Alumni E-Brief Banner

June 2024

New agent training in interior corridor in Hogan's Alley at the FBI Training Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
New agent training in new expanded facilities at Hogan's Alley at the Training Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

Message from the Assistant Director, Office of Public Affairs

Hello, FBI Family,

Each May during National Police Week, our thoughts turn to our fallen colleagues within the FBI and our broader law enforcementPublic Affairs Assistant Director Catherine Milhoan community. At FBI Headquarters on May 16, our annual Wall of Honor Memorial Service will honor all the FBI personnel who’ve given their lives while carrying out their duties. This year, we’ll add to the wall the names of eight employees — seven of whom we’ve recently lost to 9/11-related illnesses.

As we pay tribute to the fallen, Police Week is also a chance to show our appreciation for all those who have taken an oath to serve and protect. I’d ask you to share widely this video message from Director Wray expressing support and gratitude for the law enforcement officers among our FBI Family, and for our federal, state, local, and tribal partners nationwide. We are forever grateful you have devoted yourselves to keeping people safe.

In law enforcement, we not only grieve the loss of our own; we’re often called upon to deliver devastating news about victims of crime and terrorism to their loved ones. Last month during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, we announced the launch of the FBI’s updated Trauma Notification Training tool for law enforcement, first responders, victim specialists, and allied professionals. This free online course—first developed in 2015 by our Victim Services Division and now available to everyone on FBI.gov and a new mobile app—demonstrates a four-step, evidence-informed approach to providing trauma or death notifications to the next of kin. These notifications are a difficult but necessary part of our work, and this training helps us ensure they’re always delivered with professionalism, dignity, and compassion. Please help us spread the word about it.

Thanks again for staying connected, if you have feedback, send us a note at alumni@fbi.gov.

    Cathy Milhoan

By the Numbers: Justice Statistics


The Federal Justice Statistics, 2022, report released earlier this year by the Bureau of Justice Statistics provides national statistics on the federal response to crime for fiscal year 2022 and some statistics on changes over time.

The report describes case processing in the federal criminal justice system, including investigations by U.S. attorneys, prosecutions and declinations, convictions and acquittals, sentencing, probation and supervised release, and imprisonment.


The report shows federal arrests gradually rose from FY 2000 to FY 2013 before decreasing from FY 2014 to FY 2017. Arrests then increased sharply, reaching a 20-year high of 206,630 in FY 2019, before falling in FY 2020 and FY 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Highlights

  • During fiscal year (FY) 2022, federal law enforcement agencies made 96,857 arrests, a 24% increase from the 78,068 arrests in FY 2021.

  • In the 26,233 Drug Enforcement Administration arrests in FY 2022, the most common type of drug involved was methamphetamine (8,083 arrests), followed by other opioids, including fentanyl (5,375 arrests).

  • Persons exiting federal prison in FY 2022 for nonregulatory public order offenses, including sex offenses, served more time (66 months) than persons exiting for violent offenses (56 months) or drug offenses (53 months).

  • The median number of days from the receipt of an investigation to the decision by a U.S. attorney to prosecute or decline a matter was 60 days in FY 2022, down from 70 days in FY 2021.

View Full Report

Message from the Human Resources Branch Executive Assistant Director

Hello, FBI alumni community, I'm glad to have the opportunity to share some thoughts with you this month. One key aspect of my job is communicating–with the FBI’s entire workforce, and with people who care passionately about our workforce. I often do this through traditional channels, such as regular meetings with the Director’s advisory committees, where I collaborate with representatives of various employee groups.

We’re also using some newer approaches. About a year ago, the Human Resources Branch began hosting small groups of local chapterTim Dunham, Executive Assistant Director, Human Resources Branch chairs of the Society of Former Special Agents at the FBI Academy for a day every few months. The chapter chairs come to Quantico to meet with Director Wray and other executives, tour the FBI Academy, and attend a new agent graduation. This program gives the chapter chairs a venue for sharing their members’ recommendations with the FBI’s top leaders and to see up close changes we’ve made to modernize our training and the new agent graduates who will continue to perform the FBI’s critical mission. You can read about a recent visit to a New Agent graduation below in this month’s Alumni E-Brief.

