Community gets its most wanted crime information at FBI program

by | Jan 24, 2014 | Other News

Vanessa Torres and Harvey Eluto.

Vanessa Torres and Harvey Eluto.

Walking away from the FBI’s Community Relations Executive Seminar Training, attendees of the event, which took place at the Simon Family JCC on Sunday, Jan. 12, held in their hands a nicely printed certificate confirming their attendance, and tried to grasp in their heads an abundance of information about crime.

Five FBI special agents from the Norfolk FBI office and the FBI’s Community Outreach Specialist, Vanessa Torres, presented the CREST program in partnership with the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, the UJFT Business & Legal Society, and the Simon Family JCC.

Topics presented during the five-hour training session included counterterrorism, foreign counterintelligence, cyber crime, civil rights and human trafficking. About 80 community members attended the program, which was free and open to the public.

Among the audience members, who spanned the age spectrum from 10 to octogenarian, was high school senior Andie Eichelbaum.

“I was glad they had this scheduled, because I’m going to use some of the information I heard today in a research paper I have to write on the topic of “How the War on Terror Effects Humanity,” says Andie, a First Colonial High School student.

“One of the most interesting things that I heard was how 9/11 changed this country, so much more than I even realized, and how much we’re needed now to help the FBI. I’m using what I learned here today for my own personal education, as well as for this school project.”

The topics of this seminar were selected specifically at the request of the CRC and its director, Robin Mancoll.

“Our goal in doing this is to develop relationships and build trust in the community that we serve, so that they know what to report to us,” says Torres.

“This program just scratches the surface of the public that we want to reach. That’s why we would like you to take the messages that are learned here today and take them out into the community, and perhaps to some other organization.

“We’re here to catch the bad guys. This is our way of being proactive,” says Torres. “We have people out there spreading the word, but we do need the public’s assistance as well. Thank you.”

For more information on the CRC and their initiatives, visit

by Laine Mednick Rutherford