Info on FBI communications systems
FROM THE ALL OHIO SCANNER CLUB:
SYSTEM PROFILE - The FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
The FBI traces its roots back to the year 1908 when then U.S. Attorney General Charles Bonaparte directed that Department of Justice investigations be handled by a small group of special investigators. The group was formed as the Bureau of Investigation and, in 1935, the present day name was designated by Congress.
The FBI is an agency within the U.S. Department of Justice, which is lead by the U.S. Attorney General. The head of the FBI is the Director who is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. Assistant directors are the next level of command within the FBI. The FBI has ten assistant directors who are accountable to the Director for all matters within their sphere of operations.
The FBI has 59 field offices located in major cities throughout the United States and in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Each, with the exception of the New York Office which is headed by an Assistant Director, is under the direct supervision of a Special Agent In Charge (SAIC). The SAIC is supervised and receives directions from the FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Each FBI Field Office has Resident Agencies which are local offices in some of the larger cities within the field offices jurisdiction. Refer to the FBI field office map for the sectioning of the field offices across the United States.
The following list of the field offices and associated data was generated by data contributed from several readers who wish to remain anonymous and from this editor.
The list of Field Offices and RA's is not 100% accurate, updates please. The number of RA's may differ from the call letter assignment block for a given F.O. because many RA's were closed and consolidated during the Carter and early Regan administrations. The call letters were assigned prior to their administrations.
The F.O. call letters will be the first is an assigned block for a given F.O.
Example Cincinnati F.O. call is KQC 390 (or simply 390 as often will be heard) or Cleveland F.O. call is KEX 740 (740).
The following is a list of Resident Agencies for the primary coverage states of the AOSC. The list is as of 1 October 1987. I will send a copy of the FBI Field Office and Resident Agency map for a SASE to those who desire a copy. A list of RA's may be obtained from the map for your local area. The map will be a copy of a copy, however it will be fairly legible. Note the two Ohio Field Office lists are presented later in this column with the detailed Ohio data.
Chicago F.O. utilizes 8 banks, A through H. Channel banks C through H are not confirmed to exact frequencies and usage. There are one way links in the upper
162, lower 164 and upper 165 MHz ranges. The one way links are often a control station to a repeater site utilizing a directional antenna. The one way links may also be a point-to-point relay of communications from an outer fringe RA to the F.O.
Chicago appears to configured similarly as several other F.O.'s in that up to five other VHF frequencies can be active with 163.9875 simultaneously with the same radio traffic. Chicago F.O. also still uses some remote VHF receive/UHF re-transmit link sites, but most are believed to be converted to microwave links.
Also 167.7625 which Randy Strayer and this editor received via skip between KSC 210 and KSC 216. Channel identified as Bravo 1.
Detroit "DE" Field Office - RA's
Frequencies per MFFD (1986) and others: 163.925/267.2625 R.A. repeater;
163.8875/167.750 F.O. repeater; 163.8625/167.5375R; 167.3125; 167.3625;
167.400; 167.450; 167.500; 167.650; 414.500 is a state-wide UHF link to Detroit F.O. and 419.250 is believed to a FBI UHF link, continuous tone.
Indianapolis "IP" Field Office - RA's
Frequencies from the MFFD: 163.9625/167.2125 R.A. repeater and 167.600.
Louisville "LS" Field Office - RA's
Frequencies from the MFFD: 163.9375/167.675 R.A. repeater and 167.600.
Philadelphia Field Office - RA's
Frequencies: 163.9875/167.325R CH 1; 167.7125 CH 2; 167.500 CH 3; 167.5625 CH 4; 167.525 CH 5; 163.9625 ECC-1; 163.8375/167.3875R; 163.9375R; 167.2625; 167.300; 167.325; 167.3375; and 419.325 data/tone.
Pittsburgh "PG" Field Office - RA's
Frequencies per MFFD (1986, no updates since then): 163.925/167.475R R.A.
repeater; 163.950/167.2125 F.O. repeater; 167.6375 and UHF links on 414.025,
414.125, 414.425 and 419.425.