As an extension of these efforts, I incorporate meetings with local Society chapter members into my field office visits whenever possible. Field office visits are an invaluable way to ask how things are going and what HQ can do to better support our people across the country. I am aiming to visit a different field office every month or so in order to maintain that connection to our workforce and partners in the field.

There’s no substitute for showing up in person and hearing employees’ concerns face to face. But there’s also not enough time for me to get to every field office in person while still handling all the business of the Branch. So my team is tapping into technology to aid in our comms efforts. Our Branch has started a podcast for the workforce as a way to share the latest information about human resources, training, and security. And we’re hosting HR Branch town halls live on FBITV, so employees anywhere in the world can ask their questions.

Through these communication channels, I hope our workforce and our stakeholders can see and hear that there are people working hard at HQ to make things better for all employees, so we can continue to protect the American people. Thank you for your support for these efforts.

Tim Dunham


News

Want to Write About the FBI? Check With the Publication Review Office First

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Download pro-process-former-personnel-accessable.pdf — 166 KB


Hopi Special Agent Returns Home to Seek Justice for Tribal Communities

Bureau of Indian Affairs police officer

Before joining the FBI in 2019, Himel served as a Bureau of Indian Affairs police officer.

For Special Agent Piere Himel, investigating Indian Country Crime on reservations in New Mexico is more than just a job: it’s a homecoming. As a Native American with deep ties to the land and its traditions, his journey to the FBI is unique. Named after his great-grandfather, a Navy sailor and survivor of the Bataan Death March, Himel comes from a family legacy of service.

"I'm Hopi, and I’m enrolled with the Hopi Tribe," said Himel. "Our reservation is surrounded by the Navajo Reservation, so this job brings me back, closer to home." Details 


Elder Fraud, In Focus

Elder fraud complaints to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (or IC3) increased by 14% in 2023, and associated losses increased by about 11%, according to IC3’s 2023 Elder Fraud Report, released April 30.  

This annual publication provides statistics about incidents of elder fraud—or fraud that explicitly targets older Americans’ money or cryptocurrency—that are reported to IC3. The report aims to raise the public’s awareness of this issue and to prevent future and repeat incidents. Details

Full Report: IC3 2023 Elder Fraud Report

Stock image depicting a senior citizen on the phone and holding a credit card.


SIOC Keeps the Watch

Shot inside the Strategic Information and Operations Center in December 2012.

Deep within FBI Headquarters lies a multipurpose resource that serves as the global command and intelligence center to give Bureau executives and others critical information when crisis strikes.

The Strategic Information and Operations Center (SIOC) is a secure venue for crisis management, special event monitoring and significant operations. Its employees are ready to respond in a moment’s notice to any event.

The SIOC team is comprised of emergency action specialists, supervisory special agents/watch commanders, management and program analysts and a unit chief who staff it 24/7/365 across three daily shifts. There are no snow days or early releases for this team.


The watch floor is a hallmark of SIOC with its wall of screens casting light in an otherwise dark room. Cable channels feature the news, and emergency action specialists (EASs) monitor the SIOC email box, answer phone calls, and keep an eye on the headlines for potential incidents. They communicate most frequently with field office operations centers and legal attaché offices.

A screen on the watch floor serves as an FBI dashboard and shows in real time how many operations, arrests and searches are occurring and if SWAT teams or special agent bomb technicians (SABTs) have been deployed.

Crises can occur at any moment, and SIOC staff have created dozens of documented standard operating procedures to outline the steps to respond to varied situations.

“If we don’t have an SOP for [a situation], we’ll create it,” said SSA Tom Doyle, a watch commander on the morning shift.

SIOC team members (l to r) EAS Carla Gibson, SSA Tom Doyle and SSA Seth Melling.

