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$357M sought for FBI

From Staff Reports

WASHINGTON -- On the eve of a Senate committee vote on funding for the FBI's Clarksburg facility, U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., met Wednesday with the bureau's director to discuss the long-term future of the facility's 2,600 employees.

The Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to vote today on the legislation that funds the FBI and other Department of Justice agencies, according to a news release from Byrd's office. Byrd has worked to secure $357 million in the appropriations bill for the salaries and operating expenses of the Clarksburg facility.

"The Clarksburg FBI complex is a critical piece of the nation's law enforcement network. It is the technological backbone for federal, state and local police activity, and West Virginia is very proud of the men and women who work there," Byrd said of the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division.

"There is absolutely no doubt that the Clarksburg FBI division has saved lives and reduced crime in West Virginia and across the nation," Byrd said.

The Clarksburg division was established in February 1992 to serve as the focal point and central repository for criminal justice information services in the FBI. It is the largest division within the FBI.

Byrd met Wednesday in his Capitol office with FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III to discuss the Clarksburg facility. Mueller praised Clarksburg Director Mike Kirkpatrick and the CJIS employees, according to Byrd's office, telling Byrd that those workers are a model for the entire FBI.

"The CJIS division is one of the crown jewels of the bureau. There is not a week that goes by when that facility hasn't been able to help solve a crime that has been unsolvable for many years," Mueller said.

"That facility pays the nation a great service. The 2,600 employees and contractors do terrific work there. I want to take the organizational structures and the expertise that exists at Clarksburg and make a model for the rest of the FBI," Mueller stated.