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Our People & Capabilities

Our People and Capabilities

The San Diego Evidence Response Team at work
The San Diego Evidence Response Team at work

Our people in San Diego 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 are 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: Our Evidence Response Team is 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, analyze blood stains and splatters, 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: The Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory (RCFL) provides computer-related assistance to law enforcement agencies within San Diego and Imperial counties. Our facility has the distinction of being the first established FBI-sponsored RCFL in the country. Today, we are among the leaders, both nationally and internationally, in conducting research and development for tools and procedures for use in the computer forensic and law enforcement communities. We are also part of the growing RCFL network that is striving everyday to combat computer-related crime by assisting law enforcement agencies in the areas we serve. We also have a Computer Analysis and Response Team, made up of forensic examiners who 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.
  • Field Intelligence Group: The mission of the San Diego Field Intelligence Group is to meet current and emerging national security and criminal threats by focusing proactive investigations against the threats of the United States. The strategic goal contained in this mission is to build and sustain an enterprise-wide intelligence capability that will provide useful, appropriate, and timely information and analysis to the intelligence and law enforcement communities.
  • Tactical support and crisis response: We have a Specialized Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team that can storm barricaded buildings and vehicles, breach locks and other structures, arrest armed and dangerous criminals, rescue hostages, patrol areas and provide security, navigate tough terrains by climbing and rappelling, use special techniques to stop fleeing cars, and conduct site surveys for special events. The team is highly trained and heavily equipped, with expertise in a variety of weapons, including pistols, assault and sniper rifles, and shotguns. We also have a Hostage Rescue Team designed specifically to locate and liberate victims in hostage situations.
  • Emergency negotiation: San Diego’s Emergency Negotiation Team (ENT) is one of the most active and experienced FBI teams of its kind in United States. This level of expertise is due in large part to the team’s participation in all San Diego Police Department “call-outs” since 1995 and in San Diego Sheriff’s “call-outs” since 2005. Over this period, San Diego’s ENT has responded to incidents involving hundreds of barricaded subjects, suicidal individuals, and domestic violence situations. The experience gained through these call-outs has enabled our ENT to teach a Police Officer Standardization and Training (POST) certified Introduction to Crisis Negotiations course and to deploy domestically and internationally for protracted and significant negotiation situations.
  • Bomb recovery and analysis: We have special agent bomb technicians in San Diego 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 HAZMAT expert who investigates crimes involving the actual or threatened use of any hazardous material, including weapons of mass destruction (WMD). This expert provides scientific and technical consultation and/or response on hazardous materials/WMD investigative matters; trains, equips, and assists the FBI’s Hazardous Materials Response Teams; supports National Security Special Events and FBI Special Events; partners and trains with the public safety, scientific, and international communities; and prepares and provides training internally.
  • Violent crime analysis: The National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC) combines investigative and operational support functions, research, and training in order to provide assistance—without charge—to federal, state, local, and foreign law enforcement agencies investigating unusual or repetitive violent crimes. The NCAVC also provides support through expertise and consultation on non-violent matters such as national security, corruption, and white-collar crime investigations. The experienced FBI agents and other professionals who comprise the NCAVC staff provide advice and support in a variety of investigative matters and other law enforcement related functions. Typical cases for which NCAVC services are requested include child abduction or mysterious disappearance of children, serial murders, single homicides, serial rapes, extortions, threats, kidnappings, product tampering, arsons and bombings, weapons of mass destruction, public corruption, and domestic and international terrorism.
  • Translation: Our group of language specialists can translate written documents and audio files in a variety of languages. The subject matter may involve any area in which the FBI has jurisdiction, including investigations into terrorism, organized crime, public corruption, and other violations of federal statutes. They also join agents on cases, translating during live interviews and even during undercover operations.

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