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Community Outreach

Las Vegas Community Outreach

Las Vegas, 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.

Our activities include:

The FBI recognizes the achievements of individuals or organizations in the community who provide outstanding service by presenting the annual Director’s Community Leadership Award.This award is given to those who are actively involved in drug, gang, crime, and violence education and prevention. Our 2013 recipient was U.S.VETS-Las Vegas, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving southern Nevada’s homeless veterans and their families.

FBI Citizens Academy

Graduates of the 11th annual Las Vegas Citizens Academy
Graduates of the 11th annual Las Vegas Citizens Academy

On April 29, 2014, the Las Vegas Division graduated 19 members of the 11th annual FBI Las Vegas Citizens Academy. The graduation ceremony was held at the Texas Station Resort and Casino. It was sponsored by the FBI Las Vegas Citizens Academy Alumni Association (LV CAAA).

For the previous seven weeks, the class met with FBI executives, senior special agents, and program managers to learn about international and domestic terrorism, counterterrorism, white-collar crime, polygraphs, cyber crime, violent crimes and crimes against children, evidence recovery, firearms safety, SWAT, intelligence, and employment with the FBI.

This year’s impressive class included:

Francisco V. Aguilar – General Counsel, Agassi Enterprises, Inc.; Guadalupe ALBA – CEO of K G & R Bookkeeping Solutions; Mark Brandenburg – Co-Owner and President, Golden Gate Casino, LLC; Dr. Benito C. Calderon – Medical Director, Isabella Medical LLC; Michael A. Cunningham – Regional President of Bank of Nevada; Dr.  Joseph Randall “Randy” Edwards – Senior Loan Officer, Lenders Mortgage; Vance K. Farrow – Industry Specialist for Health & Medical Services with the Nevada Governor’s Office of  Economic Development; Margi A. Grein – Executive Officer, Nevada State Contractors Board; Samuel G. Ingalls – Assistant Director of Aviation, Clark County Dept. of Aviation; Luke Joseph –Owner and Broker of World Realty and World Management; Chen “Jack”  Min Juan – Shareholder with Marquis Aurbach Coffing; Miriam Lira-Hickerson – Ombudsman of Consumer Affairs for Minorities with State of Nevada, Dept. of Business & Industry; Christopher Mathews – Shareholder with Lionel, Sawyer, & Collins; Greg J. McKinley – CEO/Owner of Cragin & Pike, Inc.; Leslie G. Parraguirre – President/Owner of Colours, Inc.; Lt.Col. Charles W. Reed – U.S. Army; Paul  Schiffman –   Head of School, Adelson Educational Campus; Mickey Weisz, M.D. – President, Nevada Digestive Disease Center; Michael Wiley – Senior Vice President of Security at SWITCH – SuperNap data center InfraGard member.

The evening began with a cocktail reception, and the Canyon Springs High School JROTC Color Guard opened the evening with the presentation of the flags and the Pledge of Allegiance. FBI LV CAAA President Valerie Murzl welcomed the FBI, FBI Citizen Academy graduates, guests, and Alumni members. Approximately 75 people attended the event.

President Murzl introduced the keynote speaker, Laura A. Bucheit, Special Agent in Charge of the Las Vegas Division. Certificates and letters from FBI Director James Comey were then presented to each graduate by Special Agent in Charge Bucheit and Assistant Special Agents in Charge Randall Bolelli, Rick Brodsky, and Bill Stern.

Special recognition included honoring U.S.VETS-Las Vegas. The organization was chosen as FBI Las Vegas Division’s recipient to receive the 2013 FBI Directors Community Leadership Award. Executive Director Shalimar Cabrera recently returned from FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. where she received the award on behalf of the organization.

Graduates of the 11th annual Las Vegas Citizens Academy
(2013 FBI DCLA recipients, U.S.VETS-Las Vegas employees – Executive Director Shalimar Cabrera (holding flowers) and SAC Laura Bucheit)


Potential candidates for the FBI Citizens Academy must:

Nominations for the FBI Las Vegas Citizens Academy may be submitted prior to the close date, December 31, 2014. Dates for the 2015 academy have not been announced. Classes are held once a week for eight weeks. Nominations may be submitted by present or former FBI employees, Citizens Academy graduates, FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association members, or a self-nominated.

Candidates MUST meet the following criteria:

  • Be a recognized business, religious, or community leader from a diverse population.
  • Be a U.S. citizen.
  • Live/work within the Division’s jurisdiction.
  • Be at least 21 years old.
  • Have no prior felony convictions.
  • Have no misdemeanor arrests within one year of application.
  • Must consent to a criminal records check and sign a Waiver Statement with regard to a criminal and driving records check.
  • Agree to attend all sessions with no more than two excused absences.

