Dallas FBI office creates new crisis response team

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by TERESA WOODARD

WFAA

Posted on February 28, 2013 at 12:03 PM

NEWS 8 EXCLUSIVE

Investigators from law enforcement agencies across Texas swarmed into Kaufman when they got the call. County prosecutor Mark Hasse had been killed as he was walking to the courthouse.

It was a difficult assignment, and it was the first assignment for the Dallas Critical Incident Response Team, or DCIRT, a brand new part of the FBI.

"We come out as a package, a group," said Supervisory Special Agent Rick Burkhead describing the SWAT officers, bomb technicians, crisis negotiators and evidence response agents who are part of the team.

They are always on call, and because they are now under one umbrella and one manager, they are able to deploy within minutes.

The DCIRT can be activated for something like the Kaufman investigation, or when a local department needs expertise or backup on a major case.

But they're also prepared if the unthinkable happens.

"We've all seen violence and active shooters across the United States. We are pre-staged in Dallas to respond quickly and assist the locals," he said. "When they respond, everybody knows their roles."

Besides the faster response, the FBI says what may be even more critical is enhanced sharing of intelligence, or critical clues.

"It's a very real-time intelligence, something developing real-time on location, rapid information," explained Assistant Special Agent In Charge Dinald Freese.

He said the main goal of the team is to assist local and state law enforcement agencies in whatever capacity they need.

They will bring support and expertise, and they say the general public in North Texas is safer because of it.

E-mail twoodard@wfaa.com

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