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wyzguy
04-29-2007, 07:29 AM
Hi folks. A WIP has some characters who are in the FBI. I'm hoping to get the right tone in the dialogue.

What kind of slang is used? I'm thinking equivalent to FUBAR or SNAFU. But other examples/situations would be welcome.
Acronyms: Are there internal acronyms that can be shared? Both real and humorous?
Story involves bad guys in China. What kind of hoops would an agent have to jump through to proceed? State Dept? CIA? Chinese bad guys will also be political.
Finally, (for now anyway) is there a website where I can get an idea of command structure and nomenclature?Of course, all I want is appropriately public info. TIA.

The Grift
04-29-2007, 07:28 PM
A website where a lot of feds hang out is www.911jobforums.com (http://www.911jobforums.com) in the federal section. If you go there and use the search function, you'll find a lot.

Generally, there are 56 FBI field offices plus a whole bunch of smaller sattelite offices and a number of foreign legats. There is an FBI office in Beijing and one in Hong Kong. If the FBI is going to do anything (legal) in China, they're going to be asking the Chinese government for permission and definitely coordinating with State (which means they'll probably work with DSS as well). For under-the-table stuff, CIA might be involved.

The head of the FBI is called the Director. That is an appointed position. Virtually everything else is career service. J. Edgar Hoover Building, the building you see in X-Files, is the headquarters and where a lot of administrative and staff and management is. Less than a mile away is the DC Field Office, to show you that there's a difference.

In charge of each of the field offices is the SAC (pronounced Ess Ay Cee) which is the Special Agent in Charge. In the larger offices (such as the Big 15, which include LA, NYC, DC, etc) you also have an ASAC (pronounced AySack) which is the Assistant Special Agent in Charge.

An FBI agent is an 1811 series job within the federal government. They are hired on at GS-10. Promotions through GS-13 are journeymen level promotions. Once you get to GS-14, that's management.

You're going to find a lot of slang in the FBI because it is usually a second career. That means that you have everyone from cops to military to lawyers and all of the slang from all their respective jobs. Something common in one FO (field office) may not be common in another. So the slang they use may be more of a function of their first career.

For a good look into the FBI read Cold Zero by Christopher Whitcomb. It might give you the sorts of dialogue you're looking for.

If I can think of any specific dialogue examples, I'll let you know.

By the way, I'm not a fed. I've just done a lot of reading and research on them.

The Grift
04-29-2007, 08:07 PM
Brick Agent - a street agent...one who pounds the bricks
GOV - Government Owned Vehicle aka G-Ride
POV - Personally Owned Vehicle
Take-Home: when your GOV is allowed to be taken home
On the Beach - when you mess up and are given administrative leave...also when you shoot someone, you're given a couple days on the beach while the Shooting Board investigates
clown ops - may be more of a military term... refers to operations that are doomed from the start due to interference from the higher-ups
High Speed/Low Drag - all the action stuff, SWAT, HRT, counter-terrorist... when you get your black kit on and fast rope into a situation, toss in some flash bangs and engage tangoes. It can also be used to pejoratively refer to someone who is a "wannabe" and buys all the high-speed tactical gear... Oakleys, gloves, underarmor, etc and then wears it all the time.


1811: Federal Criminal Investigator (Special Agent) job series
6c: Refers to special retirement provisions for federal law enforcement officers, firefighters, air traffic controllers and military reserve technicians. Also referred to as Public Law 100-238 or 5 U.S.C. 8336(C)

AC: Applicant Coordinator
AFIS: Automated Fingerprint Identification System
AT/FP: Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection
ATSAC/ATSAIC: Assistant to the Special Agent-in-Charge
AUSA: Assistant United States Attorney

BI: Background Investigation
CI: Criminal Investigator
CONUS: Continental United States
CIRG - the FBI's Critical Incident Response Group

DSS: Diplomatic Security (http://realpolice.net/private-security.shtml) Service (State Dept). See also DS (http://forums.realpolice.net/).
DT: Defensive Tactics

FED: Federal, Federal Government, Federal Agent/Officer
Feebs: FBI (or its personnel/agents)
FLE: Federal Law Enforcement
FLEO: Federal Law Enforcement Officer
FOIA: Freedom of Information Act

HIDTA: High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area
HIFCA: High Intensity Financial Crime Area
HQ: Headquarters
HRT - The Hostage Rescue Team... the FBI's elite counter-terrorist unit

IS: Investigative Specialist (FBI)

JTTF: Joint Terrorism Task Force (headed by FBI with other agencies/depts.)

