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Old 03-10-2012, 05:42 AM   #1
Grandmaster
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Default F.B.I. Missing Persons

So the latest project I'm outlining is the FIRST script I'm setting in America (I'm not from there); my problem is that I've been unable to determine from internet research when the F.B.I. take over Missing Person cases, or if some are even handed to them from the off-set.

My protagonist is an F.B.I. Missing Persons Detective (albeit, can easily be changed to a POLICE Missing Persons Detective).

Thanks to all in advance.
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Old 03-10-2012, 06:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: F.B.I. Missing Persons

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Originally Posted by Grandmaster View Post
So the latest project I'm outlining is the FIRST script I'm setting in America (I'm not from there); my problem is that I've been unable to determine from internet research when the F.B.I. take over Missing Person cases, or if some are even handed to them from the off-set.

My protagonist is an F.B.I. Missing Persons Detective (albeit, can easily be changed to a POLICE Missing Persons Detective).

Thanks to all in advance.
If the abducted person is thought to have been transported across state lines it becomes a federal case. I believe local agencies can request the Bureau's help in a missing persons case but it's not often granted.
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Old 03-10-2012, 06:13 AM   #3
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Default Re: F.B.I. Missing Persons

the problem is that a missing person status does not prove that any crime was committed. there must be evidence of a crime for the FBI to get involved... like an abduction/kidnapping.
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Old 03-10-2012, 12:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: F.B.I. Missing Persons

Ah, see, this is the problem I was having: TV portrays the F.B.I. as having a ready-to-go Missing Persons department, but with normal police detectives taking M.P. cases too, I wasn't sure what was what.
To make matters worse, you Americans have State Police, whose job it is to solve cases falling in the jurisdiction of two separate states/counties.

Cold Case isn't this complicated.

The outline's ready and I'm getting a kick-arse buzz from it, but I'm being held back by the thought of the first person picking up the script saying, "The F.B.I. doesn't do that."

I'll just make the bloke a cop then and be done with it (even though they lack the government ties which are pivotal for the female lead to dupe a sub-character into action, thus essentially setting things off).


Still, thanks a lot.
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Old 03-10-2012, 12:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: F.B.I. Missing Persons

FBI Office of Public Affairs

Working with the Office of Public Affairs

The Office of Public Affairs in the Washington Field Office (WFO) supports the FBI’s operational priorities by facilitating publicity that encourages helpful public action and that increases public awareness to prevent or solve acts of terrorism or crimes. It also coordinates and develops relationships with the news media and with the publishing, motion picture, television, radio and entertainment industries to promote Bureau accomplishments and ensure that depictions of the FBI are accurate and factual in regard to our policies and practice.

Working with the WFO Office of Public Affairs

Media outlets, writers, authors, and producers who are interested in learning about Washington Field Office closed investigations are asked to review the following:

What we need from a requestor:

Your company name and any pertinent company name, point of contact, address, e-mail, and phone number;
Acknowledgement whether the project is “sold,” “green lit,” commissioned, or speculative;
A description how the FBI fits into the project and its relative importance;
An explanation of FBI characters and actions (what they will be doing);
Film script, plot, or treatment;
Project status/timeline/production schedule (if known);
Specificity regarding cases, procedures, or information needed, and
A list of FBI personnel desired (if known) for interviews or backgrounders (note: please allow ample time for the approval process.)
What we might provide:

Guidance on content regarding FBI investigations, procedures, structure, and history;
Information on costumes, props, scenery, and weapons;
Fact checks;
Liaison and coordination with local FBI field offices;
Coordination of location shots; and
Access to FBI facilities for filming scenes, interviews, or b-roll footage.
Contact information:

Call us at (202) 278-3519; or
Write to: Washington Field Office, FBI, Office of Public Affairs, Room 8050, 601 4th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20535.
Please note: The WFO Office of Public Affairs, in consultation with the Investigative Publicity and Public Affairs Unit at FBI Headquarters, considers project assistance on a case-by-case basis.
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Old 03-10-2012, 02:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: F.B.I. Missing Persons

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Originally Posted by Grandmaster View Post
The outline's ready and I'm getting a kick-arse buzz from it, but I'm being held back by the thought of the first person picking up the script saying, "The F.B.I. doesn't do that."
I suspect that reality rarely gets in the way of a good story.
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Old 03-10-2012, 03:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: F.B.I. Missing Persons

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my problem is that I've been unable to determine from internet research
You should really try book research. It's my favorite part of the process.
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:12 AM   #8
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Default Re: F.B.I. Missing Persons

The help here has been incredible - DD wins again!
For to all for your input.