To nominate a candidate, please complete this candidate form. Selection of the candidates is based on factors such as the person’s level and nature of participation in community, civic, religious groups, and organizations outside of work. Explain why this person would make a good candidate and his or her interest in learning more about the FBI. When applying, please be sure to include a detailed description of any organizations the person is involved in, how long he or she has been a member, and any positions held. Also, be sure to include the home address and phone number, employer, position held, and contact numbers. Although a resume or bio is not required, it is helpful in giving the selection committee a closer look at the nominee. The nomination may be sent to the special agent in charge.

Twenty business, religious, civic, and community leaders are chosen to attend this annual program, which gives an inside look at the FBI. The goal of the FBI Citizens Academy is to foster a greater understanding of the Bureau’s role in the community and to open lines of communication between the FBI and those it serves. Participants receive presentations on procedures in federal investigations, firearms safety, terrorism, counterterrorism, cyber crimes, SWAT, undercover operations, white-collar crimes, violent crimes, public corruption, and civil rights.

After graduation, the attendees are expected to help improve relationships between law enforcement agencies and the community by sharing the insights and information they gain staying involved in the FBI Community Outreach Programs by becoming a member of the FBI Las Vegas Citizens Academy Alumni Association (FBI CAAA).  Academy graduates, while not in any way an official spokesperson for the FBI, may be called upon to share their understanding of the role of federal law enforcement.

2014 Range Night

The noise in the Las Vegas desert was hostage taking, flash bangs, and gunfire, but this time it wasn’t the bad guys—it was members of the 2014 FBI Las Vegas Citizens Academy being arrested as role players! The “good guys”—the FBI Las Vegas Division SWAT team—demonstrated what happens in a hostage situation. After a safety brief, the class had a chance to fire weapons used by the FBI.

Members of the Las Vegas Division SWAT team teach members of the 2012 FBI Las Vegas Citizens Academy how to shoot at Range Night.Members of the Las Vegas Division SWAT team teach members of the 2012 FBI Las Vegas Citizens Academy how to shoot at Range Night.
Photos: Members of the Las Vegas Division SWAT team teach members of the 2014 FBI Las Vegas Citizens Academy how to shoot at Range Night.

FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association

The FBI Las Vegas Citizens Academy Alumni Association (CAAA) was established in the fall of 2009. The FBI LV CAAA is a non-profit organization made up of FBI Citizens’ Academy graduates who support the goals and mission of the FBI, the academy program, and community outreach. Each Alumni Association works to support the local FBI field office to nominate future Citizens’ Academy members, to participate in outreach programs in the community, and to become better informed on issues of federal law enforcement.

Visit the FBI Las Vegas Citizens’ Academy Alumni Association (CAAA) website by going to http://lvfbicaa.org.

Visit to FBI Headquarters and Quantico

The FBI Las Vegas Division’s Community Outreach Program held its second FBI Citizen Academy pilgrimage to FBI Headquarters, Washington, D.C. and the FBI Training Academy at Quantico, Virginia during the week of June 11 -14, 2012.
Members of Las Vegas Citizens Academy Alumni Association visit FBI Headquarters

The Las Vegas Division’s community outreach program held its second FBI Citizen Academy pilgrimage to FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. and the FBI Training Academy at Quantico, Virginia in June.

The group began its adventure on Tuesday, June 12, with a visit to the J. Edgar Hoover Building, FBI Headquarters. There they were greeted and escorted to the Strategic Information and Operations Center, where they received briefings from supervisory special agents and a tour of the building. After lunch in the FBI cafeteria and shopping in the FBI store, the group toured the new FBI Education Center. The day concluded with a tour of The International Spy Museum, and later that evening the group enjoyed dinner at Washington D.C.’s historic Old Ebbitt Grill.

On Wednesday, everyone met at FBI Headquarters and boarded a bus for FBI Training Academy, at Quantico, Virginia. After a tour of the main campus, lunch was served at the academy cafeteria. The day concluded with a visit to the FBI Laboratory, Hogan’s Alley, and the TEVOC (Tactical and Emergency Vehicle Operations Center).

Thursday morning, June 14, the group spent the day at our nation’s Capitol, beginning with a meet-and-greet with Senator Harry Reid. Photos were taken with the senator, and a tour of the Capitol was conducted by his staffers. The final morning event included a meeting with Senator Dean Heller in his office.

Adopt-A-School/Junior Special Agent Programs

Las Vegas Jr. Special Agents Academy graduates in 2013

The Las Vegas Field Office and the FBI Las Vegas Citizen Academy Alumni Association (FBI LV CAAA) partnered with Preparatory Institute, School for Academic Excellence at Charles I. West Hall (West Prep) for this school year’s FBI’s Adopt-A-School Program (2012-2013).

The FBI Junior Special Agents Academy was offered to all 57 fifth graders this year. For 16 weeks they were visited by FBI special agents, support staff, and FBI Citizens Academy Alumni members. They learned about the FBI, law enforcement careers, the danger of drugs and gangs, Internet safety, civil rights, undercover operations, victim’s rights, and bullying. They took field trips to UNLV and the Clark County General District Court.

During a graduation ceremony held February 1, 2013, Supervisory Special Agent Christina Burt gave the students the oath and presented each with a Junior Special Agents badge and certificate. She spoke to the students, staff, and parents about her career as an FBI agent, her love of learning, and the opportunities it gave her, such as living in Russia. Special recognition was given to Ms. Jennifer Spigel and Mr. Christopher Nichols, their fifth grade teachers. The top four students each received a metal FBI badge and leather credentials carry case, and the Junior Special Agent of the Year received a Kindle. After the ceremony, the FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association sponsored a pizza lunch for all who attended the graduation.

FBI Las Vegas Adopt-A-School Program:

Miss Nevada’s Outstanding Teen Ellie Smith with West Prep School schools in the Las Vegas Jr. Special Agents program in 2012

In November, 69 fifth graders from West Prep School, Las Vegas, Nevada, got a big surprise during their regular FBI Junior Special Agents in Training class. After being shown the YouTube music video “Don’t Let It Get to You,” the students were asked, ‘Does anyone know who wrote and sang this song about bullying?’ Students began raising their hands and said ‘That’s Ellie Smith!”

As they answered, in walked the 2012-2013 Miss Nevada’s Outstanding Teen Ellie Smith to the cheers of all the students! For the next hour Ellie talked about her experiences as a victim of bullying and got the class actively involved in some anti-bullying activities. After her presentation, Ellie sang with the students, signed autographs for everyone, and took group pictures with the classes.

Sixteen year old Ellie Smith was a victim of continuous bullying in school during grades 4 through 8. Upon entering high school she was determined to help other young students who may face bullying in school. She has visited schools throughout the state of Nevada giving presentations on her anti-bullying campaign. Ellie is a singer and actress who has performed nationally before live audiences. She sang her first National Anthem at age 9 for the Dodgers and has since sung for Major League Baseball, NFL, and NBA teams nationwide.

Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA)

Community Relations Executive Seminar Training (CREST)

Las Vegas CREST Held for Anti-Defamation League Executives

In November, a Community Relations Executive Seminar Training (CREST) was held for 20 members of the Anti-Defamation Leagues’ (ADL) Board of Directors.

The FBI CREST is a shorter, more focused version of the Citizen Academy conducted in partnership with an organization or group to explain the internal workings of the FBI. It is topic driven, and sessions are customized to meet the needs of each organization or group. CREST helps improve the FBI’s understanding of communities by establishing a consistent exchange of information.

This CREST was organized to give the leaders of the ADL an inside look at the FBI and a chance to meet with supervisory agents from the Civil Rights and Joint Terrorism Task Force to discuss anti-Semitic problems and solutions in the Las Vegas area.

The Las Vegas Anti-Defamation Board of Directors, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Bill Woerner, Supervisory Special Agent Rod Swanson, Supervisory Special Agent Joe Dickey, and Chief Division Counsel David Staretz. Photo by Community Outreach Specialist Holly James.

The Las Vegas Anti-Defamation Board of Directors, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Bill Woerner, Supervisory Special Agent Rod Swanson, Supervisory Special Agent Joe Dickey, and Chief Division Counsel David Staretz. Photo by Community Outreach Specialist Holly James.

Community Outreach

  • Speaker Requests: The Las Vegas Division may be able to furnish a speaker for your educational, civic, or workplace-based organization. To submit a request, send a letter to FBI Community Outreach, 1787 West Lake Mead Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV 89106. The request must be sent at least 45 days prior to the date of the event, and please include the location, date and time, topic of interest, and your contact information. Every effort will be made to honor such requests, although there may be occasions when workloads of staff dictate otherwise.
  • Elementary and Middle School Speaker Requests: FBI Las Vegas receives many school requests for speakers at Career Days, Careers on Wheels, Nevada Reading Week, and other presentations. Unfortunately, we cannot visit every school we receive a request from, so we have set up a priority list. Schools that are actively participating in the FBI-SOS (Safe Online Surfing) Internet Challenge (grades 3 through 8) will have priority. When submitting your request for a speaker, please be sure to state if and when your school has participated in the FBI-SOS program.
  • Partnering with USVets and Nellis Air Force Base: Our personnel volunteered to work at the USVets Stand Down, an annual two-day event that assembles homeless veterans and provides food, clothing, veterans benefits, referrals, and entertainment by Elvis…only in Las Vegas!

For more information contact:

Holly James
Community Outreach Specialist
1787 West Lake Mead Boulevard
Las Vegas , NV 89106
(702) 584-5678

Visit our national In Your Community website for more information about our overall outreach efforts and our work in other local FBI offices.