by David Ramsey
After months of agonizing about how to deal with the effects of government spending cuts, senior F.B.I. officials in Washington have decided how they will reduce the bureau’s spending: they will shut down its headquarters and offices across the country for roughly 10 weekdays over the next year.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s plans mean that on those days, the bureau will have only a skeleton crew on hand, which raises questions about how effectively it can respond to crime.
While the shutdown conjures images of the recent movie “The Purge,” in which the government allows people to commit crimes like murder and rape for 12 hours once a year, F.B.I. officials said they would have plans for agents to return to work if there was a terrorist attack or a crime like a kidnapping.
Besides the short-term effect on morale, response time and focus on the mission, this will degrade the capabilities of the bureau in the long term as well. I think the long-term impact is not being considered by those having this budget debate in Congress. Mistakes will be made down the road because of these cuts, and they will be able to be traced back to these cuts.