KSA: Knowledge, Skills and Abilities...a form you have to fill out in your application

LEAP: Law Enforcement Availability Pay... feds don't get overtime, they get 25% above their base pay because it is assumed they will work overtime
LEO: Law Enforcement Officer

NAC: New Agents' Class at the Quantico FBI Academy
NAT: New Agents' Training (FBI)
NATU: New Agents' Training Unit (FBI)

OCONUS: Outside the Continental United States
OPSEC: Operations/Operational Security
OPM: U.S. Office of Personnel Management
OPR: Office of Professional Responsibility

PFT: Physical Fitness Test
POTUS: President of the United States
SA: Special Agent (also S/A)
SCI: Sensitive Compartmented Information
SCIP: Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals
SSG: Special Surveillance Group

TDY: Temporary Duty
TFOS: Terrorism Financing Operations Section (FBI)
TS: Top Secret
TS/SCI: Top Secret / Sensitive Compartmented Information
TTIC: Terrorist Threat Integration Center

wyzguy
04-30-2007, 07:55 AM
Good stuff. Thanks Grift.

Bing Z
04-22-2011, 02:01 PM
Story involves bad guys in China. What kind of hoops would an agent have to jump through to proceed? State Dept? CIA? Chinese bad guys will also be political.

I know nothing about FBI slang but The Grift has provided invaluable info. In fact I've bookmarked this thread because of the info :)

What I want to add is that you may want to research how extradition and criminal investigation work between the US and China. I have never thought about it, but according to the news (http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/04/21/russian-man-suspected-new-york-double-stabbing-left-vodka-bottles-fleeing/), a NYC murder suspect who has fled to Russia "may avoid prosecution in the US because Russia does not extradite its citizens to other countries."

Steve Collins
04-22-2011, 09:22 PM
You may find something of value on this LEO forum (FBI Page)
http://forums.leoaffairs.com/viewforum.php?f=24&sid=d63c6e413792b8f9fd44052996b2df89

Rowan
04-26-2011, 02:17 PM
A website where a lot of feds hang out is www.911jobforums.com (http://www.911jobforums.com) in the federal section. If you go there and use the search function, you'll find a lot.

Generally, there are 56 FBI field offices plus a whole bunch of smaller sattelite offices and a number of foreign legats. There is an FBI office in Beijing and one in Hong Kong. If the FBI is going to do anything (legal) in China, they're going to be asking the Chinese government for permission and definitely coordinating with State (which means they'll probably work with DSS as well). For under-the-table stuff, CIA might be involved.

The head of the FBI is called the Director. That is an appointed position. Virtually everything else is career service. J. Edgar Hoover Building, the building you see in X-Files, is the headquarters and where a lot of administrative and staff and management is. Less than a mile away is the DC Field Office, to show you that there's a difference.

In charge of each of the field offices is the SAC (pronounced Ess Ay Cee) which is the Special Agent in Charge. In the larger offices (such as the Big 15, which include LA, NYC, DC, etc) you also have an ASAC (pronounced AySack) which is the Assistant Special Agent in Charge.

An FBI agent is an 1811 series job within the federal government. They are hired on at GS-10. Promotions through GS-13 are journeymen level promotions. Once you get to GS-14, that's management.

You're going to find a lot of slang in the FBI because it is usually a second career. That means that you have everyone from cops to military to lawyers and all of the slang from all their respective jobs. Something common in one FO (field office) may not be common in another. So the slang they use may be more of a function of their first career.

For a good look into the FBI read Cold Zero by Christopher Whitcomb. It might give you the sorts of dialogue you're looking for.

If I can think of any specific dialogue examples, I'll let you know.

By the way, I'm not a fed. I've just done a lot of reading and research on them.