SIOC team members (from left) Emergency Action Specialist Carla Gibson, Supervisory Special Agent Tom Doyle and Supervisory Special Agent Seth Melling.

"If we don’t have an SOP for [a situation], we’ll create it."


Tom Doyle, supervisory special agent, SIOC watch commander

There are situations that arise that aren’t covered by an existing SOP. In early February, a contractor assigned to FBIHQ stole an agent’s car and tried to enter a restricted facility. This happened on Watch Commander and SSA Seth Melling’s third day in SIOC. He remembers putting a caller on hold and asking the watch floor, “What do we do if a car’s stolen?”

Ultimately, Melling relied on his judgment because something like this hadn’t happened before. If there’s not a SIOC-approved SOP, it’s a judgment call, he said.

“That’s going to have to come down to do you have the temperament, and do you have the skill set and the willingness to take ownership of something? And if you’re wrong, you’re wrong, and you get it fixed,” Melling said.

When faced with a decision, it is based on facts, precedence, SOPs and, ultimately, judgment.

“A lot of times the EASs come to us and say, ‘Hey, we can go either way with this.’ Someone needs to make the decision,” Doyle said. “There’s a decision and that needs to go to another level, and you’re [as the watch commander] it. That’s where we kind of make the judgment call and work collectively and say, ‘OK, what are the facts?’”

NSPM-32

The FBI is mandated by National Security Presidential Memorandum 32 to provide timely information to the White House about national security incidents so that the Executive Office of the President, which includes the president, vice president and cabinet officials, has the information to manage a crisis and support national security decision-making.

SIOC is part of the FBI’s information flow under the NSPM-32 process. That’s why SIOC employees will contact field offices and Legat offices for updates about breaking news events in their AORs because there’s demand in the executive branch for updates about unfolding situations. The White House Situation Room (WHSR) is the designated “entry point and conduit for agencies to provide reportable information to the EOP,” according to NSPM-32.

Accordingly, SIOC watch commanders and WHSR personnel often speak when major incidents receive FBI assistance. During a recent large manhunt in Memphis, Tennessee, SIOC notified the WHSR when the subject was in custody, which allowed the WHSR to brief White House senior staff about developments.

In January, when suspicious packages were found at four Arizona court buildings within minutes, SIOC notified the WHSR and the Justice Command Center, DOJ’s operations center. But SIOC doesn’t just notify partners about emergencies. It provides interagency notifications about training drills to ensure there isn’t an emergency response to events that don’t merit those resources, such as when an exercise featuring a helicopter evacuation occurred at the Main Justice building in Washington, D.C.

Flexible Spaces

Created in 1989, SIOC began with just seven employees and 3,000 square feet of space. Today, there are 30 employees, and its footprint has grown to 40,000 square feet. This increased real estate gives SIOC the room to host FBI leadership and employees and our federal, state and local partners for classified and unclassified meetings.

There’s a dedicated room for the Weapons of Mass Destruction Crisis Response and the Critical Incident Response Group’s Counter-Improvised Explosive Devices response teams for conducting render-safe exercises. There’s also space equipped to use the Zoom videoconferencing platform for communicating with community partners.

The large National Crisis Coordination Center (NC3) is an unclassified room with placards above workstations for FBI personnel and partners from other federal, state and local agencies. It hosts command posts for FBI and law enforcement partners during high-profile events, such as Super Tuesday voting and the State of the Union speech. Partners may bring their agency-issued tech into the NC3 to maintain communications with their organization and its databases. If needed, the room can be split into two to host simultaneous command posts.  

Strategic Information & Operations Center (SIOC)

Internal Notifications

During a significant incident like an active shooter, terrorist attack, hostage-taking event or agent- or TFO-involved shooting, SIOC gathers information and disseminates notifications to Bureau executives and others for their situational awareness and to help guide the FBI’s next steps. These updates are snapshots of what’s known about the who, what, where and how of an incident at the outset, plus any requests for FBI resources.

The EASs gather information from the news and what’s shared with SIOC from the field office operations centers and Legat offices. SIOC uses proprietary technology to catch threats that may be going viral on social media, long before being reported in the traditional media.