Springfield (IL) Field Office - RA's
Frequencies per the MFFD: 163.9125/167.725 R.A. repeater; 167.3625 and 167.625.
Now some miscellaneous data from the files on frequencies and call letters. The following list of call signs are for NY and NJ state and are from a list dated in 1981, so be fore told.
Albany F.O.: KEC 250; KEC 254 Watertown; KEC 256 Syracuse; KEC 257 Utica; KEC
258 Burlington (VT); KEC 259 Plattsburgh; and KEC 261 Glens Falls.
Buffalo F.O.: KEX 590; KEX 591 Rochester; KEX 592 Geneva; KEX 593 Jamestown; and KEX 595 Niagara Falls.
Newark F.O.: KEX 620; Camden KEX 624
NYC F.O.: KEC 270/271; KEC 272 Suffolk; KEC 273 Garden City (NJ); KEC 277 JFK Airport; KEC 278 Poughkeepsie, NY; KEC 280 Staten Island; KEC 281 Richmond Hills; and KEC 283 New Rochelle. From a 1988 list I have a KEC 900 for NYC as well as KEC 270.
Now some frequencies from the input basket contributed by AOSC or NESN (North East Scanner News - more data at the end of this column) members during 1989 or 1990.
Boston F.O.: Romeo Units (R.A.'s) - 162.7625, 162.7875, 167.2625, 167.3625,
167.5625, 167.600, 167.6625 and 167.7625. Delta Units - 167.2625, 167.3625,
167.4625, 167.600, 167.6625 and 167.7625. Rhode Island - 167.2375, 167.2625,
167.4625, 167.7125 and 167.7625. New Hampshire - 163.9875/167.3625R, also
167.2375 and 167.6125.
Still with Boston from NESN: 163.8375, 163.8875, 163.900 and 163.925/164.125,
163.975/167.275 repeaters. Also 164.150, 167.250, 167.325, 167.425, 167.450,
167.500, 167.6375, and 167.750.
CT/NY FBI - 163.750 NY; 163.8625 CH 6 CT; 163.8875 CT; 164.125 Long Island;
164.150 NY; 167.2375 CT; 167.2625 NY; 167.2875 NY?; 167.3375 Long Island;
167.3875 NY; 167.425 CT primary; 167.4375 CT; 167.4625 NY; 167.5375 CT (note input to 163.8625 CH 6); 167.5625; 167.600 NY; 167.6875 NY; 167.775 Long Island; 167.7875 CT; 413.625 NY; 414.075 CT; 414.350 NY "Bronco Base" and
419.350 CT tone. Also note from the previous American Scannergram
169.975/168.850 as a new NYC repeater.
Also several with "?" as follows: 165.925 NY; 167.175 NY; 169.575 NY, possible FBI/DEA; and 419.250 NY. One other interesting frequency - 170.825 as a U.S. Marshal/INS/FBI NY "tie-in" frequency.
Charlotte F.O.: 163.9125/? A-1 Greensboro (R.A. repeater) 163.9625/?R, 167.750 and 167.7125.
Knoxville F.O.: A-1 163.9875R Knoxville F.O., also A-5 (probably different input frequency and/or tone).
A-4 163.8375/167.2375 Chattanooga R.A.
B-5 163.8375/167.400 R.A. repeater, also C-1
C-5 163.8375R R.A. repeater Johnson City base call is KEV-243 Knoxville Unit Numbers: 99 - Aircraft; mobile units 1 - 69.
Los Angeles F.O.: An excellent complete and detailed listing is available from Mobile Radio Resources (2661 Carol Drive, San Jose, CA 95125). The FBI in LA utilizes repeater channels in the 162, 163, 164, and 165 MHZ frequency range.
Inputs can be found in the 167 MHz frequencies. The 165 repeater frequencies are 167.5875 and 165.7125.
Memphis F.O.: R.A. repeater - 163.9375; F.O. repeater 163.8625
Norfolk F.O.: 163.8375/167.600 F1; 167.2375 F2; 167.4875 F3; and 167.5625 F4.
