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Knoxville Community Outreach

Knoxville’s community outreach program is designed to support the FBI’s mission. By developing community partnerships and education and awareness initiatives, the Knoxville Division continues to build bridges and encourage dialogue among the diverse communities we serve.

Our programs include:

Safe Online Surfing

FBI-Safe Online Surfing LogoTeachers and students, are you ready for an exciting opportunity to participate in the FBI Safe Online Surfing (FBI-SOS) Internet Challenge? The FBI-SOS Internet Challenge is an online educational program that teaches kids about Internet safety in a fun way, using interactive games and activities. While competing with other similar-size schools, students in 3rd through 8th grades learn to recognize online dangers and how to be safe cyber surfers. Students navigate games and scavenger hunts, which highlight safety tips and resources on topics such as cyber bullying, gaming safety, social networking, and online predators. There are unique online activities for each grade level. The challenge portion of the program will be the final quiz, which allows each school to have some friendly competition with other schools.

FBI-SOS is open to all public and private schools and runs from October through May. Schools with the highest score each month will receive the FBI-SOS national trophy and a visit from a local FBI special agent when possible. Registration is easy and it’s free. Teachers or administrators may go to the website at https://sos.fbi.gov to find out more information and register. No information on students is collected or stored by the FBI.

Citizens Academy

2014 Citizens Academy Members on ERT Night2014 Citizens Academy Members on ERT Night
Members of the 2014 Knoxville Citizens Academy class, wearing Tyvek suits, learn how to recover evidence
from crime scenes on ERT night.

Our Citizens Academy offers business, civic, religious, and community leaders an inside look into the priorities, mission, and resources of the FBI. We are learning about their concerns; they are learning about our challenges. During the spring of 2014, we conducted our 12th Citizens Academy session, which brought together a diverse group of community leaders to learn firsthand about our operations and programs.

Citizens Academy Alumni Association

Our Citizens Academy graduates have found a way to stay connected to the FBI, their fellow students, and the community through the Citizens Academy Alumni Association, which participates in events and initiatives that improve the lives of local residents. You may find the alumni, for example, handing out FBI Child Identification Kits, FBI-SOS brochures, or FBI Child ID App pamphlets.

Community Relations Executive Seminar Training (CREST)

A CREST is a miniature Citizens Academy and provides an overview of the FBI, its jurisdiction, and issues relating to the community. A CREST serves as a catalyst for improving the quality of life within the community and reinforcing existing relationships by establishing an exchange of information between the FBI and the communities we serve. The training is typically six to eight hours in length and includes topics on interest to the group. The organization requesting the training is responsible for providing a venue and identifying all participants.

Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA)

This prestigious award was established by the Director of the FBI in 1990 to publicly recognize and honor the achievements of individuals and organizations actively involved in combating and preventing crime, terrorism, drugs, and violence in American communities. Each of the FBI’s 56 field offices presents one award annually to an individual or organization in its jurisdiction who significantly contributes to improving their community. This year’s Knoxville recipient of the DCLA was Frank Dougherty Murphy for his service as emcee or entertainer for many charitable events, including the Kids Helping Kids Fun Walk, American Cancer Society, and American Heart Association, as well as fundraisers for schools and churches.

East Tennessee Civil Rights Working Group

East Tennessee Civil Rights Working Group membersThe pinnacle of Knoxville’s community outreach is its efforts with the East Tennessee Civil Rights Working Group. This group meets monthly to discuss the prevention and detection of hate crimes, color of law violations, human trafficking, and crimes specifically targeted against minority segments of our community. 

Young Adult Leadership Academy (YALA)

We offer a Young Adult Leadership Academy (YALA) in partnership with the Knoxville Metropolitan Drug Commission, the Knoxville Police Department, the University of Tennessee Police Department, and Oak Ridge National Lab. YALA is designed to foster a rich learning environment while encouraging our future leaders to enhance their team building and leadership skills. Through a series of intellectual and hands-on exercises, students are challenged to hone their critical thinking skills and ability to interact with people from all walks of life. Course content may include mastering job interviewing and public speaking skills, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) curriculum, forensics, mock crime scenes, mock firearms scenarios, SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) demonstrations, underage drinking and prescription pill abuse pitfalls, Internet and social media safety, and handling the transition to college/campus life.

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