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Our People and Capabilities

Our People and Capabilities

Our people in El Paso 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 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:

  • El Paso Evidence Response Team member works with evidence
    ERT member works with evidence
    Evidence recovery and processing: In El Paso, we have an 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 in support of investigations by the FBI and other agencies. Each team member has a forensic specialty and has been extensively trained to collect and record physical evidence according to current scientific standards so that it can be analyzed in a forensic laboratory and stand up in a court of law. ERT members can reconstruct crime scenes, take photographs and video, diagram and survey scenes, detect and gather fingerprints, analyze blood stains and splatters, determine bullet trajectories, recover DNA, make casts of shoe and tire impressions, gather and process the smallest of clues, and more. The team coordinates 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.
  • El Paso SWAT team during an exercise
    El Paso SWAT team
    Tactical support and crisis response: We have an 18-member SWAT (Specialized Weapons and Tactics) team that includes assaulters, snipers, and breachers. The team also has three FBI certified rappelmasters to conduct rope operations and three FBI certified tactical air operations officers or tactical crew chiefs to conduct helicopter operations. Currently, two operators are certified emergency medical technicians. The SWAT Tactical Operations Center is staffed by approximately five non-operator special agents and five support employees who provide command and control support to the team. Locally, the team deploys under the command of an Assistant Special Agent in Charge or higher who acts as the On-Scene Commander.

    Based on missions performed by the El Paso team, normal training scenarios include: firearms training (including qualification), close quarter battle live fire, dynamic (hostage rescue) entries, slow methodical (law enforcement) entries, siminutions training, high-risk vehicle stops that include hostage rescue and pursuit interruption technique maneuvers, patrolling and land navigation (including rough terrain operations i.e. climbing and rappelling). The team also conducts aircraft and bus assault training. The team trains two or three times each month and participates once a year in a one-week FBI SWAT regional training session.

    In the last several years, aside from local operations, the El Paso team has gained experience in major national crisis situations, including the 1992 Los Angeles riots; evidence recovery at Kingman, Arizona in support of the Oklahoma City Bombing investigation in 1995; the Republic of Texas Operation at Ft. Davis, Texas in 1997; the Eric Rudolph fugitive operation in Andrews, North Carolina in 1999; the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2002; Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston, Texas in 2004; Super Bowl XLII in Arizona in 2008; and the Democratic National Convention at Denver in 2008.
  • Citizens Academy student tries on bomb suit
    Student tries on bomb suit.
    Bombs: We have two special agent bomb technicians in El Paso who can 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 Force. 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 work and train with local first responders and law enforcement.
  • Hazardous materials: We have two HAZMAT experts who can respond to terrorist attacks and criminal incidents involving hazardous materials—including chemical, biological, and radiological—working in concert with local officials and with Weapons of Mass Destruction experts at FBI Headquarters.
  • Translation and Analysis Center: Our group of language specialists can translate written documents and audio files in several languages for terrorism, espionage, and criminal cases. They also join agents on cases, translating during live interviews and even during undercover operations.