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Tag: FBI director

Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI Commends Comey For Comments About Policing

FBI Director James Comey in Chicago delivering speech at the International Association of Chiefs of Police. ( photo)

FBI Director James Comey in Chicago delivering speech at the International Association of Chiefs of Police. ( photo)

By Allan Lengel

FBI Director James Comey has gotten some push back from skeptics about this theory that the recent intense focus on police brutality has made some police officers less aggressive about doing their job, which has resulted in a spike in crime.

Well, the retired Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI has issued a statement commending him for speaking out on the issue in Chicago.

The statement says:

Director Comey has served for two decades as a top federal prosecutor in New York City, Richmond, Virginia and at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. He is widely respected as a thoughtful, independent, and insightful leader. His independence was celebrated when as Deputy Attorney General he, along with then FBI Director Robert Mueller, both threatened to resign rather than proceed with a White House policy of President George W. Bush that they both considered illegal. The FBI Director has a ten year term that purposefully does not coincide with the four year term of the presidency to insure such independence. Director Comey’s comments on race, policing, and spiking crime rates this last year should be applauded as timely, needed and courageous.

Director Comey bravely tackled in his speech a complex subject dealing with spiking violent crime and homicide rates in cities all across the country in 2015 after 25 years of declining violent crime. During this last year, Director Comey has directed his Special Agents in Charge across the country to engage in community discussions about race relations and policing issues. He has listened to their reporting and he also makes it a practice to speak with law enforcement groups and officials on a continual basis. Comey remarked that the reason for such spikes may be due to a change in policing. He asked the important question “In today’s You Tube world, are officers reluctant to get out of their cars and do the work that controls violent crime? Are officers answering 911 calls but avoiding the informal contact that keeps bad guys standing around, especially with guns?” He asked these important questions in the context that the murder victims in large part are persons of color and that law enforcement needs to find answers to the questions he was asking and solutions to the spiking crime rate to save these vulnerable victims and their communities. Director Comey also strongly noted in several instances that changes in police conduct is welcomed in terms of de-escalation and the use of deadly force.

Society President Larry Langberg stated, “Director Comey has commented to the nation’s law enforcement professionals on a difficult subject involving race relations, policing practices, and community involvement. He should be applauded for encouraging nationally a discussion about critical issues in policing.”




FBI Director Comey Tells Police How to Join Dialogue about Race

Director James B. Comey

By Steve Neavling

FBI Director James Comey met privately with Connecticut police chiefs Tuesday and encouraged them to become a part of the dialogue about policing and race, the Associated Press reports.

Comey described the discussion as productive but declined to discuss specifics.

“As you would expect in the Nutmeg State, it was a thoughtful and rich conversation,” said Comey, who still considers Connecticut home after working in the past for Westport-based Bridgewater Associates.

It was Comey’s second visit to the New Haven field office since taking the helm nearly two years ago.

Comey said he is trying to make the FBI more diverse but the bureau has struggled to get  enough applicants.

“We’re in a good place in Connecticut,” Comey said. “It was mostly a positive discussion about how they perceive law enforcement relationships to have improved particularly under the leadership I now have and have had for two years here in Connecticut, and that’s a good thing.”


Former FBI Director Louis Freeh Was Within 60 Seconds of Dying in Car Crash Last Year

Louis Freeh

By Steve Neavling

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh was within 60 seconds of dying after severing an artery in his leg in a car crash in Vermont eight months ago,  USA Today reports. 

The extent of Freeh’s injuries was previously unknown by the public.

FBI Director James Comey and Sen. Patrick Leahy spoke of the injuries at a news conference at Champlain College.

Freeh’s leg was mangled, and if not for the quick attention of first responders, the former director would have died.

“Louis would have died within a minute or so. They stopped the bleeding,” Leahy said.

“I told him he better believe in guardian angels,” Leahy added.

Other Stories of Interest

Katie Pavlich: Real Reason FBI Director Wasn’t Invited to Summit on Combating Extremism

By Katie Pavlich
The Hill

The much-anticipated White House summit on combating generic extremism is over, and outside of a handful of feel-good statements and speeches, little was accomplished.

A number of activists from various organizations were present for discussion, but one person was noticeably absent from the summit: FBI Director James Comey.

The FBI is one of first lines of defense in combating extremism — Islamic terror in particular — and keeping Americans at home and abroad safe. FBI input about root causes of terrorism at the White House summit would have been beneficial not only to its mission, but to ultimately defeating the enemy we face.
“It’s our top priority — protecting the U.S. from terrorist attacks,” the FBI website states. “Working closely with a range of partners, we use our growing suite of investigative and intelligence capabilities to neutralize terrorist cells and operatives here in the U.S., to help dismantle extremist networks worldwide, and to cut off financing and other forms of support provided by terrorist sympathizers.”

