NORFOLK, Va. – July 26 marks the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 110th birthday, and the Norfolk office is celebrating by taking a look back at its history.
Much has changed since the FBI was established, but many critical attributes remain the same. According to a statement by the FBI, the Bureau now operates in a digital world, where crime not only crosses state lines, but also international borders, in the blink of an eye.
The Norfolk Field Office opened during some of the darkest and most challenging days in the nation’s history. The division was established one week after the United States entered World War II to confront national security threats to coastal Virginia, particularly threats to the region’s key military and shipbuilding facilities.
Since then, Norfolk has broadened its work to investigate violent and white-collar crime, public corruption and civil rights. Over the years, the office has targeted local mobsters, street gangs and outlaw bikers, and dismantled hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan.
The division shut down the most damaging spy ring in U.S. Navy history with the arrest of John Walker in 1985, and continues to take on counterintelligence and counterterrorism work today.
“I am very proud to be a part of this historic field office and to have been chosen to lead this exceptional team,” said Norfolk Special Agent in Charge Martin Culbreth. “Norfolk is widely known and respected as one of the most effective field offices in the Bureau, and like the rest of the FBI, we have an important mission. Criminals, terrorists and spies don’t recognize boundaries, territories or jurisdictions, the threats we face are global. Every division in the FBI is faced with the same threats and we share the same purpose – to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution of the United States.”