When to send a notification depends upon if the incident occurred within the FBI’s jurisdiction and if our law enforcement partners have requested Bureau assistance and resources. Police in large cities may not need additional help, but departments in smaller cities may have more limited response capabilities.

There are typically two SIOC notifications issued — one at the onset of the event and the second when the situation has resolved. The final update could note any number of FBI actions, to include the deployment of Victim Services Division employees, handing off notifications to the relevant field office or HQ division for ongoing “Sitreps,” or passing a subject’s name, address and photo for follow-up by CJIS personnel.

How SIOC Helps the Mission

One of SIOC’s assets is its ability to gather information from within the Bureau and other agencies. For example, if a SABT is investigating a device that may pose a significant threat, a field operations center can notify SIOC and request an electronic countermeasure, or ECM, be requested from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). An ECM triggers a Temporary Flight Restriction, which limits airspace above a device while it’s being handled and disarmed.

Within SIOC, there’s a mechanism to receive communications between nationwide air traffic control towers and the FAA. Once a commercial airliner’s cabin doors close, the FBI has jurisdiction for incidents that occur aboard the plane. The FAA uses a matrix to characterize incidents on planes that range from disruptive passengers to passengers experiencing a medical emergency to passengers attempting to breach the flight deck’s door.

When there’s an in-flight incident, SIOC alerts the Bureau’s airport liaison agent, who will respond when the plane lands.

SIOC can easily connect with the WHSR and link with DoD counterparts about global missile activity, including launches by the U.S. government and private companies.

When there’s a significant crisis and FBI assets are part of the response, SIOC will host a Critical Incident Conference Call that’s led by the Deputy Director and involves division heads who gather within SIOC to talk with the responding field office’s leadership about the situation and what Bureau resources need to be deployed. 

These calls are designed to cover what HQ assets the field offices need quickly to respond.

In addition, SIOC has access to the Unique Federal Agency Numbers that FBI agents, FBI Police officers and TFOs are assigned for carrying their firearms while flying. These numbers change every six months or so.

The International Operations Division’s Global Readiness Unit has staff within SIOC who monitor the location and safety of Legat personnel and other Bureau employees traveling abroad. Legat vehicles are equipped with panic buttons that trigger sirens in SIOC when there are emergencies.

Meet an Emergency Action Specialist

EAS Carla Gibson has worked in SIOC for three years of her 35-year FBI career. SIOC is a fast-paced, team-oriented environment and she enjoys the collaboration that occurs during her day shifts, which start at 5:55 a.m. with a briefing from the departing night shift.
“The EASs do the lion’s share of everything. They are the backbone of SIOC and respond to emails and answer phones. They don’t need supervision; they need guidance,” Doyle said. The team makes decisions quickly, he said, and even when bad things happen, if the FBI’s help hasn’t been requested, the SIOC team resets and awaits the next crisis.  
As an EAS, Gibson assists with unfolding events in the world and that connection to the FBI’s mission has given her work more meaning. She’s seen how the Bureau responds in crisis situations and “you actually know the significance and why the Bureau is so important, like why we exist,” she said.

Beware 'Free' Verification on Online Dating Sites

The FBI warns of "free" online verification service schemes in which fraudsters target users of dating websites and applications (apps) to defraud victims into signing up for recurring payments.

Unlike romance scams involving investment-confidence schemes, commonly referred to as pig-butchering, where victims are convinced to transfer large amounts of money over time, the so called "free" verification schemes involve recurring and costly monthly subscription fees.

Details


Behind the Mic

Person Placing Ballot into Ballot Box (Stock Image)

FBI Director Condemns Threats to Election Workers

Director Christopher Wray underscored the Bureau’s dedication to protecting election workers from harm during a May 13 meeting of the Department of Justice’s Election Threats Task Force in Washington, D.C. 

