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 nearly impossible to separate the contributions of one agency—and one nation—from the next.
In Philadelphia, our major partnerships include:
- The Philadelphia Division has three Joint Terrorism Task Forces that bring together representatives of local, state, and federal agencies. The task forces follow up on all terrorism leads, develop and investigate cases, provide support for special events, and proactively identify threats and trends that may impact the region, the nation, and the world. We also have “satellite” Joint Terrorism Task Forces working out of many of our resident agencies, including Newtown Square, South Jersey, Harrisburg, and Allentown. The division’s three Joint Terrorism Task Forces in Philadelphia concentrate on both international terrorism and domestic terrorism. They work closely with the Philadelphia Police Department’s Homeland Security Unit and the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Criminal Intelligence. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Middle District of Pennsylvania, through their respective Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council, also provide a means to share information with our local, state, and federal partners. The Philadelphia Crime Prevention Council, Center City District, is also a strong partner in our efforts to share information and to make proper notifications when threats arise.
- The Philadelphia Field Intelligence Group, in an effort to share information and intelligence, has an analyst reporting full-time to the New Jersey Regional Operations Intelligence Center and to the New Jersey State Fusion Center. Currently, one analyst from the Harrisburg Resident Agency serves in a part-time, liaison role at the Pennsylvania Criminal Intelligence Center and the Pennsylvania State Fusion Center in Harrisburg. An additional analyst conducts liaison with and gathers intelligence for participating law enforcement agencies’ information needs and intelligence requirements part-time at the Philadelphia/Camden High Intensity Trafficking Area. The Philadelphia Field Intelligence Group participates in multiple recurring meetings and forums with partners at the federal, state, and local levels. During a six-month period, the Field Intelligence Group participates in about two dozen meetings with a dozen different law enforcement agency partners.
- 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:
- The Philadelphia Division established a Crimes Against Children Multi-Agency Working Group in August 2000, which includes federal, state, and local law enforcement and prosecutors; victim specialists; and probation officers. The working group meets quarterly for liaison, training, enhancement of the “Project Safe Childhood” initiative, discussions concerning on-going investigations, and other issues.
- The Philadelphia Regional Computer Intrusion Task Force brings together FBI and Defense Criminal Investigative Service agents to investigate computer intrusion threats against critical infrastructure, especially infrastructures associated with Department of Defense agencies and cleared defense contractors. The task force supports a high-tech special project called the Computer Intrusion Threat Assessment System, with technical support provided by the U.S. Army Reserve’s Information Operations Command.
- The Philadelphia and Harrisburg InfraGard Chapters are 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. These chapters hold quarterly programming meetings and sponsor an all-day information security meeting each year.
- The Philadelphia Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory—staffed by federal, state, and local law enforcement officers—is a one-stop, full-service forensics laboratory and training center devoted to the examination of digital evidence in support of area law enforcement investigations.
We partner with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to combat gangs and drugs:
- The Philadelphia Violent Drug/Gang Task Force combines detectives from the Philadelphia Police Department, officials from the State Attorney General’s Office, and FBI special agents to target violent street gangs. The task force is also affiliated with both the Philadelphia/Camden High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area and the FBI Safe Streets Task Forces. Its primary mission is to disrupt and dismantle the most significant and violent criminal gangs that not only derive illegal income through drug trafficking, but are also involved in other drug-related crimes such as murders, shootings, kidnappings, and extortions.
- The mission of the Philadelphia Violent Latin Gang Task Force is to identify violent Latin criminal gangs having the greatest impact within the Philadelphia area and to coordinate investigations with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in order to disrupt and dismantle significant criminal enterprises. The squad accomplishes this mission through the development of a substantial intelligence base, utilizing sophisticated investigative techniques and continuing to foster an already strong working relationship with law enforcement partners.
- The Allentown Resident Agency is home to the Lehigh Valley Violent Gang Task Force, which includes four FBI agents and 20 task force officers. The task force has three investigative teams in three cities: Allentown, Easton, and Bethlehem. Its mission is to identify violent street gangs operating in the Lehigh Valley. These gangs are investigated utilizing the criminal enterprise theory to disrupt their operations and to seize their assets for forfeiture, with the ultimate goal of dismantling the gang and reducing the violence on the streets of these cities.
