KITV takes a tour of new FBI building in Kapolei

By Paula Akana
Published On: Apr 09 2013 07:20:54 PM HST
Updated On: Apr 10 2013 06:23:45 PM HST

For decades the FBI was housed in the Prince Kuhio Federal Building. But today agents and staff celebrated their new home, in the second city of Kapolei where they've brought with them their manpower and firepower.

KAPOLEI, Hawaii -

For decades, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, or FBI, was housed in the Prince Kuhio Federal Building.

But, on Tuesday, agents and staff celebrated their new home in the second city of Kapolei.

With the traditional blessing and the untying of the maile lei, the new Honolulu FBI division headquarters was officially open for business.

It's an impressive site at Kapolei's Barbers Point and huge -- 160,000 square feet.

In the lobby, there's an interactive display honoring FBI agents who died in the line of duty.  None are from Hawaii.

But, if you happen to arrive in the back in custody, you'll find the interrogation rooms complete with handcuff bars on the wall and a state-of-the-art fingerprinting machine.

"The data from the fingerprint capture machine is sent electronically to our identification division in West Virginia where we can get an immediate information about who an unknown person is or information about a person who has been arrested in the past," said FBI spokesman Tom Simon.

In the FBI gun vault, there's a sizable armory of weapons that is used for the SWAT team and agents who are running an operation that might need some extra firepower.

It also includes a display of FBI historical guns that were carried throughout the years like a Thompson submachine gun, or Tommy gun.

PHOTOS: New FBI building in Kapolei

Click here to take a photo tour of the building.

Today, they'll typically use MP5 machine guns and M4 submachine guns.

The building is big enough to house and maintain FBI vehicles, which includes the impressive MRAP -- the Mine Resistant Armored Personnel Carrier -- which was actually used two years ago in a multi-agency raid on a cockfighting and gambling ring in Waianae.

The Kapolei building houses 200 employees -- about half of them are FBI agents.

"It's a huge step for us because we finally have the work space we need to do our job better," said Simon.  "We have technology here that wasn't available to us at the Prince Kuhio Federal Building and we have the ability to create war rooms for big cases when they occur."

During the blessing ceremony, the Honolulu FBI special agent in charge shared the history of the agency in Hawaii.

A single agent, Joseph McFarlane, first opened an FBI division office here in April of 1931.  He was the only employee.  The office closed three years later because there weren't enough violations to occupy even one special agent.

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