A NATIONAL NETWORK
FBI Citizens' Academy Alums Unite
Where can you find
gathered in one place mayors, CEOs, religious leaders, TV news anchors,
newspaper reporters, doctors, lawyers, heads of civic and cultural organizations,
school superintendents, university officials, police executives, and
more—all getting an inside look at the FBI and asking us plenty
of hard questions?
At our FBI
Citizens' Academies, now active in each of our 56 field offices,
where we invite community leaders to spend up to 10 weeks' worth of
their evenings and weekends getting to know us better.
How much better? They
get in-depth briefings on our top investigative priorities: counterterrorism,
counterintelligence, cyber, public corruption, and civil rights, to name
a few. They learn how we investigate cases and pull together evidence.
They get overviews of major local cases. They meet our agents and professional
staff. They even test their shooting skills in our weapons simulator—so
they can better understand the split-second decisions we must sometimes
are the briefings? Detailed enough that each “student” needs
a security clearance to attend.
More than 5,200 community
leaders have graduated from the program since it was launched in 1993.
Many have stayed in touch...with each other and with us. Some have formed
local alumni chapters so they can work together on initiatives to make
their communities safer.
How do they keep their
communities safer? Think about people learning how to protect themselves
and their families from frauds and from cyber predators. Businesses protecting
themselves from hackers and economic espionage. Schools and the workplace
protecting themselves from violent rampages and from illegal drugs. And
all citizens being alert to potential acts of terror and extremism.
The next step? Making
a community of these community leaders...to exchange ideas and learn
from each other—and to communicate more effectively with the FBI
about specific needs in their communities.
In April, graduates
from Citizens' Academies across the country formed a National
Citizens' Academy Alumni Association (NCAAA), headed by Kansas
City business leader Jerry Fogel. He said it best at the formal ceremony
where the NCAAA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the FBI: "Until
this morning, Academy alumni had no official method of networking with
each other to learn what was taking place at the various Academies throughout
the country or about what issues the respective field offices were facing."
line: Thanks to the input of our new NCAAA partners, we expect
to strengthen our protection of America...at the community level.
Read more about our
Citizens' Academies and similar initiatives on our Community
Outreach Program website.
photo: FBI public affairs exec Cassandra Chandler and NCAAA President
Jerry Fogel sign the Memorandum of Understanding.