
of it with you anymore, I still swell with pride when I see
the great work you are doing in keeping this country safe.
of my cop friends say I went to the dark side when I joined
the FBI, but I can assure you I haven't forgotten where I
came from. This reality has helped me in my current job, which
is to ensure that the we in the FBI do our part to support
the efforts of our state, local, county, college and tribal
law enforcement partners.
I want to give you a brief overview of the FBI's role in Indian
Country, and then talk about where we need to gotogetherto
keep our lands and our people safe.
has a long and rich history with NNALEA. In fact, two national
presidents of this great organization, Dorothy Summerfield
and Chuck Choney, were members of my great organization.
FBI's history in Indian Country dates back even further than
thatpractically to the FBI's formation.
know, the FBI has federal law enforcement responsibility on
more than 200 Indian reservations. We also provide forensic
and investigative support to law enforcement officials on
the reservations we do not cover. Simply put, the FBI is absolutely
committed to working with you to protect your nations.
and foremost, we are committed to not only investigating crime
but helping to prevent crime in your communities. Our top
priorities are investigating homicide, sexual assault, child
abuse, violent crimes, and assaults against adults.
that concentrating on violent, personal crime is the most
important contribution the FBI can make to the safety and
stability of your communities. And other crimes in your communities,
such as gaming violations, have provided us opportunities
to partner with you as we have never done before.
the most important joint efforts in the war on crime has been
the Safe Trails Task Forces. They bring together federal,
state, tribal, and local resources, and have made a real difference
in making our communities safer. Without these collaborative
task forces, many crimes would be under-addressedor
not addressed at all.
have an Indian Country Evidence Task Force. This is a group
of experts in the FBI Laboratory who are dedicated solely
to processing evidence from Indian Country cases. They also
provide training in evidence collection to Indian Country
work hard to combat violent crime and fraud at Indian gaming
establishments. Gaming is a rapidly expanding industry that
brings in nearly $23 billion dollars each year. The upside
has been an economic boon to many tribesbut the downside
has been an increase in criminal activity.
you to address this disturbing trend, in 2004, we established
the Indian Gaming Working Group. This is an interagency group
that identifies the most pressing threats and violations and
then directs resources straight to them.
work has led to a number of investigations. The Working Group
has also provided funding and personnel assistance to address
from investigating crime, we are also committed to assisting
the victims of crime. The FBI's victim specialists provide
a wide range of services, from transporting victims to interviews
and court proceedings, to finding emergency shelter for victims
of domestic violence. They are also there to help families
of homicide victims through the grieving processand
through the legal system.
we are committed to providing high-quality training to our
tribal law enforcement partners. We coordinate closely with
the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian Police Academy
in New Mexico. Over the past 10 years, we have trained well
over 5,500 tribal law enforcement officials and support personnel.
Our goal is to help create a workforce that is ready to respond
to any situationfrom violent homicide to child abuse.
you agree that the initiatives I have covered highlight the
FBI's commitment to our tribal law enforcement partners.
all know, the September 11 attacks required the FBI to shift
its focusand in many cases, to shift its agents out
of drug investigations and other criminal areas to pursue
national security cases.
area we have not cut back on is Indian Country. We've actually
increased our staffing levels, and now have 114 agents in
21 field offices who are assigned to work Indian Country cases.
These agents have opened over 1,700 cases in the last 12 months
aloneand so far have gotten close to 800 convictions.
we had 11 Safe Trails Task Forces. Today, we have 16. That's
about a 45 percent increase.
almost 30 percent of our entire cadre of victim specialists
are assigned exclusively to Indian Country. We also have a
forensic child interview specialist devoted to Indian Country
matters. These victim specialists provide on-scene crisis
intervention and have been invaluable to agents and victims
and their families.
have not cut back on our training, either. We sponsor classes
on topics ranging from child forensic interviews to crime
scene investigation to crisis negotiation. We put on about
20 classes last year, and have another 20 planned for the
when possible, we also provide financial support to tribal
law enforcement officers so they can attend non-FBI sponsored
you can see, while the FBI has had to make many adjustments
to meet today's criminal and national security challenges,
we have made no compromises on our commitment to you.
that the crimes I have mentioned are not the only threats
your communities face. You are not alone. We are all facing
the same challengesfrom rising crime rates to terrorist
all truly in this fight together. And the only way we will
meetand defeateach threat is by working together,
as one team, one nation.
is a Native American proverb that says, "I have seen
that in any great undertaking it is not enough for man to
depend simply on himself."
age when criminal and national security threats are increasingly
complex, global, and interconnected, no officer, no agency,
no country can succeed alone. We must depend on each other.
We must talk to each other. We must share information with
mentioned before, my job is to make sure that our relationships
with our many law enforcement partners stay strong. My job
is to make sure your voices are heard and that we do everything
possible to assist you in keeping your communities safe. I
encourage you to stay connected to your local FBI office and
agents to ensure they are aware of your issues, concerns,
and recommendations as to how we can better help you keep
this country safe.
five-and-a-half years in the Bureau, I have seen the tremendous
progress we have made in strengthening our partnerships. But
we must not stop now. And that's why conferences like this
one are so important.
and women of the FBI are proud to be your partners. I'm honored
to have had the opportunity to be here today. I look forward
to many, many more years of working with you hand-in-hand
and shoulder-to-shoulder to keep our great country safe.
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