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Our People and Capabilities

Our People and Capabilities

Evidence Response Team member rapelling down a pine wall
Since crime scenes can be
anywhere, our evidence teams are
trained to reach tough places.

Our people in Los Angeles 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 are not only special agents, but 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 Response Team plane crash exercise at Universal Studios
    ERT Universal Studios FTX plane crash exercise
    Evidence recovery and processing: In Los Angeles, we have an enhanced Evidence Response Team 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. These individuals 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 team coordinates with the FBI Laboratory and assists local law enforcement upon request. The Los Angeles Division also has an Underwater Search and Evidence Response Team (USERT), one of four FBI dive teams dedicated to retrieving evidence from underwater environments. Our highly-trained and well-equipped team conducts underwater crime scene investigations and complex searches. It travels around the world and has been involved in many major investigations.
  • Computer forensics: We also have a Computer Analysis and Response Team, or CART, that applies this same evidentiary concept to the digital world. These forensic examiners are experts at retrieving evidence from a vast array of digital devices, at processing that evidence in a way that maintains its integrity for use in court, and at presenting the results of their findings to investigators.
  • The Orange County Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory (OCRCFL), which opened in January 2011, focuses on all aspects of digital evidence recovery, collection, and analysis. The laboratory consists of federal, state, and local computer forensics examiners who provide a range of services, including expert courtroom testimony and computer training to law enforcement throughout the Central District of California. Visit the OCRCFL website at www.ocrcfl.org.
  • Field operation viewed through night vision goggles
    Field operation viewed through night vision goggles
    Tactical support and crisis response: We have an 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.
  • Bomb recovery and analysis: We have four special agent bomb technicians in Los Angeles who can test and render safe a variety of explosive devices. They respond to calls of suspicious packages or objects and are deployed during bombing investigations, often working closely with our Joint Terrorism Task Forces. They gather diagnostic information from the explosives that may be relayed as vital intelligence to local investigators and to the national Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center. Our bomb techs often work and train with local first responders and law enforcement.
  • Hazardous materials: We have a HAZMAT expert and a Weapons of Mass Destruction expert who can respond to terrorist attacks and criminal incidents involving chemical, biological, and radiological hazardous materials. These experts work in concert with local officials and with Weapons of Mass Destruction specialists at FBI Headquarters.
  • Translation: Our group of language specialists can translate written documents and audio files in dozens of languages for terrorism, espionage, and criminal cases. They also join agents on cases, translating during live interviews and even during undercover operations.
  • Victim assistance: The FBI helps victims who have suffered direct or indirect physical, emotional, psychological, or financial harm as a result of a federal felony offense. Our victim specialists are highly-trained professionals who can provide victim support, information, and resources to effectively meet specific needs, including details on victim rights, crime victim compensation, community resources, and the federal criminal justice system.
  • Canines: Supporting the men and women of FBI Los Angeles are two highly-trained canines. Annie, a Catahoula leopard dog, is a narcotics K9 assigned to the San Gabriel Valley Safe Streets Gang Task Force. She supports FBI operations as well as local law enforcement in the region. Salem, a yellow lab, is an explosive detection canine. He was raised at a federal prison in Connecticut as part of the Puppies Behind Bars program.

Annie, a narcotics canineSalem, an explosives detection canine
Annie, a narcotics canine  Salem, an explosives detection canine


For more information on the FBI and its capabilities, see our About Us webpage.