In Your Community
In Your Community
Our community outreach program strengthens communication between the FBI and civic organizations, businesses, schools, ethnic and youth groups, and senior citizens. Through our interaction with these groups in Maryland and Delaware, we help reduce drug trafficking, fraud, and other crimes.
We are involved in many activities:
The FBI’s Citizens Academy enhances our relationship with local leaders. It is a multifaceted tool that increases public awareness about the Bureau and its mission and goals; enables us to hear and respond to community issues and concerns; strengthens relationships; and improves understanding between the FBI and the community.
Our academy is held in the spring (Delaware) and fall (Baltimore Division) each year. The sessions are on Tuesdays from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., plus one Saturday session.
The Baltimore special agent in charge makes the final selections of participants, who must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 21 years of age;
- Be a business, minority, civic, media, religious, government, or health care leader;
- Have no prior felony convictions;
- Live or work in the Maryland and Delaware; and
- Pass a background check.
The academy includes interactive demonstrations of polygraph and forensics. FBI instructors also make presentations regarding various investigative programs, including:
- Terrorism (international and domestic);
- Mortgage fraud;
- Violent crime/gangs;
- Public corruption;
- Civil rights;
- Crimes against children;
- Computer crimes and Internet safety;
- The Maryland Coordination Analysis Center;
- The Field Intelligence Group;
- WMD/HAZMAT response, special events, and maritime program;
- Victim assistance/human trafficking; and
The next Delaware Citizens Academy session will run April 7 through May 5, 2015 at Delaware State Police, Troop 2, 100 LaGrange Avenue, Newark, Delaware 19702. Five classes will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and the firearms range day will be held on a Saturday. The deadline for applications is March 3, 2015.
Maryland/Delaware Citizens Academy Alumni Association (MDCAAA)
Citizens Academy graduates are invited to join the Maryland/Delaware Citizens Academy Alumni Association (MDCAAA), which began in June 2005 and meets monthly. MDCAAA supports the incoming class and a crime prevention workshop; reaches out to schools; and sponsors a golf tournament. MDCAA members may:
- Attend an evening lecture series to receive updates on local and federal law enforcement issues and ways to keep the community safe;
- Nominate participants to the Citizens and Teen Academy classes;
- Be a member of the National Citizens Academy Alumni Association;
- Assist in providing resources, training, and best practices to Citizens Academies nationwide;
- Develop outreach initiatives that will assist in fighting crimes in the community;
- Tour FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. and the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia; and
- Attend special events at the FBI Baltimore.
Community Relations Executive Seminar Training (CREST)
The Community Relations Executive Seminar Training (CREST) is similar to the Citizens Academy; however, it is compressed and more focused. The curriculum educates participants on the mission, goals, history, and internal workings of the FBI.
- The time commitment for CREST is 8-10 hours, which can be conducted in one day or over a three-week period.
- The organization requesting the training selects the topic that best suits the audience—for example, cyber crimes, counterterrorism, or civil rights.
- The venue is selected and provided by the organization, association, or group.
Adopt-A-School/Junior Special Agent (JSA) Program
Through our Adopt-a-School/Junior Special Agent (JSA) program, we have adopted the Old Court Middle School. Our program runs during the school year (October-May), and fifth graders participate in the junior special agent program. Students completing their assignments receive JSA credentials at a June graduation ceremony and participate in a basketball challenge with Baltimore agents and support staff. Goals for the students are to:
- Help them improve academically and become better citizens;
- Provide an opportunity to meet the professionals of the Baltimore Division;
- Educate them about the FBI’s history, the types of crimes the Bureau handles, and the jurisdictional territory our division serves;
- Provide a chance to ask questions of FBI personnel and promote the Bureau as a potential career choice in the future; and
- Raise awareness on drugs, gangs, and anger management.
|Teen Academy participants learn how to dust for fingerprints.|
The Teen Academy (view brochure) informs and educates students so they have a greater understanding of the FBI’s mission and goals. Through hands-on experiences and case discussions, we explain to our younger generation how the FBI addresses community concerns. The Teen Academy includes high school students—ages 13 to 18—from different areas and from public, private, and parochial high schools in Maryland. This event is held one day each summer at the Baltimore Field Office, at the conclusion of which attendees receive certificates. The academy includes a tour of our facility and presentations on:
- The FBI hiring process;
- Polygraph, SWAT, Evidence Response Team, and forensics;
- Internet safety; and
- Violent crimes/gangs.
This year’s Teen Academy will be held Friday, July 17, 2015, from 7:45 a.m.-4:00 p.m. The application period is now open, and the deadline to apply is June 5, 2015. If you wish to apply, please ensure you submit a complete application packet.
FBI Safe Online Surfing (FBI-SOS) Program
FBI-SOS is an Internet safety program that was developed with the assistance of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and with the input of teachers and schools. Open to all public, private, and home schools nationwide, the initiative is a free, age-appropriate, competitive, and fun online program that promotes cyber citizenship and teaches students in third through eighth grades how to recognize and respond to online dangers—like Internet predators and cyberbullying—and covers topics such as social networking and gaming safety.
In November 2014, Maryland’s Sykesville Middle School was selected as the national winner in the FBI-SOS Sharks category. More than 120 students at the school participated in the challenge, with their 93.61 percent score leading their school to claim the highly coveted national award.
Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA)
Each year since 1990, FBI field offices have publicly recognized the achievements of individuals and organizations in the areas of drug or violence education and prevention through the Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA). Our 2014 recipient is James Deaner, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Washington County, Maryland.
Some of our past DCLA recipients are: the Latin American Community Center (2013); Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation (2012), Harlem Globetrotter Allen “Duffy” Samuels (2011); Sidney Ford (2010), E. Keith Colston (2009); Imam Yahya Hendi (2008); Bishop Leon Wilson (2007); Pastor James Gardner Mullen (2006); Roberta Mosby-Fontana, Village Community Center (2000); Thomas Dennis, Tenants on Patrol (1999); Brian Uppercue, Captain, Baltimore County Police Department (1998); Gwen Snowden, C.C. Jackson Recreation Center (1995); William C. Litsinger, Boys and Girls Club of Maryland (1993); and Michael M. Gimbel, Office of Substance Abuse of Baltimore County (1991).
Our other outreach initiatives include:
- Inviting minority organizations to the field office and holding roundtable discussions, providing opportunities to discuss community concerns, broaden attendees’ knowledge of the FBI, and strengthen partnerships;
- Participating in Career Days at schools and National Night Out events;
- Attending community meetings in Maryland and Delaware area; and
- Conducting presentations for businesses; colleges/universities; organizations; and senior centers.
Visit our national In Your Community website for more information about our overall outreach efforts and our work in other local FBI offices.