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Archive for August, 2012

Fewer FBI Agents, Border Patrol Officers Under Budget Cuts

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Washington’s funding crisis likely will mean fewer FBI agents and border patrol officers as Congress tries to cut $55 billion from domestic programs, the Associated Press reports. The across-the-board, 8%-12% cuts are set to go into effect Jan. 2.

It’s unclear, however, whether those cuts would remain as Republicans and Democrats try to reach a deal for more targeted reductions, the AP reported.

Legislators said the cuts may be temporary while more permanent cost-cutting solutions are found.

FBI Probe of Trenton Mayor Mack Is Widened

Mayor Tony Mack

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The focus of an FBI investigation into Trenton City Hall is spreading beyond Mayor Tony Mack’s first two years in office, the Times of Trenton reports.

Included in the probe is Mack’s 2010 mayoral campaign.

The Times of Trenton reported that agents are quizzing his officials about Mack donors.

The FBI raided Mack’s home and City Hall in mid-July.

Mack has denied wrongdoing.

 

FBI: Gangs Becoming More Dangerous, Prolific

By  Steve Neavling
ticklethwire.com

Gangs are becoming more dangerous and prolific, according to the 2012 FBI gang report.

There are more than 33,000 gangs across the country, with as many as 1.4 million members, the Business Insider reports.

About half of violent crimes committed in the U.S. are gang-related, the report states.

The FBI also released a list of America’s most frightening gangs.

 

 STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

Gary Douglas Perdue to Head Pittsburgh FBI

Gary Douglas Perdue/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Gary Douglas Perdue has been tapped to head up the Pittsburgh office of the FBI.

Perdue had last served as chief of the Counterproliferation Center in the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate at FBI Headquarters.

Perdue began his career with the FBI as a contract language specialist in 1985. He became a special agent in 1989 and first worked in Detroit where he worked counterterrorism and narcotics.

In 1996, he was assigned to the International Terrorism Operations Section at FBI Headquarters as a program manager and later as chief of the Radical Fundamentalists Unit.

He led responses to the 1998 East Africa bombings, the 1999 Egypt Air investigation, as well as multiple domestic and international terrorism investigations.

He was promoted to international terrorism program coordinator and squad supervisor of a Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in the Baltimore Division in 2001.

In 2006, Perdue was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Counterterrorism Branch in the Washington Field Office.

In 2008, he was promoted to chief of the Investigations and Operations Section in the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate and, in 2009, he became the chief to the Countermeasures and Preparedness Section.

In February 2012, he was picked to be chief of the FBI’s Counterproliferation Center, which combines the resources of the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate, Counterintelligence Division, and the Directorate of Intelligence.

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ATF Reinventing Itself After Reputation Damage

Todd Jones

By Evan Perez
Wall Street Journal

WASHINGTON — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives brings fewer than a hundred alcohol and tobacco cases a year. It now plays second fiddle to the Federal Bureau of Investigation on explosives. And its skill at catching firearms violators is in doubt after the flawed probe known as Fast and Furious.

No wonder the agency’s boss is looking to reinvent it, and maybe even change its name.

The ATF is a Washington oddity, stitched together in the 1970s from units going back to the age of Prohibition. Gun-rights supporters are wary of it, yet they are also loath to see firearms regulation move to the FBI.

So the ATF survives, and acting director B. Todd Jones has to figure out what to do with it. “We’re the entity that everyone loves to hate,” said the 55-year-old former Marine.

To read the full story click here.

Column: Ex-FBI Agent Says Law Enforcement Needs to Address Mental Illness

John Kerr, an FBI  agent for nearly 22 years, investigated violent crime and counterterrorism.  He retired from the bureau in Washington in December 2008. His column is in response to a ticklethewire.com column that commented on the mass shootings in this country and the need for law enforcement to look at mental illness as a crime problem.

By John Kerr
For ticklethewire.com

In the late 90’s in the Washington D.C. area, we started noticing an increase in the number of guns being seized that were in the hands of those with some very disturbing mental issues.

When we started digging into how can we prevent them from being able to purchase guns, we were surprised by two things: 1) How amenable ATF was in adding folks to their list and entering names into the system and 2) How reluctant mental health officials were in proclaiming an individual as a possible threat.

I think Law Enforcements attitude has been one of which that LE (law enforcement) is not qualified to make that determination, therefore we will wait until we are notified by the experts.

You are spot on in your assessment that this can no longer be the mindset. LE needs to address it as they did problems within a High School. Assign a school resource officer… He quickly learns who are the potential problem children and is able to get them help, prevent them from doing bad things or force the school to eliminate him. LE should go after the Mental Health community the same way. Force them to accept a shared responsibility in the effort.

Force them to change the policy of silence and privacy by giving them an individual or group to direct a name and render an opinion. I disagree that LE needs to wake up. This is something that they are acutely aware of … They have been held back by politics, law suits and a mental health community that has stuck it’s head in the sand.

The LE community needs to stop waiting for Drs and counselors to do the right thing and start forcing them to work together. You would have hoped that the Virginia Tech shootings would have stirred the debate more. The mental health community got a free pass again.

Justice Department May Release “Legally Innocent” Prisoners

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The U.S. Justice Department will no longer fight the release of prisoners who have been deemed “legally innocent,” the USA Today reports.

The department’s move, announced Monday, follows a USA Today investigation that found more than 60 people were imprisoned even though an appeals court later determined they did not commit a federal crime.

It’s unclear how many prisoners could be set free under the switch, but most of them likely are low-level offenders, according to the USA Today.

USA Today wrote:

The investigation found that the Justice Department had done almost nothing to identify those prisoners — many of whom did not know they were innocent — and had argued in court that the men were innocent but should remain imprisoned anyway.