January 22, 2015

Director Comey Discusses Latest Law Enforcement Issues with Nation’s Sheriffs 

Today, in a speech at the National Sheriffs’ Association Winter Conference in Washington, D.C., Director Comey discussed the Bureau’s current priorities as well as collective issues facing the law enforcement community as a whole. He specifically highlighted our number one priority—counterterrorism—and talked about how the proliferation of al Qaeda offshoot groups andNational Sheriff's Association Logo the use of the Internet to spread terrorist propaganda and recruit new members complicates our efforts. He focused on the need for a national conversation on the Going Dark issue, in which a combination of outdated laws and rapid changes in technology is making it increasingly difficult for law enforcement to access the evidence needed to prosecute crime and prevent terrorism. Comey also discussed the recent increase in shootings and ambush-style attacks against law enforcement officers and said that law enforcement personnel and the communities they serve both need to better understand each other’s concerns and the challenges they face.

According to FBI Assistant Director Kerry Sleeper, who heads the Bureau’s Office of Partner Engagement, Director Comey’s meetings with law enforcement groups like the National Sheriffs’ Association “reinforce the Bureau’s stated commitment to collaborate and share information with our state and local law enforcement partners.”

After Comey’s remarks, he was presented with an award from the National Humane Society for approving—at the request of the National Sheriffs’ Association and the Animal Welfare Institute—the addition of animal cruelty offenses as a separate category in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report. The collection of this data will begin in 2016.