The FBI officially opened its new $194 million South Florida field office on Friday at a suburban Broward County building dedicated to two agents killed during a 1986 shootout.
FBI Director James Comey and U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson _ a Democrat who sponsored the bill naming the building _ were among those attending the event in Miramar, just north of Miami. The new building contains 380,000 square feet of space and sits on a 20-acre site adjacent to Interstate 75.
It is named for agents Benjamin P. Grogan and Jerry L. Dove, who were killed in an April 11, 1986, shootout with heavily armed bank robbers south of Miami. Five other FBI agents were wounded in what remains the bureau's bloodiest single day. Three survivors attended Friday's ceremony.
"Today, we recognize and honor their valor, heroism and bravery," said Denise Turner Roth, the acting administrator for the U.S. General Servbices Administration.
Comey said the shootout resulted in better weapons, body armor and tactics for all law enforcement agencies.
"We will continue to try to make good come from that tremendous loss,'' he said. "We will never forget.''
The FBI says more than 1,000 employees can work in the new building, which consolidates its far-flung operations and saves $11 million annually in rent. The Miami field division is the FBI's fourth largest.
For 28 years, the FBI's South Florida headquarters was located in North Miami Beach. The field office has jurisdiction over federal cases along Florida's southeast coast from Vero Beach to Key West and also encompasses the Caribbean and Latin America.