EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – The El Paso FBI Field Office will get a new leader soon, following last week’s departure of Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey R. Downey.
Downey, who led the local office of the FBI for two years, has a new assignment at the finance division in the agency’s Washington, D.C., headquarters. His replacement has been picked and his will be made public later this month; local FBI officials referred to the new leader as a “he” and said the official is fluent in Spanish — an asset in any border community.
Doug Goodwater is the acting special agent in charge of the El Paso field office until Downey’s replacement arrives.
“I will be serving here in a temporary capacity. (Downey) returned to agency headquarters and there is a new SAC who has been selected and will be reporting to El Paso in the near future,” Goodwater said on Wednesday.
The El Paso field office is important to the FBI so the agency will continue with community outreach and recruiting new agents, particularly in minority communities.
“Recruiting is big for us. The bureau needs to look like America; in order to do that, we need representation from underserved communities,” Goodwater said. “We need people to get to know us and for the community to help with recruiting.”
Goodwater said he could be in charge for anywhere between two weeks or two months. In the meantime, he wants to keep the doors open to the El Paso community.
“When something comes up, talk to us. If we need to have difficult conversations, we will. If things don’t go great, we want to get an understanding so we can do better in the future.”
The El Paso field office of the FBI in the past few years has regularly held media events to alert the public about ongoing threats such as online financial scams, educating parents about keeping their children safe from predators lurking on social media, and “virtual kidnappings” in which a caller pretends to have someone’s relative captive and demands money quickly.
El Paso FBI agents also participated in the investigation of hate crimes related to the Aug. 3, 2019, mass shooting at the Walmart near Cielo Vista. A North Texas man last month was sentenced to 90 consecutive terms of life in prison for hate crimes in connection with the shooting.