“Let me be clear: Any threat of violence to an election official, volunteer, or staff is completely unacceptable and something the FBI takes very seriously,” Director Wray said. “And we’re committed to ensuring threats to election workers receive the swift and thorough response they deserve, whether that’s through federal investigation and prosecution or a referral to our state and local partners.”  

The Justice Department established the Election Threats Task Force in June 2021 to combat threats against election workers. Members include the FBI, various DOJ components, and other federal agency partners. Details

Resources:


Podcast: The FBI Police

On this episode of Inside the FBI—and in honor of Police Week 2024—we'll learn how the FBI Police support the FBI mission, how they’re trained, what it takes to join their ranks, and what this week’s observance means to them. Details

The FBI Police Color Guard during Police Week 2023 observance in Washington, D.C.

Supervisory Special Agent Marilyn Santos and Special Agent Kevin VA!zquez, both of FBI San Juan, pose for a photo with their badges in front of the American flag and the FBI flag.In Case You Missed It

Special Agent Kevin Vázquez has been part of the FBI extended family since his mom, Supervisory Special Agent Marilyn Santos, joined the Bureau when he was a kid. Their interconnected journeys highlight a shared dedication, sacrifice, and commitment to justice.

Santos started her career with the IRS before joining the FBI as a special agent in 2006. Her path to law enforcement was born out of a conviction to make an impact.

“I had two main goals: to serve my country and provide for my children,” said Santos. “The Bureau offered me a way to do both.”

Details

This series features stories, images, and videos produced by the team that manages fbi.gov.

Features

'I Survived; Hitler Didn't'

Holocaust survivor shares experience with Los Angeles Field Office

Holocaust Survivor Joe Alexander Shows Tattoo

Joe Alexander endured imprisonment in 12 concentration camps in Poland and Germany during World War II.

Employees at FBI Los Angeles and throughout the Bureau learned living history from Holocaust survivor Joe Alexander. Joe is 101 years old and survived being in 12 concentration camps in Poland and Germany during World War II.

He spoke eloquently and with a clear, even pace as the crowd in Los Angeles listened intently, some fighting back tears during his April 17 visit, which was also webcast via FBITV. 

Joe described the horrific details of being inside the Warsaw Ghetto in his youth and shared the moment when he saw the members of his family for the very last time. He endured imprisonment in 12 concentration camps, from Dachau to Auschwitz to Birkenau among others. 

He spoke about being roused by the guards only to watch three victims be hanged, presumably for not being strong or fast enough to carry out their forced labor. 

For more than 30 minutes, Joe told his story without interruption. He talked about how he and his family lived a “very good life” until 1939 when the Nazis invaded and split Poland into two; half for the Third Reich and half was still Poland but under German occupation. The Alexander family lived in the area the Third Reich controlled. The Nazis took his uncle away from the town square where the Alexander family lived until Joe was 16 years old.

Special Agent Corey McFadden is pictured with Joe Alexander, who rolled up his sleeve to reveal his assigned concentration camp serial number tattooed on his left arm.

Special Agent Corey McFadden is pictured with Joe Alexander, who rolled up his sleeve to reveal his assigned concentration camp serial number tattooed on his left arm.


Eventually, Joe and many other Jews were forced to live in the Warsaw Ghetto, a walled-off and cramped area with over 400,000 people living in squalor, where it was common to see dead bodies strewn along the street. After five months in the ghetto, his parents learned their hometown of Kowal was safe and bribed guards so that Joe, a sister and a brother could return there. Several days later, all Jewish men from ages 16 to 60 were told to report to a schoolhouse.

Joe soon found himself at the first concentration camp where he and his fellow Jews were forced to do hard labor under extremely poor conditions and with barely any food. He built dams, laid cobblestones, built roofs and an airport and laid railroad tracks, among other menial tasks. During these trials, he became very ill on more than one occasion and noted matter-of-factly that during this time, “people died every day.” 

Joe had worked in seven camps by the time he was put on a train with Jews packed into cars for days with “no food, no water and no facilities.” When the train stopped at the infamous town of Auschwitz, 30% to 40% of its passengers were already dead, he recalled.