Comey wasn’t at the White House last week because he wasn’t invited. The reason why can be found by taking a look at the summit guest list, which included a variety of groups whose members have urged Muslims in America to shut the FBI out of their communities and to be non-cooperative with terrorism investigations.

To read more click here. 

FBI Director Comey Says Agents Have ‘Flooded’ Ferguson in Search of Answers to Shooting

James Comey

Steve Neavling

FBI Director James Comey addressed the shooting of an unarmed black teen in Ferguson during a visit to the bureau’s Salt Lake City office Tuesday, saying agents are on the ground looking for answers, the Associated Press reports.

“We have flooded the area,” Comey said.

The director declined to divulge specifics of the case but said agents are looking for witnesses to the shooting.

The death of Michael Brown sparked outrage and continuing protests in Ferguson.

Comey’s statements come during his tour of the agency’s 56 field offices.

FBI Director Comey, Wife Serve As Emergency Foster Parents to Stay Centered

Steve Neavling

FBI Director James Comey deals with a lot of bad people – terrorists, mobsters, rapists, murderers.

To stay centered, Comey told a group of new recruits recently that he and his wife are emergency foster parents, NPR reports.

“You’re gonna get to see a lot of bad things in this work, a lot of pain you’re gonna absorb,” Comey said. “You’re gonna help a lot of people and in the course of helping them you’re going to be touched by some of the pain and suffering they’ve endured. I need you to look after yourselves.”

When asked what he does to stay centered, Comey said he and his wife have been helping foster children.

“Little boy who came to us born a month premature in a homeless shelter to a drug-addicted mother and born in very very difficult circumstances so we got him right out of the hospital,” Comey said.

The baby is doing much better and has been placed with an adoptive mom.

“And we’ve stayed very close. We’ll look after him his whole life,” Comey said. “It is absolutely true that as a foster parent that you in a lot of ways get more out of it than you put into it.”

Herald-Review Editorial: Perpetual Fears of Terrorism Feed Budget Increases

By Herald Review

James Comey became FBI director last year, at a time when Osama bin Laden was dead, terrorism at home was on the decline and the United States was shrinking its inflammatory presence in the Muslim world. So naturally, he says the danger is way worse than you think.Referring to al-Qaida groups in Africa and the Middle East, he recently told The New York Times, “I didn’t have anywhere near the appreciation I got after I came into this job just how virulent those affiliates had become. There are both many more than I appreciated, and they are stronger than I appreciated.”

It may look like we’ve greatly diminished if not eliminated the danger of Islamic extremism against American targets. In fact, Comey assures us, “that threat has metastasized.” Of course cancer is far more deadly once it spreads.

In this respect he resembles just about every bureaucrat in the history of government. He thinks that his agency is vitally important and growing more so every day. If there had been a Federal Bureau of Stagecoaches when passenger trains and cars came along, it would still be in business and finding ways to justify its preservation and expansion.

Terrorism has fed the FBI’s growth. Between 2001 and 2013, its budget nearly doubled after adjusting for inflation. But Comey was not pleased on arriving to learn that he would be inconvenienced by last year’s federal budget sequester.

“I was very surprised to learn how severe the potential cut is,” he complained. He warned he might have to cut 3,000 jobs. His estimate was inflated — the agency now says it eliminated just 2,200 positions through attrition. The agency’s website, however, says it has 35,344 employees — up by 30 percent since 2001.

Comey is upholding the tradition that once the government identifies an evil, the evil never goes away — it only gets bigger and tougher, requiring ever-increasing efforts to combat it. The Department of Energy was created during the “energy crisis” of the 1970s. The crisis didn’t last, but the department did.

To read more click here.

FBI Director James B. Comey Steadfast in Keeping Terrorism As Top Concern for Bureau

FBI photo

Steve Neavling

When James B. Comey became the FBI’s new director last year, many observers believed he’d usher in a new era at the bureau by shifting some of the focus away from terrorism.

But the New York Times reports that Comey, a former Justice Department prosecutor who focused on gun cases, appears to have underestimated the threat still posed by terrorism.

“I didn’t have anywhere near the appreciation I got after I came into this job just how virulent those affiliates had become,” Mr. Comey said, referring to offshoots of Al Qaeda in Africa and in the Middle East during an interview with the Times at the J. Edgar Hoover Building. “There are both many more than I appreciated, and they are stronger than I appreciated.”

Comey said he therefore will keep terrorism as the main focus of the FBI.

President Obama appeared to indicate last year that the U.S. would move past terrorism soon and that “we have to recognize that the scale of the threat resembles the types of attacks we faced before 9/11.”