The Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation (MBI) is a permanent, multi-agency task force which was formed in Central Florida in December of 1978. The founding member agencies of the MBI are the State Attorney of the Ninth Judicial Circuit, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and the Orlando Police Department. The current member agencies of the MBI are:
- Office of the State Attorney, Ninth Judicial Circuit
- The Apopka Police Department
- The Ocoee Police Department
- The Orange County Sheriff’s Office
- The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office
- The Orlando Police Department
- The Winter Garden Police Department
- The Winter Park Police Department
- The University of Central Florida Police Department
- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement
- The Florida Highway Patrol
- The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement
- The United States Drug Enforcement Administration
- The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation
- The United States Postal Inspection Service
- The United States Secret Service
- The United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
The MBI was conceived to fill the need for a cooperative effort to combat criminal activities which were organized, well-financed, and operated freely across jurisdictional lines of the existing law enforcement agencies. The MBI was created as a specialized group of investigators assigned to concentrate on narcotics trafficking, organized crime, racketeering, and vice-related offenses such as prostitution, gambling, and violations of adult entertainment codes.
Overseeing MBI is a Governing Board consisting of the chief executives of the 9th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, Orlando Police Department, Winter Park Police Department, Apopka Police Department, the Ocoee Police Department, the University of Central Florida Police Department, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The MBI director, who is selected by the Board, has day to day command; and lieutenants and sergeants are assigned by the member agencies to supervise the agents.
Each participating agency in the MBI assigns personnel and equips its agents with basic equipment. The State Attorney assigns full-time prosecutors and legal staff who participate in MBI investigations from their inception, providing legal guidance, preparing search and arrest warrants, issuing subpoenas, and eventually filing charges and trying selected cases. These prosecutors also file or defend against other legal actions such as asset forfeitures, civil racketeering suits, and civil requests for injunctions.
MBI agents become specialized investigators in their assigned units – narcotics, airport narcotics, vice, or organized crime. The concentration in specific areas allows them to develop a network of sources and become proficient at initiating and following through on in-depth investigations.
Today, the MBI operation is recognized as one of the longest running and most successful task force operations in the United States. The MBI routinely gives advice and provides assistance when requested by other agencies, and this inter-agency cooperation benefits all the citizens of Central Florida.