The FBI has a hierarchical structure consisting of the FBI director at the top, 56 field offices, 400 satellite offices, and 23 foreign liaison posts2. These offices are staffed by some of the best criminal investigators in the country. The organization typically carries out long-term, complex investigations and emphasizes close relations and information-sharing with other law enforcement entities. Part of the FBI’s effectiveness comes from the division of investigation, which allows agents to specialize in specific matters. The seven FBI programs are:
- Applicant Matters
Violent Crimes and Major Offenders
When graduates with criminal justice degrees enter the FBI and are assigned to an investigative unit, they are able to create deep expertise in that area.
The FBI has a rich and diverse history. From its inception, the criminal justice professionals there have been evolving to prevent and fight the crimes of the day. In the early years, that included dealing with gangsters and organized crime, then locating draft dodgers and deserters, fighting the spread of communism in the United States, dealing with civil rights issues, and tackling international crime4. At each turn, the FBI has had to develop new tactics for information-gathering and analysis. It is through these changes that the FBI has learned greatly and shaped the organization into the effective body it is today. The FBI is well-positioned to adapt to a new and changing criminal landscape in the future.
The FBI Academy is a full-service national training facility preparing those with criminal justice degrees and others for a career in the FBI. It provides state-of-the-art training in firing ranges, a simulated small town, a tactical driving course, survival skills training, and executive development. Training programs combine classroom work with simulated fieldwork and skill development5. This well-rounded training program provides attendees with everything they need to begin a successful career in criminal justice. The academy ensures the FBI workforce is consistently trained with the most advanced tactics in criminology, and has the tools needed to continue as the most effective crime-fighting entity in the country.
4. Violent Crime Apprehension Program
The Violent Crime Apprehension Program makes it possible for law enforcement agencies across the country to connect homicides, sexual assaults, missing persons, and unidentified human remains that may be geographically dispersed. The database pools information that otherwise would remain siloed at the local law enforcement level and allows it to be useful across jurisdictions6. It provides the most advanced technology available to analyze data and solve crimes by connecting crimes that would otherwise go unlinked. By maintaining this database, the FBI is able to provide important resources at the local and state levels to solve crimes, which increases the effectiveness of law enforcement nationwide.
5. FBI Laboratory
The FBI Laboratory is one of the largest and most comprehensive crime labs in the world. It is made up of several units, including:
- Scientific Response and Analysis
Technical Hazards Response
Crime Scene Documentation
Evidence Response Team
Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center7
The FBI Laboratory utilizes the most advanced technology in the field of criminology to solve crime. Techniques and advances pioneered at the laboratory are utilized across the world.
The FBI is unquestionably one of the most effective crime-solving entities in the world, a place where the best and brightest in the industry want to work. A bachelor’s in criminal justice from an accredited online college can be the perfect way to get the education you need for a career at the FBI. Combining contemporary theory on the nature, extent, and cause of crime with the study of national and international criminal justice practices creates impressive credentials for a career in criminal justice. Plus, earning a degree online allows you to complete your coursework at the pace that is right for you. It can be the perfect fit for someone interested in a law enforcement job.
The FBI is an effective law enforcement agency because of its structure, history, technology, and talented professionals. It will continue to grow and evolve as the nature of crime changes. A BS in Criminal Justice can be the perfect stepping stone to help you be a part of this world-class organization.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering an online BS in Criminal Justice degree program. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.
1 Source: www.fbi.gov/history/brief-history
2 Source: www.justice.gov/usam/organization-and-functions-manual-9-fbi-organizational-structure-and-investigative-jurisdiction
3 Source: www.justice.gov/usam/organization-and-functions-manual-9-fbi-organizational-structure-and-investigative-jurisdiction
4 Source: fas.org/irp/agency/doj/fbi/fbi_hist.htm
5 Source: www.fbi.gov/services/training-academy
6 Source: www.fbi.gov/services/cirg
7 Source: www.fbi.gov/services/laboratory
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.