Local law enforcement agencies and FBI looking to share resources

Published 11:45 am Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Local law enforcement agencies and representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) met on Tuesday (Jan. 17) to discuss how they can build mutually beneficial partnerships. 

The meeting took place at the Inner Banks STEM Center in Washington. 

Representatives from the FBI, NCIS, U.S. Coast Guard, Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office and Washington Police Department exchanged contact information, learned about each agency’s jurisdiction, community outreach and discussed how the agencies could best collaborate. 

For example, former Chief of Countering Terrorism and President of the Inner Banks STEM Center Alvin Powell explained that while the FBI possesses a vast amount of resources and services it can give to local agencies, the flip side is that agencies can introduce the FBI to citizens who have established a trusting relationship with them and who are cooperative witnesses to criminal activity.  

“Each agency has its unique resources and capabilities,” Powell said. “You can leverage your resources and do a better job serving the public if let’s say the FBI is able to support a local organization’s investigation or vice versa.” 

Powell said during his time working for the FBI “some of the most significant cases he worked on  were developed from local contacts from state and local law enforcement. “

Greg Coates, a supervisory special agent for the FBI, said in more rural areas like Beaufort County, the organization helps local law enforcement to strategize and offer resources. Coates said the most common crimes the FBI can assist local law enforcement with are missing children, crimes against children, public corruption investigations, counter intelligence, counter terrorism, organized crimes, investigations, drug investigations and violent crime investigations. He said the FBI can give its expertise on cases that local law enforcement is working to solve.   

Coates and his colleague were at the meeting on Tuesday, because in recent history the interaction between Beaufort County and the FBI has been limited, because both organizations have been very busy. He said the FBI is creating a greater footprint in eastern North Carolina.