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In Your Community

In Your Community

Developing partnerships

Our community outreach program strengthens communication between the FBI and civic organizations, businesses, schools, ethnic and youth groups, and senior citizens. Through our interaction with these groups in Maryland and Delaware, we help reduce drug trafficking, fraud, and other crimes.

We are involved in many activities:

Citizens Academy

The FBI’s Citizens Academy enhances our relationship with local leaders. It is a multifaceted tool that increases public awareness about the Bureau and its mission and goals; enables us to hear and respond to community issues and concerns; strengthens relationships; and improves understanding between the FBI and the community.

FBI Baltimore 21st Citizens Academy Class

Our academy is held in the spring (Delaware) and fall (Baltimore Division) each year. The sessions are on Tuesdays from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., plus one Saturday session.

The Baltimore special agent in charge makes the final selections of participants, who must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 21 years of age;
  • Be a business, minority, civic, media, religious, government, or health care leader;
  • Have no prior felony convictions;
  • Live or work in the Maryland and Delaware; and
  • Pass a background check.

During these sessions, substantive presentations are made by FBI instructors regarding various investigative programs including:

  • Terrorism (international and domestic);
  • Violent crime and major offenders;
  • Criminal enterprises/gangs;
  • Public corruption/civil rights;
  • Victim assistance program/human trafficking;
  • Computer crimes and Internet safety;
  • Foreign counterintelligence;
  • The Maryland Coordination Analysis Center;
  • The FBI and the media;
  • WMD/HAZMAT response, special events, and maritime program;
  • Active shooter program;
  • Forensics overview with interactive demonstration; and
  • Recruitment/hiring.

The next Citizens Academy session will be held at the FBI Baltimore Field Office and will run September 27 through November 16, 2016. The 22nd academy will be held eight consecutive Tuesday evenings from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and the firearms range day will be held on a Saturday. The deadline for applications is August 5, 2016. All applicants must either reside or work in Maryland. For Citizens Academy classes in your area, please check the website of your local FBI field office.

Maryland/Delaware Citizens Academy Alumni Association (MDCAAA)

Citizens Academy graduates are invited to join the Maryland/Delaware Citizens Academy Alumni Association (MDCAAA), which began in June 2005 and meets monthly. MDCAAA supports the incoming class and a crime prevention workshop; reaches out to schools; and sponsors a golf tournament. MDCAA members may:

  • Attend an evening lecture series to receive updates on local and federal law enforcement issues and ways to keep the community safe;
  • Nominate participants to the Citizens and Teen Academy classes;
  • Be a member of the National Citizens Academy Alumni Association;
  • Assist in providing resources, training, and best practices to Citizens Academies nationwide;
  • Develop outreach initiatives that will assist in fighting crimes in the community;
  • Tour FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. and the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia; and
  • Attend special events at the FBI Baltimore.

Community Relations Executive Seminar Training (CREST)

The Community Relations Executive Seminar Training (CREST) is similar to the Citizens Academy; however, it is compressed and more focused. The curriculum educates participants on the mission, goals, history, and internal workings of the FBI.

  • The organization requesting the training selects the topic that best suits the audience—for example, cyber crimes, counterterrorism, or civil rights.
  • The venue is selected and provided by the organization, association, or group.

Adopt-A-School/Junior Special Agent (JSA) Program

Through our Adopt-a-School/Junior Special Agent (JSA) program, we have adopted the Old Court Middle School. Our program runs during the school year (October-May), and fifth graders participate in the junior special agent program. Students completing their assignments receive JSA credentials at a June graduation ceremony and participate in a basketball challenge with Baltimore agents and support staff. Goals for the students are to:

  • Help them improve academically and become better citizens;
  • Provide an opportunity to meet the professionals of the Baltimore Division;
  • Educate them about the FBI’s history, the types of crimes the Bureau handles, and the jurisdictional territory our division serves;
  • Provide a chance to ask questions of FBI personnel and promote the Bureau as a potential career choice in the future; and
  • Raise awareness on drugs, gangs, and anger management.

Teen Academy

The Teen Academy (view brochure) informs and educates students so they have a greater understanding of the FBI’s mission and goals. Through hands-on experiences and case discussions, we explain to our younger generation how the FBI addresses community concerns. The Teen Academy includes high school students—ages 14 to 18—from different areas and from public, private, and parochial high schools in Maryland. This event is held one day each summer at the Baltimore Field Office, at the conclusion of which attendees receive certificates. The academy includes a tour of our facility and presentations on:

  • The FBI hiring process;
  • Polygraph, SWAT, Evidence Response Team, and forensics;
  • Internet safety; and
  • Violent crimes/gangs.

This year’s Teen Academy will be held Friday, July 22, 2016, from 7:45 a.m.-4:00 p.m. The deadline to apply is Friday, May 27, 2016.

FBI Safe Online Surfing (FBI-SOS) Program

FBI-SOS is an Internet safety program that was developed with the assistance of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and with the input of teachers and schools. Open to all public, private, and home schools nationwide, the initiative is a free, age-appropriate, competitive, and fun online program that promotes cyber citizenship and teaches students in third through eighth grades how to recognize and respond to online dangers—like Internet predators and cyberbullying—and covers topics such as social networking and gaming safety.

In November 2014, Maryland’s Sykesville Middle School was selected as the national winner in the FBI-SOS Sharks category. More than 120 students at the school participated in the challenge, with their 93.61 percent score leading their school to claim the highly coveted national award.

Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA)

Each year since 1990, FBI field offices have publicly recognized the achievements of individuals and organizations in the areas of drug or violence education and prevention through the Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA). Our 2014 recipient is James Deaner, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Washington County, Maryland.

Some of our past DCLA recipients are: the Latin American Community Center (2013); Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation (2012), Harlem Globetrotter Allen “Duffy” Samuels (2011); Sidney Ford (2010), E. Keith Colston (2009); Imam Yahya Hendi (2008); Bishop Leon Wilson (2007); Pastor James Gardner Mullen (2006); Roberta Mosby-Fontana, Village Community Center (2000); Thomas Dennis, Tenants on Patrol (1999); Brian Uppercue, Captain, Baltimore County Police Department (1998); Gwen Snowden, C.C. Jackson Recreation Center (1995); William C. Litsinger, Boys and Girls Club of Maryland (1993); and Michael M. Gimbel, Office of Substance Abuse of Baltimore County (1991).

Public Speakers

We offer public speakers on a limited basis on a variety of topics pertaining to the FBI’s investigative mission. All requests for speakers must be submitted online.

Please note: FBI Baltimore requires six weeks’ advance notice for all requests for speakers. All requests are subject to availability.

Our other outreach initiatives include:

  • Inviting minority organizations to the field office and holding roundtable discussions, providing opportunities to discuss community concerns, broaden attendees’ knowledge of the FBI, and strengthen partnerships;
  • Participating in Career Days at schools and National Night Out events;
  • Attending community meetings in Maryland and Delaware area; and
  • Conducting presentations for businesses; colleges/universities; organizations; and senior centers.

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