FBI Birmingham Division funding restored after sequestration - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

FBI Birmingham Division funding restored after sequestration

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

 

Birmingham's federal agents are getting a budget boost. The new funding follows several years of cutbacks. It will mean new opportunities to protect Central Alabama.

Birmingham's Special Agent in Charge, Richard Schwein, gave us an inside look at how our FBI division operates.

"We're bringing the best of all these agencies together and focusing on a specific problem," Richard Schwein, Special Agent in Charge said.

From terrorist threats to organized crimes, drug trafficking, public corruption and bank robberies, local FBI agents play a huge roll in crime investigations.

"Violent crime is an issue in Birmingham," Schwein said. "It's consistently ranked in the top ten most violent cities in the United States."

The economy meant the threat of tough cut-backs...

"The immediate impact on my workforce - we were facing up to 15 days of furloughs for each one of my employees," Schwein said.

"I've got agents using ten year old laptops that will not accept the latest software refreshes," Schwein said.
 
Recently, Congress made the decision to restore the funding level.

"We've had challenges as well as the rest of the federal government due to sequestration. These are very austere budget times," Schwein said.

The added funding will mean updated technology and better capabilities -ultimately keeping people in Central Alabama safer.

"By having an updated computer with the latest software, by having communications equipment that will allow us to very quickly move information across our domain and to other FBI field offices, is going to enhance our ability to go out and do our job everyday," Schwein said.

Here is a link to the Birmingham FBI office for more information: http://www.fbi.gov/birmingham/

 

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