FBI Local Offices
If Mulder and Scully were on a case anywhere in the United States, realistically they would probably come across the local Field Offices, usually working in collaboration with them. See "Irresitible" for perhaps the best example in the show of how local offices can be used in an X- Files type story.
An FBI Field Office is usually overseen by a Special Agent in Charge (SAC), assisted by at least one Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC). Currently all the SACs are men, though there has been one woman in the job once. SAC of a local office is a very sought after position, as they are essentially gods in their own domain. Beneath them, Supervisory Special Agents manage squads of ordinary Special Agents to handle to investigative side, while an Office Services Manager administers support operations.
There are a few special cases. The field offices in Los Angeles, New York City and Washington DC (this is the Washington Field Office, not Headquarters) are particularly big do they are headed by an Assistant Director in Charge (ADIC), supported by lots of SACs and ASACs.
Anyway, whether they're called SACs or ADICs, whoever is in charge of the field office is responsible to the Director, the Deputy Director or the Assistant Directors.
Agents within the Field Office are usually assigned to one or another of the investigative priorities established by the SAC. This will vary from office to office, as each area has different crime problems. Usual categories include: counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, organized crime, public corruption, and, the two largest, violent crime and white-collar crime.
Each field office has a defined area of jurisdiction. Because this is large, often consisting of a whole state, there are lots of Resident Agencies, which are local offices responsible to the field office. There are about 400 of these in total, averaging out as about 7 for each field office. Some of them are very small, consiting of only one agent, plus support staff, but some are much larger and are headed by a Supervisory Senior Resident Agent.
In "Colony" we see Agent Weiss in the "FBI Field Office, Syracuse," where he is descibed by Skinner as the "Head of the Syracuse Office." Presumably this is a Resident Agency, since there is no field office in Syracuse. In "Irresistible" we are shown the Minneapolis Field Office, which does exist, although we don't see much of how it works.
In addition, there are plenty of "offsites", which are undercover FBI offices, masquerading as shops, companies etc. In New York, about a quarter of the agents are actually based on one of those hidden offices, working undercover or conducting surveillance.
The field offices are the FBI front line. In real life, it is nearly always agents from the field offices who do the things we see Mulder and Scully do - arrest people, carry out investigations etc.
FBI field agents usually work with the local law enforcement bodies, perhaos more closely than they do to the FBI HQ. Projects like the Safe Streets Initiative are nation-wide projects in which all local law enforcement bodies work closely together to pool expertise in violent crime.
The main link with Headquarters is through the computer system, which is used to search the database which has details of every crime in the whole country. Local agents can also send evidence to the FBI labs for analysis.
A new agent's first posting is normally to a field office, and they traditionally are transferred several times in their careers, often arbitrarily, without getting a choice. Agents with a preference for a particular office can sign up on a waiting list for that office, and... wait.
Some are more popular than others. New York has a reputation for being the worst place to work, due mostly to the traffic and the need to live a long way out of the city in order to get a nice place to live. "Everybody.... was deathly afraid of being sent to New York. You couldn't go any lower than New York," says an agent quoted in Kessler's book. New York agents used to be notorious for returning reports late, and not answering the phone, but were excused, generally, on the grounds that working in New York was punishment. Now, though, New York agents get a lot more money to compensate.
This is a complete list of the 56 FBI field offices. The address has been included, should you want to show Mulder and Scully visiting the local office to work in conjunction with local agents. This list has been taken from the Field Offices page on the FBI Home Page, where you can get the complete addresses and phone numbers, should you want them.
A few of the field offices have their own home pages, and I have included links to these. They vary in usefulness, but they do tend to list the locations of the Resident Agencies, should you wish to find out the nearest FBI presence to any particular town.
If you want to send Mulder and Scully abroad, many countries have FBI offices. They are not very big. The 23 offices listed below employ only 70 agents. (List correct as of August 1996)
The FBI also has plans to extend to the following 23 cities by the year 2000. These have already been approved of Congress so will presumably be set up as soon as possible.
Thanks for Mary Ruth Keller for sending this list