Passengers were lined up in rows of five and were met by Dr. Mengele, known notoriously as the “Doctor of Death.” It was dark, and Mengele selected some Jewish prisoners to perform human experiments on; the old, the sick and children were placed in a second line, and Joe was among them because “he was a little guy.”

But because Joe had been in multiple camps before Auschwitz, he knew to stick with the big, strong men. As Mengele walked away from him, Joe switched lines in the darkness.

Otherwise, he said, “I would not be talking to you today.”

Shortly after arriving at Auschwitz, Joe received a tattoo on his left arm; he paused and rolled up his sleeve and recited his number, “1-4-2-5-8-4.” From that moment on, he was never again called by his name.

"I never lost faith, never stopped believing in God. I may have a bad day today, but tomorrow will be a better day."


Joe Alexander, Holocaust survivor
The FBI’s Jewish American Employee Resource Group presented Joe Alexander with a custom-made FBI yarmulke.

The FBI’s Jewish American employee resource group presented Joe Alexander with a custom-made FBI yarmulke.

In response to an employee’s question, Joe said that it never occurred to him to have the tattoo removed because it’s a daily reminder of what he endured and what happened to his family. The tattoo helps him tell his story so that he can speak for “the 6 million who cannot talk.”   

He walked to another camp — Birkenau — where he was imprisoned for six months and saw Mengele two more times at a distance. In Birkenau, Joe saw men being beaten to death or who ran into electric fences because they “couldn’t take it anymore,” he said. 

After the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in April 1943, Joe returned to the area to help clean it up and stack bricks 8- to 10-feet high. There were no facilities or sanitation, and typhus broke out in the ghetto.

He never knew anyone who went to the hospital and came out alive, so he crouched behind the bricks for several days with a high fever when an indifferent Nazi was in charge and recovered. He later found himself marching, then on a train to the Dachau concentration camp in Germany. Joe saw female prisoners for the first time at Dachau. He worked in a kitchen that cooked for German guards outside Dachau and smuggled food for his fellow prisoners.  

In late April 1945, while in Dachau, Joe and his fellow prisoners were told they were going on a “death march” into the mountains. They walked for days but could hear fighting in the distance and sensed that American troops weren’t far behind. While in the forest, Joe ate some cooked horsemeat and said it was the best meal he’d had in years.

The next day, Joe and his fellow prisoners were brought to a nearby town and were finally liberated by American troops. He and others were directed to an underground bunker, a large warehouse, and were given food, clothing and bicycles, and then stayed temporarily in a displaced persons (DP) camp. Soon he found himself in Munich and knew he was free. 

Joe Alexander’s appearance attracted media interest.

Joe Alexander’s appearance attracted media interest.


For months, Joe went from DP camp to DP camp to look for family members — his parents, two sisters and a brother — whom he hadn’t seen since the Warsaw Ghetto. “To this day, I don’t know what happened to them,” he told the somber crowd.

Joe reunited with a cousin in Poland and later lived in Germany where he stayed because he didn’t have a passport. Ultimately, he was sponsored by a Jewish organization and registered in Munich to go to America. Joe was examined by a doctor and, while it was unclear if he was joking, he said he also had to “get checked out by the FBI.” That comment elicited a chuckle from the audience.

Joe arrived by boat to New York on May 30, 1949, and was sent by his sponsor to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He worked for a tailor whom he described affectionately, saying wistfully, “a father couldn’t be better than he was to me.”  Joe stayed for six months and moved in 1950 to Santa Monica, California, where his cousin had relocated. 

During the Korean War, Joe worked as a tailor in Victorville, California, and stayed for seven years near a military installation. Later, he moved back to Los Angeles and opened his own store on Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles Uniform Exchange. His store, where he sold military uniforms to television and movie studios, was just down the street from Paramount Studios. Joe married and had two children. He ran the store for 37 years before he retired. 

Reflecting on his ordeal, Joe said that he was determined to survive. “I never lost faith, never stopped believing in God. I may have a bad day today, but tomorrow will be a better day.” 

When asked if he would recommend a movie about the Holocaust, Joe said his favorite depiction is “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.” He also recommended the book, “Night,” written by fellow survivor Elie Weisel, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. 

Via FBITV, an employee commented that Joe was blessed with an uncanny ability to assess his situation and decide on multiple occasions the appropriate actions needed to save his life, adding, “I wish the world had your spirit and determination.” 

Joe talked about how present-day antisemitism pains him and compared some of the current tensions to how the Holocaust started in November 1938 when Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, took the lives of dozens of Jews. Thirty thousand Jews were arrested, and hundreds of synagogues were destroyed.

Joe said it’s our job to educate the young people, many of whom have not learned about the Holocaust. When asked to give advice to today’s youth, he advised that they should treat others how they would want to be treated. 

When an employee asked Joe to share his secret to longevity, he laughed and said that’s what everyone asks him. Turning serious, he said, “There is no secret, just keep busy. I’m busy almost every day.”

Acting ADIC Mehtab Syed presented Joe with a certificate from Director Wray, which thanked him for his service to the public. Syed told Joe that she had visited Dachau and poignantly hugged him. A Los Angeles representative for BuJews, the FBI’s Jewish American Employee Resource Group, presented Joe with a custom-made FBI yarmulke and an inaugural BuJews coin engraved with “Justice Justice, You Shall Pursue,” in Hebrew, a passage from the Book of Deuteronomy, which is part of the Torah and the Old Testament.

At the end of the presentation, Joe was asked if he had ever returned to the concentration camps later in life. He returned to Auschwitz and Dachau and noted that a bunk where he was incarcerated is still there.

Why did he return? Joe simply said, “I came back because I survived. Hitler didn’t.” 


"There is no secret. Just keep busy. I’m busy almost every day."


Joe Alexander, describing how he has lived to be 101 years old

Building Authentic Relationships With Those We Serve

FBI Assistant Director Robert J. Contee III (third from right) speaks as part of a panel discussion on the importance of law enforcement's engagement with diverse communities at the Professionalizing Law Enforcement Community Engagement Training (PLECET) in Atlanta in May.

FBI Assistant Director Robert J. Contee III (third from right) speaks as part of a panel discussion on the importance of law enforcement's engagement with diverse communities at the Professionalizing Law Enforcement Community Engagement Training (PLECET) in Atlanta in May.

In early May, the FBI joined with the MovementForward non-profit organization to help train law enforcement officers and community leaders on developing effective outreach programs. The Professionalizing Law Enforcement Community Engagement Training (PLECET) Conference, sponsored by MovementForward in Atlanta, brought together 1,700 outreach professionals to share best practices, look at innovations in the field, and build support networks across the country.

Robert Contee, assistant director of the FBI’s Office of Partner Engagement, served as one of several panelists during a keynote discussion on how law enforcement agencies can better connect with people of all backgrounds.


“Optimal community safety is achieved through collaborative efforts, where local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies work alongside community members, jointly striving towards the common goal of fostering safer communities,” said AD Contee.

In addition, the FBI’s outreach professionals led a workshop on building connections with vulnerable communities through accountability, acknowledgment, and authenticity. “For quite some time, many agencies–including the FBI–have focused their outreach program efforts in traditional ways such as with academies and feel good events,” said Ken Hoffman, unit chief of the FBI’s community relations program. “There will always be a role for those programs, but we are working to flip the focus to emphasize the importance of relationships first. This conference was an opportunity to share our work with a large audience.”

FBI Assistant Director Robert J. Contee III (right) joins with FBI Community Outreach Specialist Demetrius Smith at the Professionalizing Law Enforcement Community Engagement Training (PLECET) in Atlanta in May.

FBI Assistant Director Robert J. Contee III (right) joins with FBI Community Outreach Specialist Demetrius Smith at the Professionalizing Law Enforcement Community Engagement Training (PLECET) in Atlanta in May.

