AP Exclusive: New HQ bids to end agency rivalry

AP News
Posted: Feb 02, 2013 12:27 PM

CHICAGO (AP) — A first-of-its-kind headquarters has opened in Chicago where 70 federal agents, police and prosecutors will work side-by-side year-round to fight drug trafficking.

The Chicago Strike Force building recently opened with no fanfare. The Associated Press toured the three-story building but was asked not to reveal its exact location for security reasons.

Staff includes agents from DEA, FBI, the IRS and a half-dozen other agencies.

One analyst, Fred Burton, expressed some skepticism. He says getting agencies to act in unison is like "herding cats."

Jack Riley is the head of Chicago's DEA office and was a driving force behind the headquarters.

He says the facility is designed to end inter-agency rivalry that can hamper investigations. That includes comingled desks and not displaying signs identifying who belongs to what agency.