Actually, field divisions are led by a SAC and under them are ASACs. Here's an example: see leadership. http://sanantonio.fbi.gov/

I believe the 'big' offices (DC, NY and LA--I think) are headed up by an Asst Director. Agents aren't necessarily hired on as GS-10s either. This depends on prior experience and level of education (among other things). Federal agents don't really use a lot of "street slang"---not as much as you'd think. (Speaking from personal experience.) Now there's a lot of internal jargon such as OGV, Kel, CS, and the others listed. :)

Best of luck.

The Grift
04-26-2011, 07:54 PM
Actually, field divisions are led by a SAC and under them are ASACs. Here's an example: see leadership. http://sanantonio.fbi.gov/

I believe the 'big' offices (DC, NY and LA--I think) are headed up by an Asst Director. Agents aren't necessarily hired on as GS-10s either. This depends on prior experience and level of education (among other things). Federal agents don't really use a lot of "street slang"---not as much as you'd think. (Speaking from personal experience.) Now there's a lot of internal jargon such as OGV, Kel, CS, and the others listed. :)

Best of luck.

I think at the time I was under the impression only bigger offices had ASACS, and I'm not sure why I didn't talk about Assistant Directors (I wrote that post almost 4 years ago).

However, the FBI is unique among other FLEA's, including DEA, in that all entry level special agents are hired at GS-10. Almost every other FLEA hires its 1811's at GS-5, 7, or 9 depending on education, experience, and other qualifications. I can speak only about public hiring. I have no idea what goes on behind closed doors as far as non-public announcements, laterals, recruiting, etc.

Rowan, do you mean to tell me that agents at the Academy aren't taught to say "perp," "UnSub," "bracelets," "high-speed" and "secret squirrel?!?!?" ;)

Rowan
04-27-2011, 04:14 AM
Ah, I didn't even notice the original post date. I come back from a self-imposed exile only to discover I've lost touch with reality. ;) (That's what get for posting at zero-dark-thirty.)

DEA, FBI, USSS, etc. pretty much have the same set-up when it comes to field divisions/offices. A SAC heads up the office, followed by ASACs (or ATSAICs in USSS) and then Group Supervisors.

You're too funny, Grift! Basic Agents in Academy are taught many things, but we don't learn such ridiculous words (contrary to popular belief). ;) (And I know you're joking!) We do a lot of shooting, defensive tactics and of course, legal studies, practical apps, UC ops, etc. etc. etc. Using the term "UnSub" will get you throttled. :D

Winfred
11-28-2012, 10:40 AM
Thanks Wyzguy for creating this post!! I haven't used this forum enough to know if it is okay to along with a relevant post to ask questions. Is it where I am only suppose to give information or answer questions, and if not I have to start a different post? I think my needs are in line with this post and could generate responses that would also help the post creator. Let me know if I'm doing the wrong thing. Here goes.

I have a character in my screenplay who purports to be a "Brick Agent" and has to be so good at it he must fool my very intelligent protagonist (computer design engineer who is an avid motorcyclist) who, unfortunately like me... knows nothing about the FBI. Also this phony Brick Agent must be so good at it he fools the audience for quite a while until the poignant moment I make it known he is a fake. It's nice to learn from Rowan who is an FBI agent that there is no FBI slang, except for Grift, who posts five FBI slang words. Where did you find those words Grift? I with no problem have found FBI acronyms but not real FBI slang or jargons.

I need to know how a Brick Agent makes a phone call to like his "FO" or Field Office? My fake agent must be able to do this very convincingly in front of my main character and audience. Also this "Brick Agent" has to have visuals that would in leaps and bounds lead my character and audience to definitely believe he is a real FBI guy. What visuals could I include? How does an FBI agent make a cell phone call to his FO, or boss etc? Does he use code words and passwords for clearance first so the FO knows that he is really who he says he is? I think it would really help with credibility factor that this guy can fake a phone call to his FO just like a real FBI agent.

Also this Brick Agent from his wallet flashes his badge and ID card... but do FBI agents actually have badges? He is a Brick Agent I guess but one who is purporting to be operating under cover and can't outwardly look like an agent, which I don't know if they would then call them a Brick Agent or not in that case.

