priorities are being supported by
a campaign within the Bureau to re-engineer
our operations. Like any organization,
the FBI needs to be managed in an
efficient and effective way. That
means taking advantage of best practices
developed in both the public and private
sectors. Ultimately, I want the Bureau
to excel in everything it does--whether
it is investigations, training or
forensics. At the same time, I want
us to be a vital partner with you.
As I have said throughout the year,
the FBI is only as good as its relationships
with law enforcement here in the United
States and around the world. That
is why we are so committed to your
I know you want to hear, in particular,
what progress has been made in our
joint efforts over the past year.
One year ago--in Toronto--I gave you
committed to you that the FBI would
be a better partner. And we committed
to you that we would do a better job
sharing information. In many ways,
we have improved. I believe we are
"better." Not perfect, but better.
SACs in 56 field offices around the
country, try to keep you informed
with timely and accurate information.
We strive to get alerts and advisories
to you as quickly as possible. I know
some alerts are more helpful than
others. I know some advisories lack
the specificity you need. But we are
learning to get the word out, to get
it out quickly, and to give you the
accurate information you need.
instance, we are working to create
a system using LEO, NLets, and RISSNET
that will get alerts to you before
you hear the story on CNN-not some
of the time, but all of the time.
But, that's a tall order. It is something
I am committed to. Still, we need
to do more. We need to build more
and better and bigger bridges.
way to build bridges is to hire architects
and engineers. The FBI was fortunate
to convince one of the IACP's best-Lou
Quijas-to join the FBI. Lou is now
constructing bridges with you, with
National Sheriffs, with Major City
Chiefs and Major County Sheriffs,
and PERF, among others.
the same token, Bill Eubanks, the
former SAC in St. Louis, is working
full-time to address and fix information-sharing
problems. We also have state and local
representatives serving in the strategic
command center at FBI Headquarters,
as we have had in other national programs
said, is our information sharing where
it must be? Not yet. We have more
to do, and we know it. But we are
seeing an unprecedented level of cooperation
throughout the law enforcement community.
We are proud of that. That brings
us to an important point. Some of
the most significant changes have
less to do with what we are doing
and more to do with how we are doing
am I referring to? As I have said
repeatedly, you are our full partners
in the war on terror. Partners! The
task--the war on terrorism--is too
big and too important for the FBI
to go it alone. The work of protecting
our nation, our citizens, and our
interests, here and abroad, turns
not on what any one of us is doing.
Rather, it turns most assuredly on
what all of us are doing, together.
In June, Bill Berger testified before
the Senate Committee on Governmental
Affairs. He noted that while local
law enforcement agencies are often
the first responders to a terrorist
attack, their role is significantly
broader. Bill stated that, and I quote,
"these agencies can and must play
a vital role in the investigation
and prevention of future terrorist
attacks." Bill told the Senate that
16,000 state and local law enforcement
agencies employ more than 700,000
officers, and that these officers
are the eyes and ears of their communities.
That makes all of you a critical source
of information and intelligence in
the was on terrorism. Bridges carry
traffic in two directions, not one,
and we appreciate that fact now more
than ever before.
has been a tough year for all Americans.
It has been a difficult and emotional
year for law enforcement, as well.
I think--check that--I know--we are
stronger and better. What I see today
is a law enforcement community that
is more prepared, more capable, and
more unified than ever before.
most publicized victories have been
in the war against terrorism.
months ago, for example, an individual
began terrorizing middle America,
planting 18 pipe bombs in rural mailboxes
across five different states. Law
enforcement across this region linked
arms. With lighting speed, and through
close coordination, you quickly identified
that individual. When he was arrested,
six more pipe bombs were found in
the trunk of his car. It was great
work--and a classic case of effective
the United States, we are also working
shoulder-to-shoulder on 56 Joint Terrorism
Task Forces--as well as on ten satellite
task forces and a new National JTTF
year ago, nearly half of these task
forces didn't exist. The ones that
did exist were not nearly as large
as they are now. Today information
flows more freely. Tips are routed
more quickly. Leads are covered more
efficiently. Again, it is not perfect.