Richmond F.O.: 163.8875/167.625 Operations Repeater; 167.5625 (note - nationwide FBI simplex common); 163.8625/167.5375 (note - this is the only repeater frequency pair that is common nationwide, usually used for SWAT or special operations - ed.); 414.250 and 419.525 as UHF links.
San Diego F.O. sampling via Mobile Radio Resources Government Radio Systems directory: Repeaters in the 162, 163, 164 and 165 MHz ranges with the input in the 167 MHz range. The 165 repeater is on 167.5625 MHz.
San Francisco F.O. sampling via MRS GRS directory: Repeaters in the 163 and 167 MHz frequency ranges with inputs in the 167 and 162 MHz ranges respectively.
Tampa-St. Petersburg from Blaine Brooks: A-2: 167.725; A-3 167.325; A-5
167.3875; A-6 167.275; repeater on 163.9875 and 419.250 UHF satellite receiver link.
CINCINNATI FIELD OFFICE OPERATIONS
The Cincinnati Field Office originally had nine Resident Agencies which were located in Athens, Chillicothe, Columbus, Dayton, Hamilton, Portsmouth, Springfield, Steubenville and Zanesville. The Springfield office is closed and I am not sure about the Zanesville R.A.
The CI F.O. and R.A.'s radio communication systems are DES (Digital Encryption Standard) capable and are utilized on a regular basis. CI appears to have a 32 channel DES system in place as testing was monitored during 1988 and 1989. Most of their frequencies remained the same from the previous DES days. Note that the CI radios are VHF/UHF mobiles. Refer to the B channel series in the frequency list.
The signal numbers do not appear to be squad base (logically grouping by general agent function such as bank robbery squad or drug enforcement, or by R.A.'s), but rather a numeric numbering scheme starting with 1 and into the low
The CI F.O./R.A. operations still need some work from our southern Ohio members as allot of holes and gaps remain. The following profile on CI was mainly made possible by the efforts of Bill Gillie, Tony Cono, Rick Poorman, another member who desires to named Mr. Anonymous, and this editor.
NOTE: ALL OHIO data is confirmed unless noted otherwise.
CI Call Letter Assignments
CI Frequency Assignments
The B channels are local option assigned meaning that each office will have a different set of frequencies. The CI F.O. has Cincinnati PD CH 5, 460.275R, (B-1); Hamilton County Sheriff, 460.500R, (B-2); and several DEA frequencies.
??? D-6 and D-8 channel designators heard, but not confirmed.
CI Signal Numbering
Sometimes units may only use their last two digits, such as 14 or 17 instead of 114 or 117. Unit 90 usually in a helicopter or may be a helicopter.
Unit The MFFD has units in the 200's as surveillance vans/vehicles and units in the 400's as surveillance air vehicles. Also we have report that unit 500 is a surveillance aircraft.
CLEVELAND FIELD OFFICE OPERATIONS
The Cleveland Field Office originally had 10 Resident Agencies located in Akron, Canton, Elyria, Lima, Mansfield, Mentor, Painesville, Sandusky, Toledo and Youngstown. The Mentor R.A. currently is the only R.A. out of service in the CV division.
The CV F.O. And R.A.'s radio communication system is DES capable and utilized quite often in the DES mode. The CV F.O. has been in DES since the mid-eighties on a limited basis and a full system since early 1989. The CV system appears to be a 64 channel system which was implemented during the latter part of 1989.
The CV division utilizes a squad numbering scheme for assignment of signal numbers. There are still a few holes in the numbering, but for the most part it is complete.
CV Call Letter Assignment
CV Frequency Assignments
The F bank is believed to be local option. No E or H bank references.
Confirmed frequency list:
That is 22 unique confirmed frequencies and there are probably more out there in CV. Also try 168.000 as it may be a VHF fixed one-way link.
Several frequencies come active with the same traffic at times, namely 167.4125, 167.7375 and 167.7875, and at times 164.100 also!
CV Signal Numbering
Akron - 900, 901, 902, 904, 906, 921 - 929
Painesville - 903, 920, 930
1000 - 1099 Canton and Mansfield R.A.'s
1100 - 1199 Sandusky and Toledo R.A.'s
1200 - 1299 Youngstown R.A. - 1200 to 1209 and 1220 to 1232.
