Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has had a presence in Alabama since the agency’s beginnings in 1909. At the time, the biggest concern for the FBI was the use of forced labor, which was one of the nation’s first enforced civil rights laws.
The Birmingham FBI office serves as the state headquarters, but is primarily responsible for monitoring the Northern region of the state. Along with the city of Birmingham, the field office is responsible for supervising the activities of satellite offices in the cities of Florence, Gadsden, Huntsville and Tuscaloosa.
FBI Teams in Birmingham
The Birmingham field office offers plenty of different options for those looking to meet the stringent requirements for becoming an FBI agent. FBI special agents are placed into specialized teams, each with its own skills and strengths to bring to each investigation that the Birmingham FBI takes on. The following specialized teams support many of the FBI jobs available in Birmingham:
Field Intelligence Group: This team is responsible for addressing crimes that fall under the umbrella of national security threats and major criminal enterprises. The goal of this team is to gather intelligence and then disseminate the information to local and national law enforcement agencies.
Evidence Response Team: This team is made up of special agents who specialize in crime scene investigation. The primary role of the Evidence Response Team is to collect and analyze evidence found at crime scenes. Evidence collected includes physical evidence (blood samples, fingerprints, DNA, etc.) and information analysis (bullet trajectory mapping, blood splatter patterns, document recovery, etc.) This team is responsible for analyzing even the smallest of clues in order to solve the case and catch any criminals involved in the events that occurred.
Specialized Weapons and Tactics (SWAT): The SWAT team is responsible for taking on the most dangerous situations in the state. The team is trained to breach barricaded and locked structures, rescue hostages, arrest armed and dangerous criminals, patrol and secure areas and using techniques to end high-speed car chases, among many other things.
The FBI’s History in Birmingham
The city of Birmingham is the largest metropolitan area in the state of Alabama and is home to one of the quickest growing minority populations in the country. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has had a presence in the state since the agency’s beginnings in 1909. At the time, the biggest concern for the FBI was the use of forced labor, which was one of the nation’s first enforced civil rights laws. Of course, Alabama would once again become the focal point of civil rights law enforcement during the 1950’s and 60’s when Martin Luther King Jr. led the fight towards equality for African Americans. It was the FBI’s responsibility to ensure that federal civil rights laws were enforced in every state. Of course, the FBI did also come under scrutiny when it was found that they heavily investigated Martin Luther King Jr. and did consider him a threat to national security at one point.
Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the FBI has shifted its focus more on intelligence gathering and anti-terrorist activities (both domestic and foreign.) This has led to crackdowns on hate groups such as the Klu Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups that have been known to make Alabama their home base. In 2008, Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford was indicted on charges of fraud, bribery and conspiracy due to an FBI sting.