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FBI Citizens Academy

FBI Citizens Academy

The Minneapolis Division has been hosting FBI Citizens Academy classes since 2005. The Citizens Academy provides business and community leaders with an inside look at the FBI. In the academy, 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 alumni during a tour of the new Minneapolis FBI Headquarters building
The Citizens Academy alumni during a tour of the new Minneapolis FBI Headquarters building

Our Citizens Academy consists of six three-hour evening sessions conducted over a six-week period each spring. Citizens’Academy class members also participate in a graduation cermony and a session at the firearms range, where they view a demonstration by our SWAT (Specialized Weapons and Tactics) team and have a chance to fire the same weapons used by our agents.

In addition, we offer Citizens Academy Alumni an opportunity to visit the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia for a unique tour and series of briefings from the 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, D.C.

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 Minneapolis Division’s jurisdiction; and
  • Passing a limited background investigation.

Citizens Academy graduates are eligible to become members of the Minneapolis FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association, which works with the FBI to promote a safer community through educational and service projects.