The Community Outreach Program is a nationwide initiative that connects local FBI offices with their communities. The CJIS Division Community Outreach Program includes community outreach specialists who coordinate programs and lead teams of volunteers from the FBI to provide meaningful services to communities in North Central West Virginia and beyond. Learn more about our efforts below.
Child Identification and Safety
Community Fingerprinting Program
Trained FBI staff provides free fingerprinting services to parents at area schools, day care centers, shopping malls, fairs and festivals. The fingerprints of children are taken by FBI staff and then given to parents/guardians to have them in the event of a tragedy—a natural disaster, abduction, or runaway situation.
This presentation features a demonstration that educates kindergarten through second graders about stranger danger and provides practical information to prevent abduction, child abuse, and internet stalking.
Realizing that a real danger exists beyond the streets and roads of our local area, FBI personnel offer a program of Internet safety that includes scenarios that depict safe practices and proper etiquette on the World Wide Web. This program is available to area schools, both for students and faculty, and other community organizations.
FBI-SOS – Safe Online Surfing
The FBI-SOS (Safe Online Surfing) Internet Challenge is a free, educational, fun online program that promotes cyber citizenship and teaches students in 3rd through 8th grades how to recognize and respond to online dangers. Sponsored and managed by the FBI, the program provides vital Internet safety guidance in an interesting, competitive format.
Knowing that our youth are our future, the FBI’s CJIS Division actively participates in the Partners in Education Program. The program fosters a special connection with area schools. Some of the facets of the program include the following:
Hardest Working Student Award
Each year the FBI honors/recognizes students, from each of the partner schools, who have demonstrated the value of giving their best at every task, both in and out of the classroom in a ceremony at the CJIS Division complex. The Hardest Working Student Award recognizes students who strive at many aspects of life beyond grades.
Junior Special Agent Program
Fourth- and fifth-grade students from the partner schools are given the opportunity to participate in this course that is designed to stress the importance of good citizenship and doing the best they can in all endeavors. FBI employees provide a biweekly overview of FBI and CJIS programs as well as lessons on civic duty. Students who complete the program are presented a Junior Special Agent badge and credentials by the Assistant Director of the CJIS Division in a graduation ceremony held at the CJIS complex.
The FBI provides a course that gives high school age students an inside view of the FBI. This course is designed to create a dialogue with high school students and promote a greater understanding of the FBI, its mission, and its role as a law enforcement and intelligence agency.
FBI Citizens’ Academy
The CJIS Division partners with the Pittsburgh Division’s Clarksburg Resident Agency to host an nine-week FBI Citizens’ Academy each fall. This course creates a dialogue with local citizens and promotes greater understanding of the FBI, its mission, and its multifaceted role as a law enforcement and intelligence agency.
The CJIS Division´s Citizens’ Academy began in 2005, and more than 200 students have graduated from the program.
FBI Citizens’ Academy students are local business, civic, religious, or community leaders who meet the following criteria:
- Are at least 18 years of age;
- Have no prior felony convictions;
- Live or work within the jurisdiction of the local field office; and
- Are able to pass a security check assessment.
Candidates are nominated by FBI executives, often based upon recommendations from Citizens’ Academy graduates. Candidates are then selected by the CJIS assistant director, along with assistance from the community outreach specialist.
What Do Participants Learn?
Through frank discussions and education, students gain insight into the structure and operation of an FBI field office and resident agency, as well as of FBI Headquarters. Some activities are hands-on, including participating in firearms demonstrations and solving problems like how to collect and preserve physical evidence. The students are also briefed on the legal basis for the FBI’s jurisdiction, issues relating to congressional oversight, and the services the FBI provides to local and state law enforcement agencies.
Academy classes are taught by FBI staff and/or others approved by the CJIS assistant director.
FBI Citizens’ Academy Alumni Association
The FBI Citizens’ Academy Alumni Association - CJIS/Clarksburg Chapter was officially formed in January 2010.
All FBI Citizens’ Academy Alumni Associations (CAAA) are non-profit organizations made up of FBI Citizens’ Academy graduates who support the goals and mission of the program. Each CAAA works to promote safer communities by participating in community service projects and efforts to educate business, religious, government, senior citizens, and other community leaders about law enforcement, with particular emphasis on the mission and activities of the FBI.
Community and School Presentations
We coordinate presentations provided to schools and community groups in our area. Programs are provided on a variety of topics, including:
By learning about diversity, we can reject stereotypes and misconceptions about those who are different from ourselves. CJIS employees are proud to present programs that share their cultural diversity with area students. Each February, for example, FBI staff present a Black History Month program to area schools. The program includes a choir of FBI employees who sing traditional and historical African-American music. Choir members discuss the songs with the children to further cultivate cultural awareness.
The FBI Police Explosives Detection K-9 Handler teams at the CJIS Division offer K-9 demonstrations to local communities, including at area schools and during tours of the CJIS Division facility.
The CJIS Division and area FBI offices can provide guest speakers to local organizations, parent groups, and area students to explain the mission of the FBI and the programs the FBI operates to achieve that mission.
Recognition and Remembrance Programs
The Community Outreach Program sponsors the annual Memorial Ceremony that remembers and honors fallen law enforcement officers in West Virginia. In addition, program staff coordinates the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award Program each year.
Memorial Ceremony in Honor of Fallen West Virginia Law Enforcement Officers
In May 1996, then West Virginia Governor Cecil H. Underwood presented a proclamation declaring the second week in May as “Fallen West Virginia Law Enforcement Officers Week.” Law enforcement officials and community leaders from West Virginia participate in a ceremony at the CJIS Division complex that honors West Virginia law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award
Since 1990, the FBI has given the Director’s Community Leadership Award to publicly recognize the achievements of individuals and organizations that make a major impact in their communities. The CJIS Division’s assistant director presents each year’s recipient with the award locally. Then, during a national ceremony at FBI Headquarters, the award is presented by the FBI Director.