Chicago Community Outreach
Chicago Community Outreach
Chicago, like each of the FBI’s local field offices, has a community outreach program that complements and strengthens our many efforts to protect you, your businesses, and your families in concrete ways through a range of activities and initiatives. These activities build bridges of trust and communication with our citizenrosss and show the public how the FBI is a resource for their community programs.
Our recent activities include:
- On January 30, 2013, the Chicago Division presented our 2012 annual Director’s Community Leadership Award to Steve J. Bernas, president and chief executive officer for the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Chicago and Northern Illinois, Inc. Over his 25-year career, Mr. Bernas has worked closely with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office and other law enforcement agencies to combat consumer fraud, to effectively address thousands of consumer complaints and business-to-business disputes, and to further the BBB’s mission of advancing consumer trust. He is a graduate of the 2008 Chicago FBI Citizens Academy and currently serves on the board of the Citizens Academy Alumni Association.
- Another sort of “miracle on ice” took place on February 23, 2013, when dozens of Chicago FBI agents and Chicago police officers faced off for the second annual Law Enforcement Hockey Classic. This charity game, hosted by the non-profit Honor Flight Chicago (HFC), is played to honor Chicago area World War II veterans by raising funds to fly them to Washington, D.C. for a day of reflection at the National World War II Memorial. This year’s game netted just over $65,000. The total cost for one Honor Flight—with approximately 95 veterans, family members to assist them, and HFC volunteers—is $60,000. There are an estimated 22,000 WW II veterans in the Chicago area, and since its inception five years ago, Honor Flight Chicago has flown more than 3,900 of them to Washington D.C. Currently, there are approximately 1,000 vets waiting to take this trip of a lifetime.
|Agents and officers played hard on the ice to raise funds for the non-profit group
Honor Flight Chicago.
- Several Community Relations Executive Seminar Training (CREST) programs have been held in our area of responsibility. The CREST program is a shorter, more focused version of the Citizens’ Academy—in partnership with a community group. The CREST offers many of the same advantages as the Citizens’ Academy, such as exposing community leaders to our personnel and operations, while building mutual trust and goodwill. The curriculum focuses on our mission, goals, history, and internal workings, but is customized to meet an organization’s needs. The group chooses the class location and may select two to four of the following topics: counterterrorism, financial crimes, cyber crime, public corruption, violent crimes, white collar crime, civil rights, gangs, drugs, recruitment and hiring, or evidence response.
—The Chicago FBI CREST program continued to expand its boundaries by making its first presentation to the Polish-American community. On October 20, 2011, several agents gave representatives from various Polish-American groups and local media outlets an inside look at what we do. Topics included Bureau domestic and international operations, foreign language services, counterterrorism, and civil rights violations….including hate crimes, color of law crimes, and human trafficking.
- Youth Program: In October 2011, the Chicago FBI participated in an event sponsored by the Three Fires Council, Boys Scouts of America. Held every three years, the “Camperall” in Sandwich, IL, featured a weekend camping trip and presentations by FBI representatives, including three SWAT agents who demonstrated their field gear. Community Outreach Specialist Diana Carbonara also answered questions from some of the approximately 5,000 scouts and leaders.
Some of the younger Scouts get a close-up look at FBI tactical equipment.
Chicago agent shows two Scouts another piece of tactical equipment.
- The Chicago Division’s SWAT, Mobile Command, and Community Outreach Program recently participated in Berwyn’s 26th annual National Night Out festivities. Chicago personnel displayed special weapons, demonstrated special tactics, provided tours of the Mobile Command Post, handed out Child ID Kits, and more.
Outreach Efforts on FBI Child ID Mobile App
On November 15, 2011, representatives from the Chicago FBI office introduced the FBI’s first mobile phone application to fans attending the Northern Illinois-Ball State football game at Huskies Stadium in DeKalb, IL. Agents from the Rockford resident agency and Chicago Community Outreach Specialist Diane Carbonara gave demonstrations on how the phone app works. Pictures of the app were also shown on the stadium jumbotron while a public service announcement was read over the loudspeakers photo.
|Bureau employees give instructions on how to download the FBI’s Child ID
app from iTunes and also handed out paper Child ID kits.
It’s hard to compete for basketball fans’ attention when the Chicago Bulls are playing, but the FBI’s new Child ID app got its fair share of the spotlight during the team’s 2/18/12 home game. Just before tipoff, the app for iPhone users was featured on the United Center’s jumbotron as the game announcer read a public service announcement about the ID program. And on the concourse, representatives of the Chicago FBI and Chicago Police Department’s “Crimes against Children” Joint Task force demonstrated for the public how the app works on an iPad. FBI Special Agent Nikkole E. Robertson was joined by Chicago Police Officers Traci Walker, Khin Kung, Lisa Wallace, and Daniel Rodriguez for the community outreach event. In addition to answering questions about the Child ID app, the law enforcement officers handed out paper Child ID kits.
|Youngsters see the FBI Child ID Mobile App in action.
|The Bull’s jumbotron featured the our mobile app during the game.
Among our other ongoing efforts:
- Meeting with minority groups and civic organizations to talk about what the FBI can do with them and for them and hosting town hall meetings as needed to discuss key issues;
- Supporting our Citizens’ Academies graduates, who have created an FBI Citizens’ Academy Alumni Association to help create crime prevention programs and other initiatives that benefit communities in Northern Illinois;
- Encouraging citizens to step forward to report crime and serve as witnesses in court;
- Participating in InfraGard, a national information-sharing and analysis program that partners the FBI with private industry, academia, and state and local law enforcement to share intelligence that protects our nation’s critical infrastructure;
- Sending our special agents and other personnel into schools, businesses, and civic meetings to explain emerging crime and security threats and to provide specific advice on how to prevent being victimized by these threats;
- Serving on committees and boards for businesses, schools, community groups, and social and health services and launching drives to bring food, gifts, and toys to the less fortunate during the holidays and other times of the year;
- Partnering with the American Football Coaches Association and its National Child Identification Program to distribute Child ID kits at football games and other events; and
- Encouraging students to become more aware of cyber safety.
We offer public speakers on a limited basis on a variety of topics pertaining to the FBI’s investigative mission. Requests for speakers should be made in writing and sent to:
Attn: Speakers Coordinator, Special Agent Joan Hyde
2111 W. Roosevelt Rd.
Chicago, IL 60608
To enable us to process your request, please provide the following information:
- Date, time, and place of presentation;
- Approximate length of presentation;
- Specific topic(s) you wish addressed;
- Intended audience (industry, general public, students, etc.);
- Deadline for response;
- Address to send response; and
- Contact name and telephone number to obtain additional information.
Please note that we require one month’s advance notice for requests for speakers and that all requests are subject to availability.
To learn more about our community efforts, please contact: