Christopher A. Wray
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Kansas City, Missouri
April 3, 2024

Director Wray's Remarks at the FBI Kansas City Field Office Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Remarks as prepared for delivery

Thank you, Steve, and good morning, everyone.

I’m thrilled to be here to celebrate this new chapter for FBI Kansas City. Today is a big day—not just for this field office, but for the entire FBI and for the communities we serve here—because today, as we officially open the doors of this new facility, we renew our commitment to the people of Kansas and Western Missouri: that the FBI here is working hard for you to support your communities and keep you safe.

Honoring Division History 

We’ve been doing that a long time in our Kansas City office.

Our people here have fought for Kansans and Missourians (and even Nebraskans and Iowans for a time) since the earliest days of the Bureau.

In 1920, we designated our office in Kansas City as one of the original nine “divisional headquarters”—overseeing all the FBI field offices in this region. And since those early days, the dedicated people of the Kansas City Division have chased bank robbers and searched for fugitives—including helping pursue notorious “public enemies” like Bonnie and Clyde.

They’ve fought the illegal drug trade, violent gangs, and public corruption. They’ve tackled international and domestic terrorism, child exploitation, and foreign espionage. And they’ve pursued justice for victims of hate crimes, fraud, and violent crime.

In the more than 100 years the FBI has maintained an office in Kansas City, our agents, analysts, and professional staff here have tackled all these threats—largely behind the scenes.

But this morning, I want to share with you some recent examples of their successes that I think deserve mention, because we’ve seen FBI Kansas City’s work have an incredible impact on the communities it serves.

Thanks to excellent investigative work: 

  • In December, a smuggler pled guilty for his role in a years-long scheme selling and exporting sophisticated U.S. avionics equipment to Russia, following its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
  • Also in December, a man was federally indicted with a racially motived hate crime for viciously attacking and killing an African American man with a knife. 
  • And in the last few weeks, a fourteenth individual has agreed to plead guilty as a participant in a conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, marking the conclusion to Kansas City's years-long effort to bring to justice those responsible for the overdose deaths of at least seven victims.

Those are just a few of the many ways the people of this field office work hard every day to protect neighborhoods from harm and seek justice for victims.

Beyond the division’s investigative successes, I also want to highlight the pivotal role our Kansas City office has played in shaping the FBI’s history.

In the 1930s, following a brazen attack that came to be known as the “Kansas City Massacre”—which took the lives of four law enforcement officers, including our own Special Agent Raymond Caffrey—our FBI special agents were finally permitted to carry firearms.

Of course, we can’t talk about the history of the Kansas City Division without mentioning former Special Agent in Charge Clarence Kelley.

In the 1970s, when Kelley was the Kansas City police chief, he was sworn in as the FBI Director, succeeding J. Edgar Hoover. At a time of relentless and deserved scrutiny for the FBI, Kelley spearheaded efforts to shift Bureau priorities towards running quality investigations and protecting American civil liberties. We honor his contributions today by commemorating this building in Director Kelley’s name.

In the 1980s, Kansas City produced the FBI’s first deputy director, when another SAC [special agent in charge] from here, Floyd Clark, was designated by fellow Kansan and then-Director William Sessions.

And in 1996, when we broke ground on the former field office building here, the FBI was still reeling from the Oklahoma City bombing a year earlier. Kansas City’s was the first FBI facility built in compliance with the new safety regulations put in place for federal buildings. Our standards have evolved quite a bit since then, and this new field office is absolutely state-of-the-art when it comes to safety, security, and technology. We built it to protect our people and our information, and to last for decades to come.

Building: A New Future 

The commemoration of this building marks an exciting milestone for the future of the FBI’s work in this community, while also honoring the rich history cemented into its foundation.

The facility was designed to pay tribute to the people at the heart of Kansas City’s work.

Not only is the building commemorated in honor of Director Kelley, but its five main conference rooms are each dedicated to a member of the FBI’s Kansas City family lost in the line of duty, many of whom have family members here with us today as our honored guests. 

Keeping our people front and center, this new facility was built to serve as a hub—one capable of hosting all the members of our workforce, together. That includes space for our folks from our squads in FBI satellite offices who regularly travel to Kansas City. We have employees working across state lines, from the plains of Kansas to the western two-thirds of Missouri. So today, I’m proud that we’re officially opening this larger, modernized space with plenty of room not only for our own folks, but also for our task force officers and other state and local partners to work shoulder-to-shoulder with their Bureau counterparts.

All of the important work they’re doing needed a base of operations to support it—under one roof.

It’s what the brave and dedicated people of FBI Kansas City deserved, and today, we’ve delivered.

It’s especially impressive that we’re doing this ribbon cutting today, given that we broke ground at this site just shy of two years ago.

On behalf of the entire FBI, I’d like to recognize some of the many people who guided this project to its successful completion: 

  • We’re grateful to Mayor Lucas and the town of Kansas City, Missouri, for continuing to welcome our centralized presence here and opening up so many ways for us to serve our communities more effectively.
  • I’d like to recognize Rep. Emanuel Cleaver and his colleagues in Congress for their support of the funding for this new facility. 
  • I also want to thank David Rumsey, Joe Schurle, and Steve Stanberry from the General Services Administration for their partnership.
  • A special welcome to U.S. Federal Properties, the developer on this project, and a big "thank you" to all of the hardworking men and women who built this facility from the ground up.
  • My thanks to Nick Dimos, the head of our Finance and Facilities Division, and his entire team—especially Project Manager Robert Manns, 
    Project Architect Alyssa McCarthy, and Mechanical Engineer Juan Di Donna Perea, who are all here with us today.
  • And, of course, last—but certainly not least—I want to thank SAC Steve Cyrus and the entire FBI Kansas City workforce for their support. To everyone whose hard work and dedication made this building a reality: Thank you. I know this project took a lot of time, effort, and resources, so whether you were involved in coordinating or planning the move, or helping out as security escorts for contractors, or doing countless other necessary tasks, thank you all for your patience and your professionalism.


None of the work we’re doing here in Kansas City would be possible without the trust and dedication of our partners.

Some of them are here today, so I’d like to extend a warm welcome to our community, private sector, and law enforcement partners. Thank you all for being here. Your presence and your partnership mean a lot to us.

I’m especially grateful to the agencies that have sent their agents, officers, and deputies to work on our FBI task forces. More than half of them are with us full-time, and I know it’s not easy to entrust your personnel to us like that, especially at a time when we’re all in need of additional resources. It’s a testament to the close and fruitful partnerships we’ve built, and to the trust we share, and I can promise you that none of us takes that trust lightly.

And, as our folks enjoy the extra elbow room and modern technology that this new space affords, I encourage all of us to think about two things: 

  1. How can we even better meet the mission of protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution; and
  2. How can we be even better partners to our colleagues at other agencies whose expertise and skills we depend on every day? 

So while today marks a new chapter for the Kansas City Field Office and for the communities we serve, it’s also a step forward for our partnerships. And together, we’ll continue to stop violence, make neighborhoods safer, and pursue justice. 


For more than 100 years, the Kansas City Field Office has been committed to protecting local communities—and people all over this country—and the world from crime and national security threats.

Today, that work continues in a new facility, with a new foundation to bolster this important work and new tools to make us more effective.

And I’m honored to stand here and open this exciting chapter for FBI Kansas City.

Thanks again, and congratulations on this new beginning.