There is also a point where my fake agent has to have the full equipment that an FBI sharp shooter or extra heavily armed Brick Agent would have, and not hide it, like wearing a vest etc. and carrying all the attack equipment, which I don't even know what that looks like. I suppose on the back of the vest it would note "FBI SWAT" or something like that, right?

This supposed Brick Agent does not, for undercover reasons, drive a car, he rides a motorcycle and looks like a biker with leather biker attire etc., which in real life he is a biker, yet again, one who knows to the tee how to impersonate a Brick Agent. One thing so far is I equipped him with an ipod size police radio scanner as he shows it to my main character. I suppose that is not at all uncommon for a Brick Agent to have something like that, right?

Also, does anyone know if in the US there are any State Troopers who also ride and give tickets from a motorcycle in this day and age?

Also, like I have seen in movies, do agents get in arguments with other agents over turf issues i.e. like an FBI agent get in an argument with a State Police Agent over a crime (in my story a murder) they feel is under FBI jurisdiction and not the State? My fake agent convinces my main character that the FBI had a big turf issue with the State over a murder my main character is sited as a major suspect for. In my character's case the FBI won the turf issue in a precedence setting case... at least I hope the audience believes that. Does that sound credible?

Also... to the State and domestic police authorities my character is a wanted prime murder suspect at large. My main character is a very necessary element in solving a kidnapping to the extent that this "FBI agent" must sound convincing that the FBI actually does not want to arrest him but wants my character to aid the "FBI" in solving the kidnapping. Does that ever happen in the real FBI world, that they would actually ask someone who is a murder suspect with a case that is still pending with some of the lab results not all in but some of the labs completed so far proving he is so far innocent... actually to help solve a different but relevant case? Is that really stretching things too far?

Also the FBI impersonator says my character must still be incognito in regard to State and local authorities until the solving of the kidnapping is fully carried out. Am I stretching things too far in that regard too - the FBI trusting him to the point he remains under cover for all except for the FBI? Would that seem to stretch things to the point where the audience would start getting upset to the extent my story's credibility goes completely down the tubes?

Thanks for any advice! Also Wzyguy, I hope any answers might aid the cause of your post!
Sincerely, Winfred0000

cornflake
11-28-2012, 02:50 PM
Also, like I have seen in movies, do agents get in arguments with other agents over turf issues i.e. like an FBI agent get in an argument with a State Police Agent over a crime (in my story a murder) they feel is under FBI jurisdiction and not the State? My fake agent convinces my main character that the FBI had a big turf issue with the State over a murder my main character is sited as a major suspect for. In my character's case the FBI won the turf issue in a precedence setting case... at least I hope the audience believes that. Does that sound credible?

This just came up in another thread - basically, no.

The FBI doesn't "take over" investigations, they'll cooperate with and assist local law enforcement if requested, in general. If something falls under their auspices, like a bank robbery, they're the investigating agency. There may be local cops on the scene for the local issue but the robbery is a federal crime, so the feds would be the ones called.

I don't actually understand what you mean by what I highlighted in blue. Do you mean one agency filed some sort of suit to stop the other?

Winfred
11-28-2012, 07:16 PM
Hi Cornflake!

Thanks very much for taking the time for your very helpful comments. I should have explained further. My main character, "protagonist" was in a fight with one of his antagonists, a physical one. It occurs high on the edge of a cliff along a remote plateau. The fight ends when the antagonist pulls a pistol from his leather jacket's inside pocket. The safety was off and it fired into just inside his shoulder or upper left chest. He, in his manic rage, reaches for his switch blade knife and with knife drawn lunges full body toward my protagonist. My protagonist rolls out of the way just in time. The antagonist then falls to his death over the edge of the cliff.

My protagonist after the incident panics and for complicated reasons decides not to go to the authorities, at least right away. There is a major personal reason he chooses to delay it all. In effect he is getting himself into deeper trouble appearing as though he is covering things up by not going to the authorities. For important reasons he takes the big risk and decides to temporarily remain at large thus making him a wrongful murder suspect....

