Buffalo, NY - The special agent in charge of Buffalo's FBI Office says looming budget cuts have him worried about how they will protect the area. The FBI must slash $700 Million dollars from its budget and that will impact offices nationwide.
It's a special challenge for Brian Boetig as he settles in as the new special agent in charge at the Buffalo FBI Office. And it comes right from Washington as the Bureau faces the potential 700 Million dollar sequestration budget cut in mid - January. That includes 35 hundred job cuts with a local impact. Boetig says "I will probably lose about five percent of my special agent staff and another five percent of my professional support and analytical staff."
Toss in ten furlough days for all agents and staff and a hiring freeze until 2015. It could mean prioritizing with less assistance to local police. Like maybe not helping Hamburg police to enhance security video in the Toy's R Us case or not being able to help as much in missing persons cases. And it means curtailed or less focused investigations with the possible loss of experienced, trained agents Boetig says "We'll open all the investigations but the ability to adequately address them is going be severely hampered."
Besides personnel, there's other impacts for the FBI. Boetig says "The other 350 Million dollars is looking at coming out of cyberspecialities, surveillance, translation resources, training for specialized SWAT and hostage rescue teams."
So this agency , which often responds 'no comment' on questions about investigations, is being very open about this. "I'm coming forward because it is scary. It is scary to think that I'm responsible for protecting this nation, this portion of New York state, and I'm not gonna have the resources to be able to do it."