Photo Gallery 5
In Your Community: Photos
In New Haven, the FBI recently teamed up with ESPN to participate in “Security Awareness Week,” an educational event for ESPN employees. Representatives from the New Haven FBI Community Outreach Program distributed child identification kits as well as materials on Internet safety and identity theft.
On October 20, 2010, the Virginia Conflict Resolution Center (VCRC) hosted its 20th anniversary Peacemaker Awards at the Princess Anne Country Club in Virginia Beach, Virginia, to honor individuals who have demonstrated leadership and dedication to peacemaking in their communities. Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Alex Turner of the Norfolk FBI office was honored with the Regional Leader Peacemaker Award for his effective leadership through the Norfolk Community Outreach Program. Under his guidance, the Norfolk FBI formed a partnership with the VCRC and has been an effective contributor through several community outreach and crime prevention initiatives. SAC Turner said, "The FBI's Community Outreach Program allows field offices to develop important partnerships with public agencies and private corporations to keep our communities safe and resolve conflicts. This recognition was the result of a solid team effort by many of the employees of the Norfolk office." Other honorees included Virginia Beach Police Department's Chief of Police James Cervera, Community Leader Award; Mr. John Hatcher, Assistant Principal of Norview High School, Norfolk, Youth Advocate Leader Award; and Judge Deborah Rawls from the Virginia Beach Juvenile and Domestic Relations Department, Judicial Leader.
The VCRC is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 by the Better Business Bureau. Center staff and volunteers provide mediation training, mentoring, services for youth, seminars on conflict resolution and diversity, and strategic planning programs in the southeastern region of Virginia. Shown above at the awards ceremony are (left to right): SAC Turner; Chief Cervera, Judge Rawls; Assistant Principal Hatcher; Jamal Gunn, field representative for U.S. Congressman Glenn Nye; and former VCRC director Kim Humphrey.
The Cincinnati Division—in partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio, along with the Columbus Police Department—recently hosted a radicalization awareness presentation for more than 100 members of the Somali community, including students, parents,and community leaders. On the second day of the event, more than 200 members of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies attended a second presentation, held at the Columbus Police Training Academy.
The FBI Kansas City Citizens’ Academy Alumni chapter and Kansas City Wizards Major League Soccer team were recently honored for their work to improve and build youth soccer fields with a $25,000 award from the Major League Soccer Pepsi Refresh program. In June, more than 250 FBI and FBI Citizens’ Academy Alumni volunteers kicked off Phase I of an improvement project at the local soccer field, working to clear brush, plant trees, install bleachers and picnic tables, and paint lines. Kansas City Wizards players also participated in the effort and held a youth soccer clinic for kids in the area. Building on the excitement from the summer turnout, Kansas City Wizards defender Jimmy Conrad proposed the park’s redesign as an entry in the Major League Soccer Pepsi Refresh Project, a competition held among all 16 Major League Soccer clubs, with each team choosing a player to represent a proposed project in their area. Conrad and the Belvidere Park project garnered nearly 30,000 votes to finish as a runner-up in the contest and receive the $25,000 prize. FBI Kansas City Citizens’ Academy Alumni member Polly Brunkhardt says her chapter is working with the Wizards to use the Pepsi Refresh award to complete Phase II of the project, which will include installation of two large turf fields, drinking fountains, bleacher pads, soccer field service. and lighting. On 10/21/10, Conrad helped spread news of the award at a local press conference, followed by a soccer scrimmage with local youth players and FBI Kansas City Citizens’ Academy President Mark Mazzarese, who participated in the game. Said FBI Community Relations Unit Chief Brett Hovington, “We’re excited about the continuing dedication of our Citizens’ Academy Alumni to enrich the lives of youth in their community.”
The FBI Citizens’ Academy is the Bureau’s most effective tool in educating the communities it serves. The Academy gives select business, civic, and religious leaders a rare behind the scenes look inside the FBI. The purpose of the Academy, which is held once a week for eight to 10 weeks at local FBI field offices, is to educate the community and dispel myths in order to enhance trust and confidence in the FBI. After completing the Citizens’ Academy, graduates are invited to join the alumni association to continue their education and support of the mission of the FBI through its community outreach efforts and programs. To date, more than 13,000 civic, religious, and business leaders graduated from the FBI Citizens’ Academy, which started in 1993.
Some of the more than 600 youth who participate in Kansas City's Northeast Soccer League.
In celebration of National Bullying Awareness Month, FBI Community Outreach Specialists around the country are working in local schools to stop the cycle of bullying. In Buffalo, New York, Community Outreach Specialist Vanita Evans knows all too well the problems bullying can cause, so to address the issue and give kids the tools they need to stay safe, she has launched outreach initiatives that are quickly spanning the country. “We see violent crime, gang problems, civil rights issues,” she said of her work in the Buffalo field office. “We’re trying to be strategic about how we can give kids the tools they need to address these issues and become future leaders.”
The project started last year, when Evans attended the International Bullying Prevention Association conference in Pittsburgh. At the conference, she learned about ways to help students understand the negative impacts of bullying. According to the PACER Center, more than 160,000 students skip school each day from fear of being bullied. In attempt to create awareness about the scope of the issue and give students the tools they need to stop the cycle, Evans launched the “Stop Bullying Western New York” program in June (above photo)—with volunteers distributing more than 500 informational packets to parents and children at the premiere of the movie “Karate Kid,” and ran through the first week in October. But Evans didn’t stop there. In August, she visited Washington D.C. to speak at a Bullying Prevention Summit with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Moving forward, she hopes to host a teen summit to spark dialogue around bullying and teach teens to be peer advocates. “I have two kids, and I know that this is a problem,” she said. “The schools recognize this is an issue and other organizations recognize that this is an issue. What we’re working on is what we can do about it and how we can give them a skill set they’re actually going to utilize.”