The FBI Essay, Research Paper


To uphold the law through the investigation of violations of federal riminal

law; to protect the U.S. from foreign intelligence and terrorist activities; to

provide leadership and law enforcement assistance to federal, state, local, and

international agencies; and to perform these responsibilities in a manner that

is responsive to the needs of the public and is faithful to the constitution of

the U.S.: this is the mission of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The agency now known as the Federal Bureau of Investigation was founded

in 1908 when the Attorney General appointed an unnamed force of Special Agents

to be the investigative force of the Department of Justice (DOJ). Before that

time, the DOJ had to borrow Agents from the U.S. Secret Service to investigate

violations of federal criminal laws within its jurisdiction. In 1909, the

Special Agent Force was renamed the Bureau of Investigation, and after a series

of name changes, it received its present official name in 1935.

During the early period of the FBIs history, its agents investigated

violations of mainly bankruptcy frauds, antitrust crime, and neutrality

violation. During World War One, the Bureau was given the responsibility of

investigating espionage, sabotage, sedition (resistance against lawful

authority), and draft violations. The passage of the National Motor Vehicle

Theft Act in 1919 further broadened the Bureau’s jurisdiction.

After the passage of Prohibition in 1920, the gangster era began, bringing

about a whole new type of crime. Criminals engaged in kidnapping and bank

robbery, which were not federal crimes at that time. This changed in 1932 with

the passage of a federal kidnapping statute. In 1934, many other federal

criminal statutes were passed, and Congress gave Special Agents the authority to

make arrests and to carry firearms.

The FBIs size and jurisdiction during the second World War increased

greatly and included intelligence matters in South America. With the end of that

war, and the arrival of the Atomic Age, the FBI began conducting background

security investigations for the White House and other government agencies, as

well as probes into internal security matters for the executive branch of the


In the 1960s, civil rights and organized crime became major concerns of the

FBI, and counterterrorism, drugs, financial crime, and violent crimes in the

1970s. These are still the major concerns of the FBI, only now it is to a

greater extent..

With all of this responsibility, it is logical to say that the FBI is a

field-oriented organization. They have nine divisions and four offices at FBI

Headquarters in Washington, D.C. These divisions and offices provide direction

and support services to 56 field offices and approximately 10,100 Special Agents

and 13,700 other employees. Each FBI field office is overseen by a Special

Agent in Charge, except for those located in New York City and Washington, D.C.

Due to their large size, those offices are each managed by an Assistant Director

in Charge.

FBI field offices conduct their official business both directly from their

headquarters and through approximately 400 satellite offices, known as resident

agencies. The FBI also operates specialized field installations: two Regional

Computer Support Centers; one in Pocatello, Idaho, and one in Fort Monmouth, New

Jersey — and two Information technology Centers (ITCs); one at Butte, Montana,

and one at Savannah, Georgia. The ITCs provide information services to support

field investigative and administrative operations.

Because they do have so much responsibility, their investigative authority

is the broadest of all federal law enforcement agencies. The FBI also stresses

long term, complex investigation, emphasize close relations and information

sharing with other federal, state, local, and foreign law enforcement and

intelligence agencies. A significant number of FBI investigations are conducted

with other law enforcement agencies or as part of joint task forces.

As part of this process, the FBI has divided its investigations into the

following programs:

Applicant Program

Department of Energy and Nuclear Regulatory

Commission Applicants

Department of justice Candidates

FBI Special Agents and Support Applicants

and others

Civil Rights Program

Civil Rights Act of 1964

Discrimination in Housing

Equal Credit Opportunity Act

Counterterrorism Program

Hostage taking


Attempted of Actual Bombings

and others

Financial Crime Program

Bank Fraud and Embezzlement

Environmental Crimes

Fraud Against the Government

and others

Foreign Counterintelligence Programs


Foreign Counterintelligence Matters

Organized Crime/Drug Program

Drug Matters

Money Laundering

Organized Crime/Drug Enforcement Task Force Matters

and others

Violent Crimes and Major Offenders Program

Theft of Government Property

Crime Aboard Aircraft

Kidnapping – Extortion

and others

These programs cover most everything that the FBI investigates, and some

individual cases in a program often receives extensive investigative attention

because of their size, potential impact, or sensitivity.

Because FBI Special Agents are responsible for handling so many

different things, they have to go through rigorous training in the following

areas: Academics, Firearms, Physical Training/Defense Tactics, and Practical

Exercises. Within these four major areas are components like interviewing

techniques, communications, computer skills, and drug investigations.

Altogether there are 15 components in the four areas I listed previously. They

receive all of this training at the FBI academy in Quantico, Virginia and must

complete 645 hours (15 weeks) of instruction before they graduate.

The training in the academy is difficult, but those who have made it

there have already passed the first test. To qualify for training as an FBI

Agent, you must be:

1. a U.S. citizen

2. between the ages of 23 and 37 when entering on


3. hold a bachelors degree obtained in an accredited

four-year resident program at a college or

university; and

4. have three years full-time work experience, or

fluency in a language for which the Bureau has a need


After graduation from the FBI Academy, a new Special Agent is assigned

to an FBI field office. This assignment is determined by the individuals

special skills and the needs of the bureau. As part of their duties, Special

Agents are required to relocate during their careers. Special Agents enter

service in Grade GS 10 on the federal governments General Schedule pay scale and

can advance to Grade 13 in field assignment.

In our society today, one of the most important things to us is our

safety. Organizations like the FBI help protect us and investigate crimes to

help prevent future ones. Their motto is Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity, and

I think that each one of those words is justified when it comes to describing

the Federal Bureau of Investigation. When the duties of the FBI are stated in

the mission it says to perform these duties in a manner that is responsive to

the needs of the public and is faithful to the Constitution of the United States.


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