Our People and Capabilities
Our People and Capabilities
The Portland Evidence Response Team at work
Our people in Portland 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 include not only 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 Portland, we have two eight-member Evidence Response Teams 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: 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 Portland Division is also home to the Northwest Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory or NWRCFL, one of several of such labs located throughout the United States. These RCFLs are one-stop, full-service forensics laboratories and training centers devoted to the examination of digital evidence in support of law enforcement investigations. For more information, see our Partnerships webpage.
- Tactical support and crisis response: The Portland Division has a 15-member SWAT (Specialized Weapons and Tactics) team, which maintains capabilities to conduct raids, arrests, and other law enforcement operations that pose a higher-than-normal risk. Examples of SWAT operations include high-risk warrant service, barricaded subjects, hostage rescue, dignitary protection, and tactical maritime operations.
- Bomb recovery and analysis: We have three special agent bomb technicians in the Portland Division 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.
Portland HAZMAT personnel
- 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.
- Victim Assistance: We have trained victim specialists who are available to personally assist victims of federal crimes investigated in the Portland Division. Victim specialists ensure that victims who choose to do so are notified of important case events and receive information about a wide range of victim assistance services in their area. Some of these services include: state crime victim compensation programs, rape crisis centers, homicide bereavement support groups, mental health counseling, and special services for child victims. See the Victim Assistance webpage for more information.
For more information on FBI and its capabilities, see our About Us webpage.