The exact borderline of property where the death of one of my antagonists occurred is not exactly accurate. The fight occurs on federal land at the top of the cliff but at the bottom of the cliff where the antagonist's body lies it is State land - just trying to make it somehow disputable for purpose of my plot. I was just using maybe a cliche from past movies when there would be some investigation and one agent would argue with another over who has jurisdiction over a case, like the Jack Nickolson character does in the movie "Chinatown" if you've ever have seen that. That might not be a good example as that movie is a period movie taking place in 1936... but somehow I've seen it in other more recent movies, something like a jurisdiction conflict. What I'm hoping for is that somehow the incident was at first under State jurisdiction, then there was a turf battle (or something of the like) for a while, then the FBI won over the issue and took over the case.

If you have another idea of how the FBI would later be assigned to such a case, rather than like the State, let me know as my whole idea might be not credible to my audience. If you have time, read again my first description as also later this impersonating FBI agent (still an unknown fact to the audience and my main character) that even though the pending investigations are leaning toward his innocence, he is still a prime murder suspect and even though the FBI needs him on another related big case, that they are temporarily not telling the other authorities my main character has been located. In result my main character, even though he is aiding the FBI, must remain like he was, at large and still a prime murder suspect throughout the task the FBI has set him up against. I hope I'm being clear to you and others and not being too convoluted ha! All is much appreciated.

Sincerely, Winfred0000

cornflake
12-04-2012, 03:47 PM
Ok, eek! :ROFL:

First, the federal/state thing, I suppose, though the body is on state land, but I guess you could make an argument there. My main problem with that scenario I think is that you have two agencies arguing because they want the case - seems like it'd be more like a hot potato. Give it to them, who cares? Less trouble if someone else wants it. I mean I don't get why they'd want it.

I haven't seen Chinatown but the general movie fed/local 'battles' over jurisdiction are generally fictionally inflated for effect.

As to the other post, I think I'm confused. The guy is impersonating an agent - ok. Is he supposed to be undercover? In which case, why would he be calling his theoretical field office or sac in front of people? If he wanted to identify himself, he'd use his badge/shield number; yes, special agents do have badges/shields, shiny gold ones.

I don't understand the no-arrest thing. He's a suspect in a murder, but they want his help solving a kidnapping - first, why is he specifically necessary? Second though, even if he is, what does that have to do with not arresting him? I'd think they'd be more likely to arrest him, not leave him wandering about. It'd be good to arrest him, then they've got bargaining power.

What lab results prove he's innocent that there are lots of? Didn't the guy fling off a cliff?

This -



Also the FBI impersonator says my character must still be incognito in regard to State and local authorities until the solving of the kidnapping is fully carried out. Am I stretching things too far in that regard too - the FBI trusting him to the point he remains under cover for all except for the FBI? Would that seem to stretch things to the point where the audience would start getting upset to the extent my story's credibility goes completely down the tubes?I don't understand? Do you mean the FBI knows he's impersonating an FBI agent? Because no, they won't let that stand. Do you mean they'll hide a murder suspect?

Also, is he a field agent or a sharp shooter on a tactical team or what? I'm confused by this too. You say he needs to be all kitted out in tactical gear and be a sharp shooter - this is not common to your basic sa. Also, jackets and vests just say FBI on the back in large letters, the better to not shoot your pals. ;)

Winfred
12-05-2012, 06:40 AM
Hi Cornflake!

Wow! Thanks! A lot of very poignant questions. I didn't explain myself well enough. I'm just quick responding to let you know I appreciate your response very much. Man oh man! I just have to figure how I can explain the circumstances as my main protagonist's lady friend is actually the one who is kidnapped. I have to carefully and as concisely as possible explain what is happening... still in outline form for this particular twist in my screenplay... but is it a twist that's a mess or does it fool the audience for a necessary increase in plot tension that culminates in the moment they realize they have been fooled and they (just the audience) realizes my protagonist will be in some greater trouble he might not be able to get himself out of. Right now I'm headed for disaster with the whole idea... but first I better explain things to myself (especially me ha!) and to you better. I'm going to the drawing board... I'll be back; but thanks!!!
Later,
Winfred0000

Winfred
12-06-2012, 09:01 AM
Hi Again Cornflake and/or anyone else too!

Just a quick question while I struggle. About how many names for "FBI" can you think of that an insider, an FBI agent use, agent lingo, for it... like maybe call it "the bureau" or something like that.

Thanks!
Winfred