U.S. Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI) is raising concerns about a proposal to close three of Wisconsin’s six FBI field offices.
A consolidation plan being considered by the FBI would close offices in Kenosha, Wausau, and La Crosse. Agents from those offices would be shifted to the FBI’s three other locations in the state.
Senator Kohl worries the plan could leave portions of Wisconsin underserved because western parts of the state would see field locations cut in half. He says that would require agents to drive at least four hours to handle cases, potentially denying rural areas access to the FBI.
During a hearing on Capitol Hill Tuesday, Kohl questioned U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder about the closures. Holder says such steps are needed to cut costs, but assured Kohl they are working to make sure it will not hurt the efficiency and effectiveness of the FBI.
Kohl says residents of rural Wisconsin have a right to expect the FBI will be available to investigate crimes in their communities. He says a multi-million dollar bank fraud in Wisconsin should be just as important as similar cases in Milwaukee or Chicago.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:07)