Our People and Capabilities
Our People and Capabilities
Our people in Houston possess a mix of talents and experience that enable us to help protect you, your families, and your workplaces from a full range of national security threats and major crime problems.
Our employees not only include special agents, but also a variety of specialized professionals such as intelligence and financial analysts, investigative specialists, support services technicians, language specialists, paralegals, electronics technicians, and security experts.
Our strength lies in our investigations—the very heart of our operations—and in the collection, analysis, and sharing of intelligence that drives and supports those investigations both locally and nationally. In every case, we work to objectively gather the facts and to develop evidence that can stand up in a court of law. To do that, we can interview witnesses, run undercover operations, analyze financial records, map and manage crime scenes, develop informants, make arrests, conduct surveillance, and gather information and intelligence from around the globe. Our cases today are often complex and multi-faceted, involving a range of public and private sector partners and covering multiple jurisdictions.
Among our specialized capabilities:
- Evidence recovery and processing: In Houston, we have four eight-member Evidence Response Teams (ERT) made up of special agents and other specialists who are sent to crime scenes to secure the area and exhaustively gather and process physical evidence. Each team member has a forensic specialty and has been extensively trained. They can take photographs, diagram and survey scenes, gather fingerprints, analyze blood stains and splatters, determine bullet trajectories, recover DNA, gather and process the smallest of clues, and more. The teams coordinate with the FBI Laboratory and assist local law enforcement upon request.
- Computer forensics: FBI Houston is one of 16 FBI field offices that has a Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory (RCFL) within its area of operation. The Greater Houston RCFL is a full-service digital forensics laboratory and training center devoted entirely to the impartial analysis of digital evidence in support of criminal or national security investigations, including—but not limited to—terrorism, crimes against children, violent crimes, theft or destruction of intellectual property, Internet crime, and fraud. See our Partnerships webpage for more details.
- Tactical support and crisis response: We have a 41-member Regional Enhanced SWAT (Specialized Weapons and Tactics) team that can storm barricaded buildings and vehicles, breach locks and other structures, arrest armed and dangerous criminals, rescue hostages, patrol areas and provide security, navigate tough terrains by climbing and rappelling, use special techniques to stop fleeing cars, and conduct site surveys for special events. The team is highly trained and heavily equipped, with expertise in a variety of weapons, including pistols, assault and sniper rifles, and shotguns. We also have a Hostage Rescue Team designed specifically to locate and liberate victims in hostage situations.
- Bomb recovery and analysis: We have five FBI special agent bomb technicians who conduct bombing investigations. Assisted by similarly trained members of the Houston Joint Terrorism Task Force, they respond to calls of suspicious packages or objects and are deployed nationally and internationally. Our bomb technicians will soon have the assistance of the latest sophisticated robotic diagnostic tools. In addition to their primary mission of investigating, testing, and rendering safe explosive devices, Houston bomb technicians share vital intelligence with local investigators and the U.S. Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center. Houston agents are certified instructors, regularly invited to teach at bomb technician schools both at home and abroad.
- Hazardous materials: When terrorist attacks or criminal incidents involve hazardous materials, our HAZMAT and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) experts are trained to work in concert with local officials to quickly learn the nature of substances involved, deploy techniques that will protect the public from danger, collect evidence, and begin remediation efforts. Emergency response and recovery involving chemical, biological, and radiological materials requires close collaboration with WMD experts at FBI Headquarters. Our Houston WMD program regularly plans and hosts regional training for first responder personnel from public health, fire, military, and law enforcement agencies. A recent multi-agency training event, CONJURED HAZE, allowed numerous local, state, and federal agencies to practice a coordinated response to a simulated terrorist event and was the first time all Houston area HAZMAT teams had practiced working together as one unit.
- Translation: Our group of language specialists can translate written documents and audio files in a variety of languages for terrorism, espionage, and criminal cases. They also join agents on cases, translating during live interviews and even during undercover operations.
For more information on FBI and its capabilities, see our About Us webpage.