FBI Director James Comey said Wednesday that while counterterrorism remains the bureau’s top priority, he want his local commanders to be responsive to local law enforcement needs.
By MARK MORRIS
The Kansas City Star
Comey, speaking to reporters during his first visit to the Kansas City field office, said the local emphasis on combating violent crime is just the sort of thing he wants his special agents in charge to bring to his attention in Washington.
“I want my field generals to have the flexibility to meet those local needs,” Comey said.
Such cooperation is easier in Kansas City, where local law enforcement has a long tradition of working closely with federal agents. That “Midwestern culture” is more concerned about results than about taking credit, Comey said.
“The FBI ought to be governed by humility,” Comey said.
The director, who began a 10-year term with his confirmation in July, said his work at the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation likely will be marked by the battle against cybercrime.
“It touches everything we’re responsible for, terrorism and criminal threats,” he said. “The notion of national borders is obsolete when a photon moves at the speed of light. Belarus is next door to Kansas City.”
Comey praised Congress for fully funding the bureau in its recent budget agreement and said the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., is gearing up to accept new recruits.
He said the bureau is seeking candidates for special agents and intelligence analysts across a wide range of skills and specialties, from computer experts to agents staffing its hostage rescue team.
“We want men and women of talent and integrity,” Comey said. “We have thousands of people to hire.”
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