Chistopher Jon,
I think I'll send them an e-mail (or snail mail)!

MoviePen,
You ought to put that adage as your signature... since the project's an action sci-fi (in present day), I may even heed your wise words and get on with it.


If anyone of you here need a read (not comedy), send me a PM.
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:27 AM   #9
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Default Re: F.B.I. Missing Persons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandmaster View Post
Ah, see, this is the problem I was having: TV portrays the F.B.I. as having a ready-to-go Missing Persons department, but with normal police detectives taking M.P. cases too, I wasn't sure what was what.
To make matters worse, you Americans have State Police, whose job it is to solve cases falling in the jurisdiction of two separate states/counties.

Cold Case isn't this complicated.

The outline's ready and I'm getting a kick-arse buzz from it, but I'm being held back by the thought of the first person picking up the script saying, "The F.B.I. doesn't do that."

I'll just make the bloke a cop then and be done with it (even though they lack the government ties which are pivotal for the female lead to dupe a sub-character into action, thus essentially setting things off).


Still, thanks a lot.
what moviepen said. most tv shows fudge reality. ie - dedicated cops that all get along, hospital emergency rooms where all the doctors and nurses are really concerned... crap like that.

not true about State Police AND state and counties are completely different AND their jurisdiction varies depending on the state.

and The Closer fixes this buy having the police detective married to an FBI agent.
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Old 03-15-2012, 05:42 AM   #10
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Default Re: F.B.I. Missing Persons

From the FBI site - www.fbi.gov - on criminal jurisdiction and procedure; see last paragraph on missing children:

FBI Investigations What are the primary investigative functions of the FBI?
The FBI’s investigative authority is the broadest of all federal law enforcement agencies. The FBI has divided its investigations into a number of programs, such as domestic and international terrorism, foreign counterintelligence, cyber, public corruption, civil rights, organized crime/drugs, white-collar crime, violent crimes and major offenders, and applicant matters. The FBI’s investigative philosophy emphasizes close relations and information sharing with other federal, state, local, and international law enforcement and intelligence agencies. A significant number of FBI investigations are conducted in concert with other law enforcement agencies or as part of joint task forces.

Where is the FBI’s authority written down?
The FBI has a range of legal authorities that enable it to investigate federal crimes and threats to national security, as well as to gather intelligence and assist other law enforcement agencies. Federal law gives the FBI authority to investigate all federal crime not assigned exclusively to another federal agency (28, Section 533 of the U.S. Code.) Title 28, U.S. Code, Section 533, authorizes the attorney general to appoint officials to detect and prosecute crimes against the United States. Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 3052, specifically authorizes special agents and officials of the FBI to make arrests, carry firearms, and serve warrants. Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 3107, empowers special agents and officials to make seizures under warrant for violation of federal statutes. The FBI’s authority to investigate specific criminal violations is conferred by numerous other congressional statutes—such as the Congressional Assassination, Kidnapping, and Assault Act (Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 351). The FBI has special investigative jurisdiction to investigate violations of state law in limited circumstances, specifically felony killings of state law enforcement officers (28 U.S.C. § 540), violent crimes against interstate travelers (28 U.S.C. § 540A0, and serial killers (28 U.S.C. §540B). A request by an appropriate state official is required before the FBI has authority to investigate these matters. In addition, Title 28, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 0.85, outlines the investigative and other responsibilities of the FBI, including the collection of fingerprint cards and identification records; the training of state and local law enforcement officials at the FBI National Academy; and the operation of the National Crime Information Center and the FBI Laboratory. The FBI has authority to investigate threats to the national security pursuant to presidential executive orders, attorney general authorities, and various statutory sources. Title II of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, Pubic Law 108-458, 118 Stat. 3638, outlines FBI intelligence authorities, as does Executive Order 12333; 50 U.S.C. 401 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

Does the FBI work through U. S. Attorneys?
Yes. Although the FBI is responsible for investigating possible violations of federal law, the FBI does not give an opinion or decide if an individual will be prosecuted. The federal prosecutors employed by the Department of Justice or the U.S. Attorneys offices are responsible for making this decision and for conducting the prosecution of the case.

