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The Las Vegas FBI branch has adopted West Prep Academy and recently 24 Jr. FBI Special Agents graduated from the program with an award ceremony.

The Jr. FBI special agents program has been around since around 1990, It actually was established in our Washington field office back then.

And basically what it is, is a…every couple weeks, we get together with the students for an hour to ninety minutes and basically FBI agents and other FBI employees let them know about the FBI’s mission and about the good that we do for the community.

And then, you know, from that they earn the right to get the badge, and credentials, and a certificate basically that makes them Jr. Special Agents to the FBI.

I think not only does it get students interested in law enforcement as a profession, but also gets them interested in becoming, down the road, prospective FBI applicants as well.

The local branch of the FBI has been in Las Vegas since the 1960s and is very grounded in being involved in the local community.

It’s very important to the FBI to work with the community, to let the community know that we’re a part of this community…and that we want to be a part also of helping our children to grow up the right way, to learn the right choices, to understand that law enforcement is a noble profession.

We work a little bit differently than say our state or local law enforcement.  Um, you know, they have their laws, rules, and regulations that they have to enforce; we are basically the federal law enforcement arm.

And um, just because that’s the case though does not make us a good, solid part of this community as well, all of our agents and employees live here, and we want to see this community succeed, just as much as our state and local law enforcement do.

The Jr. FBI special agents program is currently only offered at one school but the local FBI branch is open to expanding the program.

We’ve basically, through the FBI’s Adopt-a-School program, looked to find schools that might be a good fit for us; in this case West Prep Elementary is actually in our neighborhood, right across the street from the FBI office, so, uh, we’ve adopted West Prep, and they’ve adopted us, so to speak.

But, you know, we would be would remain open to potentially having any school be adopted should they be interested, and should we be able to work that out.

Reporting for Inside Education, I’m Desirée Duncan.