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FBI Citizens Academy

FBI Citizens Academy

The Cincinnati Division has been hosting FBI Citizens Academy classes since 2000. The Citizens Academy provides community leaders with an inside look at the FBI. In the program, participants learn about the structure and operation of the FBI; discuss investigative techniques used in criminal, counterintelligence, and terrorism investigations; view evidence recovery and analysis methods; and have the opportunity to participate in a firearms demonstration.

The curriculum is similar to the traditional methods used at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, but geared toward non-law enforcement participants. Presentations are provided by special agents and FBI experts with a free exchange of questions and observations. The Citizens Academy works to foster greater understanding of the FBI’s role in the community through the presentations, discussions, and demonstrations. The academy also builds relationships and develops partnerships that can help reduce crime in the communities we serve.

The Citizens Academy generally runs for eight straight weeks in the spring. We host classes simultaneously in our Cincinnati and Columbus offices one evening a week for approximately three hours each night. In addition to the traditional classroom presentations, participants have the opportunity to view evidence recovery techniques used at crime scenes and to try our Firearms Training Simulator, which allows participants to experience situations similar to those our agents face when confronting potentially dangerous suspects. Citizens Academy class members are also invited to participate in a session at a firearms range, where they view a demonstration by our SWAT (Specialized Weapons and Tactics) team and, under close supervision, have the chance to fire the same weapons used by our agents.

In addition, we offer students an opportunity to visit the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia for a unique tour and series of briefings from the FBI Academy staff. Participants on this optional trip get to see how our agents are trained, visit the FBI’s Forensics Laboratory, and see where our Hostage Rescue Team trains each day. They also attend a series of presentations at FBI Headquarters in Washington.

The basic requirements to participate in the Citizens Academy include:

  • Being at least 21 years of age;
  • Having no prior felony convictions;
  • Living and/or working within the Cincinnati Division’s jurisdiction; and
  • Passing a limited background investigation.

    Citizens Academy graduates are eligible to become members of the FBI Cincinnati Citizens Academy Alumni Association, an independent non-profit group that works with the FBI to promote a safer community through educational and service projects.

    If you would like to apply for a future Citizens Academy class, please contact our community outreach specialist at (513) 421-4310. Please note that due to the large amount of interest in this program and the small class size, only a limited number of applicants can be selected to participate each year.