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In July 1995, the Federal Bureau of Investigation completed construction on its Criminal Justice Information Services Division complex in Clarksburg. The $200 million complex, located on 986 acres, is the national repository for the FBI’s law enforcement records. The project came about through the efforts of Senator Robert Byrd. In 1990, in Byrd’s second year as head of the Senate Appropriations Committee, the senator worked to fund the center and get it built in West Virginia, not Washington.

The division provides information on individuals, stolen property, criminal organizations, and activities to the FBI and other law enforcement, academic, employment, and licensing agencies. The division administers five programs: Fingerprint Identification, National Crime Information Center, National Instant Criminal Background Check System, Uniform Crime Reporting, and Law Enforcement Online.

The fingerprint program receives nearly 41,000 submissions per day. The FBI processes electronically submitted fingerprints and reports the findings within two hours in criminal cases and within 24 hours in civil cases. The crime information program maintains a computerized index that can search for names, mug shots, fingerprints, and law enforcement records. A nationwide service, the database is available to law enforcement agencies 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The background check system identifies people who are prohibited from buying firearms. The crime reporting program compiles, analyzes, and publishes crime data.

The FBI’s on-line information is available to law enforcement agencies to help them coordinate efforts to counter violent crimes, money laundering, organized crime, and terrorism, and to protect the country’s infrastructure against attack. The six-building complex initially included a 500,000-square-foot main building, with a 600-seat cafeteria, 500-seat auditorium, and a 100,000-square foot computer center. More than 2,500 employees work at the complex.

In 2013, the Biometrics Technology Center opened at the facility. The biometric center employs about 1,000 people working for the FBI and the Department of Defense. Employees do research and development related to biometrics, which is the identification of people by their characteristics or traits. The facility offers training to other law enforcement agencies in the use of biometrics.

Last Revised on March 17, 2023

Cite This Article

e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia "FBI Center." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 17 March 2023. Web. 18 May 2024.


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