The better we know our communities, the better we can protect them. The Community Relations Unit at FBI Headquarters and FBI community outreach specialists in field offices across the country create and strengthen relationships locally and nationally with minority groups, religious and civic organizations, schools, non-profits, and other entities. These partnerships have led to a host of crime prevention programs, enabling families to stay safe from fraudsters and cyber predators, businesses to protect themselves from hackers and economic espionage, schools and workplaces to safeguard against violent rampages and illegal drugs, and all citizens to become alert to potential acts of terror and extremism. Some of our programs include:
Our Citizens Academy programs are engaging six-to-eight-week programs that give business, religious, civic, and community leaders an inside look at the FBI. Classes meet in the evening FBI field offices around the country. The mission of the FBI Citizens Academies is to foster a greater understanding of the role of federal law enforcement in the community through frank discussion and education. Candidates are nominated by FBI employees, former Citizens Academy graduates, and community leaders. Participants are selected by the special agent in charge of the local FBI field office. To find out more about an FBI Citizens Academy in your area, contact your local field office.
The FBI CREST (Community Relations Executive Seminar Training) is a shorter, more focused version of the FBI Citizens Academy program and is conducted in partnership with a specific community group at an offsite location. The program is designed to build trust and strengthen relationships between the FBI and the communities we serve. Classes are taught by FBI executives, senior special agents, and program managers. Participants are selected by members of their organizations or community.
Our Teen Academy and Youth Academy programs allow high school students an opportunity to get a comprehensive look into today’s FBI during a six-to-eight-hour block of instruction and demonstrations at their local field office. Students are provided with several presentations on topics including terrorism, cyber crime, public corruption, polygraph exams, evidence response, SWAT, and the day-to-day operations of a typical FBI office.
The 16-week Junior Special Agent Program aims to give fifth- and sixth-graders in disadvantaged neighborhoods the information, skills, and discipline they need to stay away from gangs, drugs, and crime. Students also take a course in civics and learn about the FBI and the ways in which law enforcement helps to serve and protect their communities.
Future Agents in Training (FAIT) is a program that originated out of the FBI’s Washington Field Office but has expanded to additional field offices throughout the country. FAIT invites high school students to receive hands-on training and works to educate and inform students about the mission of the FBI’s criminal, counterterrorism, intelligence, counterintelligence, and administrative divisions. Students learn from special agents, intelligence analysts, language specialists, and professional staff about investigative tactics that include gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and assisting with cases.
The Child ID app—the first mobile application created by the FBI—provides a convenient place to electronically store photos and vital information about your children on your smartphone (note: no information is stored or collected by the FBI). In the event your child goes missing, users can show the pictures and provide physical identifiers such as height and weight to security or police officers on the spot. Using a special tab on the app, users can also quickly and easily e-mail the information to authorities.
The app also includes tips on keeping children safe, as well as specific guidance on what to do in those first few crucial hours after a child goes missing.
FBI-SOS is a free, fun, and informative program that promotes cyber citizenship by educating students in third to eighth grades on the essentials of online security. For teachers, the site provides a ready-made curriculum that meets state and federal Internet safety mandates, complete with online testing and a national competition to encourage learning and participation. A secure online system enables teachers to register their schools, manage their classes, automatically grade their students’ exams, and request the test scores.
Anyone—young or old, in the U.S. or worldwide—can complete the activities on the FBI-SOS website. The testing and competition, however, are only open to students in grades 3-8 at public, private, or home schools in the U.S. or its territories.
Don’t Be a Puppet: Pull Back the Curtain on Violent Extremism is an interactive website that uses activities, quizzes, videos, and other materials to teach teens how to recognize violent extremist messaging and become more resistant to self-radicalization and possible recruitment.
The website makes teens aware of the destructive reality of various forms of violent extremism, including hateful attacks based on race, religion, or other factors. Through its Don’t Be a Puppet theme, the program encourages teens to think for themselves and display a healthy skepticism if they come across anyone who appears to be advocating extremist violence.