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Las Vegas Junior Special Agents Academy


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Randy Swallow: Recently, as part of an FBI Community Outreach Program called “The Junior Special Agent Academy,” a group of 5th graders from West-Prep Elementary School took a very special field trip to McCarran International Airport.

Aboard these three busses are some junior FBI agents in training. Today’s mission: investigate the nation’s 7th busiest airport.

Randall H. Walker: So we are going to take you out on the airfield, which many people do not get to go out on unless they work at the airport.

Randy Swallow: The day began with a briefing from the Director of Aviation, and then, onto their special tour. Fifty-four West-Prep students gazed out windows as the buses were driven past all areas of McCarran, from the international gates to the cargo facilities.

Bruce Daugherty: This is Terminal 3 that will handle all our international flights.

Randy Swallow: McCarran staff pointed out important parts of the airport along with fun facts. And then a very special site to see!

Kids on the bus: Wow, I see it!

Randy Swallow: Air Force One happened to be at McCarran this day. And while President Obama was visiting Las Vegas, the kids got a unique and very close up view of the majestic blue and white Boeing 747.

Jahleel Matos: I saw the plane that Obama came in, and I saw the tower where all the airplanes get signals from. I saw a lot of cool things, and I am excited!

Randy Swallow: When the students are in the classroom, during the multi-week course they are tough FBI agents. The kids learn about different career fields and a variety of lessons like evidence gathering, photography, the dangers of dealing with drugs and gangs. But organizers say it lessons outside the classroom, like this days tour, that leave a lasting impress on the students.

Holly James: The goal is to give them experiences outside of their schools and neighborhoods, to show them different opportunities that they many have not seen anywhere else but on TV or think that it’s not possible for them to choose careers in different things.

Randy Swallow: The tour continued inside where students learned how the airport is kept safe and secure with a demonstration from security officers and “Flynn” the bomb-sniffing dog. The FBI’s Citizens’ Academy Alumni Association set up and sponsored this airport visit in hopes that the students would learn that they can be anything they want to be, if they work hard at it.