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Our People and Capabilities

Our People and Capabilities

Evidence Response Team member rapelling down a pine wall
Since crime scenes can be anywhere,
our evidence teams are trained
to reach tough places.

Our people in Phoenix 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 people 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:

  • Evidence recovery and processing: We have four Evidence Response Teams—in Flagstaff, Gallup, Phoenix, and Tucson—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 and analyze blood stains, 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.
  • Tactical Support: We have a well-trained SWAT (Specialized Weapons and Tactics) team that is capable of conducting open air assaults, stronghold assaults (entering barricaded buildings, aircraft, ships, etc.), and compliant and non-compliant vehicle stops. The team can conduct desert operations, maritime operations, heliborne operations, and urban or rural operations, day or night. It maintains its own portable communication system and can operate for extended periods at moments notice in a hot, cold, or WMD environment. The team is deployed to arrest armed and dangerous subjects, resolve barricade situations, conduct hostage rescue operations, patrol rural areas, navigate rough terrains by climbing and/or rappelling, and conduct man-tracking missions. It provides dignitary protection and security operations and conducts site surveys for special events. It can breach steel doors and a variety of other fortified structures. The team is heavily equipped with items such as night vision equipment; an armored vehicle; ballistic shields; mechanical, thermal, and hydraulic breaching gear; a robot; medical gear; and long range navigation equipment. Each SWAT team member possesses a variety of weapons, including sniper rifles, chemical gas guns, assault rifles, shotguns, and pistols. The team also maintains its own medical staff, with several emergency medical technicians and a doctor. It also has its own special agent bomb technician. In addition to SWAT operators, the team has a tactical operations center, with communications experts, electronic technicians, and negotiators that train and deploy with the team. SWAT members have deployed across the state of Arizona, throughout the U.S., and to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa.
  • Bomb recovery and analysis: We have special agent bomb technicians in Phoenix 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.
  • Hazardous materials: We have a Hazardous Material Response Team (HMRT) that consults with partners and/or responds to terrorist and criminal acts and incidents that involve hazardous materials. The team is trained for crime scene and evidence-related operations in cases involving chemical, biological, and radiological materials and wastes. In addition, the HMRT provides response readiness at special events and liaison with local, state, and federal responders.
  • 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 assist agents on cases, translating during live interviews and even during undercover operations.

For more information on the FBI and its capabilities, see our About Us webpage.