November 30, 2006
The Director of the FBI, Robert Mueller made a site visit to the field office in Richmond, to talk to the agents about the direction that the FBI is heading.
"Since September 11th, our first priority has been preventing another terrorist attack," said Mueller.
The face of the FBI has changed in the past five years. Gone are the days of investigating every bank robbery and low level crime, now replaced with new age global threats.
"We're working more cyber. We're working more counter-terrorism leads. We're working more in counterintelligence and we're picking and choosing what we are working in the criminal realm," said Charles Cunningham, Special Agent in Charge of the Richmond Field Office.
While the focus of the FBI has switched both nationwide and right here in Richmond with counter-terrorism being the number one priority, the Director says the main goal is still fighting crime.
"Public corruption has been our number one criminal priority. Over the past two years, we have convicted over 1700 officials at the Federal, State and local level," Mueller said.
Those successes the Director believes, are due in large part to a good understanding with local authorities.
"The FBI's success is dependent upon our relationships and working together with these state and local law enforcement entities," said Mueller.
And when the local authorities are successful, Cunningham says it allows the Feds to concentrate on high level crime.
"We're just focusing on the biggest, the baddest, and the things that have the most impact. It can impact a field office, a division or a country, or a region," he said.
Cunningham said the visit was uplifting for his staff. Mueller left Richmond and went to the Norfolk field office for a visit with that group.