1300 - 1399 Radio Technicians and Vehicle Maintenance
FBI COMMON FREQUENCY RANGES
I suggest searching the following frequency ranges for FBI radio activity. Note that in many areas across the U.S. the FBI have picked up many traditional non-FBI frequencies. Originally the Department of Justice had only 82 VHf frequencies assigned for ALL of its members, let alone just the FBI. The FBI originally had less than 40 of the 82 frequencies for their exclusive use.
During the change over to DES nationwide, the FBI has received additional frequencies from other branches and departments who did not utilize or need them. In the NE region the FBI received 110 VHF frequencies - almost 300% increase in the number of frequencies available. The early days saw the FBI in the 163 MHz range for repeaters and the 167 MHz range for simplex operations.
Limit your search to 500 KHz at a time, certainly no more than a 1 MHz. The following are common ranges reported nationwide:
FBI COMMON TEN CODES
FBI COMMON CODE WORDS
ASAIC - Assistant Special Agent In Charge AUSA - Assistant U.S. Attorney Big K - K-Mart Bird Dog - Surveillance Aircraft C.I. - Confidential Informant Diaper Change - Changing of battery (bug or trailing transmitter) ECC - Extended Car-to-Car FCI - Foreign Counter Intelligence Half Signal - An Agent's spouse H.T. - Handi-Talkies In-the-Pocket - Subject in surveillance net Intel - Intelligence KEL - Manufacturer of Surveillance equipment Main Man - Primary subject under surveillance/investigation Mickey D's - McDonald's Nest - Off-site office from F.O./R.A. for S.O.G. and Undercover Agents No Joy - Negative Communications O, The - The Office OCTF - Organized Crime Task Force Other Side - DES mode Out-of-Pocket - Subject not currently under surveillance Outside Agency - News Media Package - Suspect or item under surveillance Plank - Bridge Private - DES Mode Private Side - DES Mode Port - Motel Quarter Signal - An Agent's child RA - Resident Agency Rabbit - Subject under surveillance Rabbit Tracks - subject on the move R.D.O.- Regular Day Off Red Balled - Stopped at traffic light w/subject Red Boarded - " " " " ; subject not stopped Road Runner - Surveillance Aircraft SAIC - Special Agent In Charge Signal - A field agent S.O.G. - Special Operations Group S.W. - Search Warrant SWAT - Special Weapons and Tactics Ten Check - Message Check Unit - A vehicle USA - U.S. Attorney Wagon - Surveillance Van Wire - Body Transmitter
FEDERAL NEWS - FBI
The FCC has established a nationwide radio frequency for stolen vehicle tracking systems operating on the frequency of 173.025. The frequency was reported as a FBI assignment (wouldn't we like to see the exact frequency assignment chart?) Nationwide. Perhaps this frequency was used for wireless microphones or bugs, and if so perhaps others operate on nearby similar frequencies. Give it a listen and let us know.
The FBI Academy, located 40 miles south of Washington, is the host to the most crime ridden town in the United States - Hogan's Alley. Hogan's Alley is a "Hollywood" town with a motel, bank, post office, drug store, laundry and even a theater. It is used as a training ground for FBI agent trainees. Various scenarios are enacted under the careful eyes of supervisors. The trainees performance are evaluated with each exercise.
One thing about Hogan's Alley - it has a 100% success rate in solving of cases, pretty impressive. Something that is not pretty impressive about the FBI is the starting pay agents earn. According to a 8 January 1990 U.S. News and World Report quirk the starting pay of a FBI agent is $26,261. Consider that an agent does not choice his assignment location, the agent could be placed in a very high cost of living area. Placement in certain cities such as NYC offer slightly more pay, however it is not enough for the work that they perform for all of us. Yet even worse is the pay for DEA agents $19,493 to $23,846.
The Congress is aware of these low salaries (after all they, the Congressmen and Senators literally took care of themselves) and will hopefully rectify the problem this year.