But it gets better every day.
fact that many leads do not pan out,
as we know all too well, is a source
of frustration. We work for days,
or weeks or months, and often have
little to show for it. But it is this
type of work--joint, cooperative work--that
is at the heart of prevention, and
it is making a difference.
made a difference in Portland, Oregon,
and Detroit, Michigan, where last
week we indicted six individuals on
charges that they supported a foreign
made a difference in Lackawanna, New
York, where three weeks ago, six other
individuals were indicted on similar
charges. Indeed, in New York, 25 state,
local, and federal agencies worked
closely together to button up this
also made a difference in Salt Lake
City during the Winter Olympics. Those
games, as you well know, were held
just five months after the terrorist
attacks. We were very much a nation
in mourning and on edge. We all remember
during the opening ceremonies the
honor guard carrying in the tattered
American flag recovered at Ground
Zero. It was an emotional and dangerous
those games came off without a hitch.
Together, local, state and federal
law enforcement created a seamless,
inclusive operation. We linked our
systems. We shared real-time information.
In fact, we worked together so well
that the operation is now considered
a model, and it is being replicated
around the country.
if that wasn't enough, one of our
international colleagues from Austria--a
police officer by day and a world-class
skier in his spare time--won a gold
cooperation is not limited to our
shores. Around the world, decent nations
are standing together as never before.
In North and South America; in Western
and Eastern Europe; in the Middle
East and Southeast Asia; throughout
the world we are seeing an unprecedented
level of cooperation. We even now
have an FBI agent working out of a
new office in Beijing, China. Are
there occasional differences between
international partners? Of course.
But trust and teamwork are extraordinary,
and are making a critical difference
in the global war on terror.
you have been to a National Academy
graduation recently, you know what
I mean. The events of September 11
have brought our international family
together in many ways. Here's one
207th National Academy class arrived
at Quantico less than three weeks
after September 11. It was the first
class to graduate after the attacks.
That class visited Ground Zero--in
what has now become an Academy tradition--and
held a moving memorial service there.
it came time to decide on their class
legacy, they reached into their own
pockets and donated thousands of dollars--the
most in Academy history--to build
a beautiful memorial to the heroes
of September 11. That eight-foot tall
memorial now graces a quiet courtyard
on the Quantico grounds and serves
as a powerful reminder of how domestic
and international law enforcement
has closed ranks.
have also had wonderful cooperation
in a vast array of more traditional
criminal cases. We have never worked
more closely, for example, to protect
our children. There are few things
we do that are more rewarding than
putting a child back in the arms of
a mother or father. Despite our best
efforts, not all abductions have happy
endings. However, thanks to new levels
of coordination and information sharing,
we have seen some joyous reunions.
In state after state--California,
Louisiana, Texas, Pennsylvania, Virginia,
and many others--we have worked together
quickly and effectively over the past
year to reunite children and their
is our future. It must be. September
11 is a reminder to all of us--every
day--that we must work as one team.
To paraphrase an American president,
there are few problems we can solve
by ourselves, but there are no problems
that we can't solve together.
me close with a story very much on
my mind. On the night of September
12th of this year, an international
operation was conducted in Texas,
adjacent to the Mexican border, to
investigate a series of thefts from
freight trains. Many agencies were
involved, including the U.S. Border
Patrol, Customs, Union Pacific Railroad
Police, two FBI field offices and
their SWAT teams, and Mexican customs
officials. While making arrests that
night, two FBI agents--Sergio Barrio
and Samantha Mikeska-were brutally
beaten with bats and clubs by Mexican
gang members. The agents' skulls were
crushed. One had to be put on life
support; both lay near death for several
days. I thought we were going to lose
them. Fortunately, both are now recovering
it became clear that we desperately
needed help that night, an urgent
call went out to the Sunland Park,
Texas, police department. Within minutes,
they were on the scene to help us.
They pitched in, in countless ways,
transporting prisoners, and helping
us to care for our colleagues. Their
professionalism, assistance, courtesy
and kindness helped us through a very
difficult night. I will never forget
that. And I will never forget that
we are in this together. Every day,
we are in this together.
am proud to be a part of this family.
you for your partnership. Thank you
for your leadership. Thank you, and