Both at FBIHQ and with our community outreach specialists in the FBI’s 56 field offices, we are emphasizing the need to take accountability for both the Bureau’s history and how our experiences shape our personal perceptions. We also must acknowledge the hard work ahead as we build trust with communities that carry trauma or are distrustful of government and law enforcement. Finally, we strive to act each day with authenticity in word and action. Only with authenticity can we all develop empathy for each other with the intent of healing the difficulties that divide us.

If you would like to learn more about the FBI’s community outreach program, please visit our webpage at www.fbi.gov/outreach.

"We are working to flip the focus to emphasize the importance of relationships first."


Ken Hoffman, unit chief, FBI Communications Relations Unit

History

The Alcatraz Escape

On June 12, 1962, a routine early morning bed check turned out to be anything but. Three convicts were not in their cells: John Anglin, his brother Clarence, and Frank Morris.

Located on a lonely island in the middle of San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz—aka “The Rock”—had held captives since the Civil War. But it was in 1934, the highpoint of a major war on crime, that Alcatraz was re-fortified into the world’s most secure prison.

Its eventual inmates included dangerous public enemies like Al Capone and George “Machine Gun” Kelly, criminals who had a history of escapes, and the occasional odd character like the infamous “Birdman of Alcatraz.”

In the 1930s, Alcatraz was already a forbidding place, surrounded by the cold, rough waters of the Pacific. The redesign included tougher iron bars, a series of strategically positioned guard towers, and strict rules, including a dozen checks a day of the prisoners. Escape seemed near impossible.

Despite the odds, from 1934 until the prison was closed in 1963, 36 men tried 14 separate escapes. Nearly all were caught or didn’t survive the attempt.

The fate of three particular inmates, however, remains a mystery to this day. Details | Historic Documents


You Can Keep Up With the FBI on Your Phone! Download the App

From catching up on the Bureau’s latest stories and podcasts to following FBI social media feeds and learning about wanted fugitives, the myFBI Dashboard app brings everything to your fingertips. Details

Download
Depending on your device, go to Google Play or the Apple App Store and search for myFBI Dashboard app.


Ever Wonder How the FBI Seal Came to Be?

Over the years, the FBI seal has undergone several significant changes. In its early years, the Bureau used the Department of Justice seal. The first official FBI seal was adopted in 1935, modifying the Department of Justice logo by adding “Federal Bureau of Investigation” and “Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity” to the outer band. In 1940, Special Agent Leo Gauthier—a draftsman, artist, and illustrator—presented a new design based on an earlier Bureau flag that he had created. This design was readily accepted and has been the Bureau’s symbol ever since.

Each symbol and color in the FBI seal has special significance. Learn more about the seal, the Bureau's motto of "Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity" and the various rules that apply when using the seal. Details



Hate Paying Tolls? Don't Pay Fake Ones

Since early-March 2024, the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has received over 2,000 complaints reporting text messages representing road toll collection service from at least three states. IC3 complaint information indicates the scam may be moving from state-to-state. The texts claim the recipient owes money for unpaid tolls and contain almost identical language. Details


Stay in the Loop

You can follow @FBI on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, and Instagram to stay up to date on the Bureau's latest news and stories. 

Post on Social Media Site X showing two small clocks form 2010 Times Square bombing attempt.

The FBI Alumni E-Brief is distributed through our alumni and family organizations. These groups share it through their membership lists, we do not maintain an individual email list. Currently, the groups receiving the AEB are:

  • The Society of FBI Alumni 
  • Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI
  • FBI Agents Association
  • FBI National Citizens Academy Alumni Association
  • FBI National Academy Associates
  • FBI National Executive Institute Associates
  • FBI LEEDA
  • InfraGard
  • Not a member of one of these organizations? The AEB is on Facebook: FBI-Federal Bureau of Investigation Family (Current/Retired) 

If you are aware of another group to assist in sharing this AEB with the FBI family, please let us know. You can also send content suggestions, photo or story submissions, as well as critiques to alumni@fbi.gov