- The Steamtown Gang Task Force—consisting of representatives of the FBI, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Scranton Police Department, and the Hazelton Police Department—focuses on addressing violence stemming from gang activity in Northeast Pennsylvania.
- The Eagle Safe Streets Task Force addresses violent street gangs and drug enterprises in the North Central Pennsylvania region, which includes the Williamsport Resident Agency and the State College Resident Agency. Through sustained, proactive, multi-jurisdictional, coordinated investigations as part of the FBI’s National Gang Strategy and Drug Subprogram, the task force works to disrupt and dismantle the domestic cells (local, regional, national, and transnational) of those criminal enterprises that pose the greatest threats to the North Central Pennsylvania region. The task force includes FBI agents and representatives of the Pennsylvania State Police.
- The mission of the South Jersey Violent Crime Task Force is to effectively investigate and successfully prosecute all violent crime matters that meet the priorities established by the Department of Justice within Camden, Gloucester, and Salem Counties through a coordinated federal, state, and local effort that provides economy of scales through a pooling of specialized resources. The task force also broadens the intelligence base already in place and provides a flexible investigative instrument that can quickly adapt and respond to the constantly changing violent crime trends in the South Jersey Resident Agency territory. The task force includes representatives of the FBI, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, the Camden County Sheriff’s Department, the Camden Police Department, and the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office. The task force is based at the South Jersey Resident Agency.
- The Delaware Valley Violent Crimes Task Force addresses all violent crime in the Newtown Square Resident Agency territory, specifically violent gangs that are mostly operating in and around the City of Chester in Delaware County. The task force consists of four FBI agents, one Chester Police Department detective, and one West Whiteland Police Department detective.
- The mission of the Organized Crime Task Force is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle criminal organizations or enterprises that impact the Philadelphia area and that pose the greatest threat to national security, the economy, and American citizens. In accomplishing this mission, the squad focuses on the criminal activities of the following groups: 1. La Cosa Nostra (LCN) and ItalianCriminal Enterprises;
2. Labor unions;
3. Eurasian (Russian) Criminal Enterprises;
4. Asian Criminal Enterprises;
5. African Criminal Enterprises;
6. Middle Eastern Criminal Enterprises; and
7. International Human Trafficking groups.
These organized groups are often referred to as “mobs” or “mafias.” Extortion, murder, money laundering, illegal gambling, loansharking, insurance fraud, prostitution, vehicle theft, drug trafficking, and indentured servitude are common crimes committed by these organizations, which are prosecuted under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) statute. By partnering with international, federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, the Organized Crime Task Force in Philadelphia has become a leader in combating organized crime worldwide.
We also lead or take part in several major partnerships targeting major thefts and violent crime:
- The Philadelphia Violent Crime/Fugitive Task Force includes FBI agents and Philadelphia Police Department detectives. The mission of this task force is to combat significant violent crime by jointly investigating bank robberies, armored car robberies, Hobbs Act robberies, violent fugitives, crimes aboard aircraft, kidnappings, and major thefts. The squad is based upon a task force environment where both detectives and agents work hand in hand, acting as a force multiplier in combating violent crime.
- The addresses violent street gangs and drug trafficking enterprises in BucksCounty. The task force uses existing state and federal laws prohibiting drugs sales, firearm possession, robbery, extortion, assault, and conspiracy to dismantle violent groups in the community. It targets members of nationally recognized gangs (Bloods, Crips, etc.), as well as unaffiliated neighborhood violent gangs, groups, or crews. The following agencies participate in the task force: the Bensalem Township Police Department, the Bristol Township Police Department, the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office, the FBI, the Middletown Township Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
- The Philadelphia Division has a senior investigator on the FBI’s national Art Crime Team, which includes 13 special agents and three Department of Justice attorneys. See the Art Theft website for more information.