What does the FBI do with information and evidence gathered during an investigation?
If a possible violation of federal law under the jurisdiction of the FBI has occurred, the Bureau will conduct an investigation. The information and evidence gathered in the course of that investigation are then presented to the appropriate U.S. Attorney or Department of Justice official, who will determine whether or not prosecution or further action is warranted. Depending on the outcome of the investigation, evidence is either returned or retained for court.

What does the FBI do with persons it arrests in the course of an investigation?
A person arrested by the FBI is taken into custody, photographed, and fingerprinted. In addition, an attempt often is made to obtain a voluntary statement from the arrestee. The arrestee remains in FBI custody until the initial court appearance, which must take place without unnecessary delay.

What authority do FBI special agents have to make arrests in the United States, its territories, or on foreign soil?
In the U.S. and its territories, FBI special agents may make arrests for any federal offense committed in their presence or when they have reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed, or is committing, a felony violation of U.S. laws. On foreign soil, FBI special agents generally do not have authority to make arrests except in certain cases where, with the consent of the host country, Congress has granted the FBI extraterritorial jurisdiction.

Are FBI special agents permitted to install wiretaps at their own discretion?
No. Wiretapping is one of the FBI’s most sensitive techniques and is strictly controlled by federal statutes. It is used infrequently and only to combat terrorism and the most serious crimes. Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 2516, contains the protocol requiring all law enforcement officers to establish probable cause that the wiretaps may provide evidence of a felony violation of federal law. After determining if a sufficient showing of probable cause has been made, impartial federal judges approve or disapprove wiretaps. The approving judge then must continue to monitor how the wiretap is being conducted. Wiretapping without meeting these stringent requirements and obtaining the necessary court orders is a serious felony under the law.

What is the FBI’s policy on the use of deadly force by its special agents?
FBI special agents may use deadly force only when necessary—when the agent has a reasonable belief that the subject of such force poses an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the agent or another person. If feasible, a verbal warning to submit to the authority of the special agent is given prior to the use of deadly force.

If a crime is committed that is a violation of local, state, and federal laws, does the FBI “take over” the investigation?
No. State and local law enforcement agencies are not subordinate to the FBI, and the FBI does not supervise or take over their investigations. Instead, the investigative resources of the FBI and state and local agencies are often pooled in a common effort to investigate and solve the cases. In fact, many task forces composed of FBI agents and state and local officers have been formed to locate fugitives and to address serious threats like terrorism and street violence.

If an individual is being sought by local police for committing a crime, what assistance can the FBI render to locate the fugitive?
A “stop” will be placed against the fugitive’s fingerprints in the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division. Local police will be notified immediately upon the receipt of any additional fingerprints of the fugitive. The fugitive’s name and identifying data also will be entered into the National Crime Information Center, a computerized database that is accessible to law enforcement agencies nationwide. Any agency that inquires about this individual will be informed of his or her fugitive status. In addition, the FBI may obtain a federal arrest warrant and attempt to locate an individual who flees prosecution or confinement if there is reason to believe the person has traveled across a state line or left the country.

If a child is missing and possibly kidnapped, but no interstate transportation is known, will the FBI begin an investigation?
Yes. The FBI will initiate a kidnapping investigation involving a missing child “of tender years,” even though there is no known interstate aspect. “Tender years” is generally defined as a child 12 years or younger. The FBI will monitor other kidnapping situations when there is no evidence of interstate travel, and it offers assistance from various entities including the FBI Laboratory.
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