In this complex, globalized, post 9/11 world, our operational partnerships have never been more important to our efforts to protect your communities.
Today, we work with colleagues at every level of government—local, state, federal, even international—across the law enforcement, intelligence, and first responder communities. We lead and take part in multi-agency task forces, intelligence groups and fusion centers, and public and private sector alliances. A number of our partners literally sit shoulder-to-shoulder with us in FBI space, just as we share our agents and analysts with other agencies. We work closely on joint investigations—sometimes taking the lead, sometimes taking a back seat to others, sometimes contributing equally among many agencies. Our work with our colleagues, in fact, is so intertwined today that it’s often impossible to separate the contributions of one agency—and one nation—from the next.
In Cleveland, our major partnerships include:
- The Cleveland Division Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) brings together representatives of approximately over 40 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The task force has primary responsibility for reviewing terrorism threats and conducting both domestic and international terrorism investigations. It also handles threats involving weapons of mass destruction and supports special events. We have satellite JTTFs working out of Akron, Canton, and Toledo.
- The Cleveland Field Intelligence Group is a team of FBI agents and analysts who provide a full range of intelligence support on terrorism and criminal threats.
- We participate in the FBI Counterintelligence Strategic Partnerships Program, which builds relationships between private industry, academia, government agencies, the FBI, and its counterintelligence community partners to identify and protect projects of great importance to the U.S. government.
- To battle cyber crime, we have a number of key partnerships:
- Our Cyber Crime Task Forces in Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Painesville, and Toledo bring together local, state, and federal experts to combat computer intrusions, viruses, and other cyber threats.
- We participate in the Innocent Images National Initiative (IINI)—a component of the FBI’s Cyber Crimes Program—which is an intelligence-driven, proactive, multi-agency investigative initiative to combat the proliferation of child pornography/child sexual exploitation facilitated by online computers. The mission of Innocent Images is to reduce the vulnerability of children to acts of sexual exploitation and abuse that are facilitated through the use of computer; to support FBI field offices in their efforts to identify and rescue child victims; to support field offices in their efforts to investigate and prosecute sexual predators who use the Internet and other online services to sexually exploit children for personal or financial gain; and to strengthen the capabilities of federal, state, local and international law enforcement through training programs and investigative assistance.
- The Cleveland/Northern Ohio and Toledo InfraGard Chapters are the local arms of a national information-sharing alliance between private industry, academia, and government focused on protecting critical national infrastructures in both the online and offline worlds. InfraGard consists of individuals with varied interests—including representatives from business, academia, technology firms, law enforcement, and government—all dedicated to sharing information and intelligence to prevent hostile acts against the United States. The InfraGard program was pioneered in the Cleveland Division in 1996 and eventually spread nationwide.
- The Cleveland Hate Crimes and Civil Rights Working Group holds quarterly meetings to promote increased communication, understanding, and awareness between communities and to provide a regular forum to discuss any issues of interest or concern.
- We also lead or take part in several major partnerships targeting violent crime:
- Our Northern Ohio Law Enforcement Task Force works with federal, state, and local agencies to target major drug trafficking organizations operating in the Cleveland metropolitan area. It seeks to significantly disrupt or dismantle the entire drug organization by prosecuting the leaders and other members of the criminal enterprise and seizing the enterprise’s assets.
- Our Violent Crime Task Force combines detectives from the Cleveland Police Department, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department, the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, and our special agents to pool expertise and resources in targeting street gangs and violent criminals of all kinds.
- Our Mahoning Valley Violent Crimes Task Force in our Youngstown resident agency works with federal, state, and local law enforcement to apprehend, convict, and incarcerate violent fugitives, including gang members and sexual predators.
- Our Stark County Ohio Violent Crimes/Fugitive Task Force works with federal, state, and local law enforcement to conduct investigations focused on the location and apprehension of violent fugitives who are wanted for serious federal, state, or local crimes that have fled the state to avoid prosecution. The task force also conducts joint investigations of high-profile violent crime matters primarily focusing on dismantling of major gang and drug enterprises.