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Citizens Academy

Citizens Academy

Interested in getting an inside perspective into the FBI, meeting the dedicated men and women of the Richmond Division, and becoming a part of the solution to crime issues facing the Commonwealth?

Then you may be interested in participating in the Richmond FBI Citizens Academy.

The FBI Citizens Academy is a stimulating experience that provides media executives and business, religious, civic, and community leaders an insight into the infrastructure of a field office, an explanation of the FBI’s jurisdiction and Richmond’s territory, and the partnerships and services the FBI provides to our community and to our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners. The Citizens Academy works to strengthen existing relationships and build new ones with the community by utilizing a forum of open dialogue and eye-opening presentations.

Through this educational experience, the Richmond Division hopes to challenge communities to build and strengthen relationships with the Bureau, to dispel the myths and rumors associated with the FBI, and to provide a clear understanding of the FBI community outreach program’s goals and objectives.

For more information visit any of these links:

Topics of Citizens Academy Classes

  • Civil rights;
  • Computer intrusion;
  • Counterintelligence;
  • Counterterrorism;
  • Domestic terrorism;
  • Evidence Response Team;
  • Field Intelligence Group;
  • Gangs and violent crime;
  • Identity theft;
  • InfraGard;
  • Innocent Images National Initiative;
  • Recruiting; and
  • White-Collar Crime.

Application Process

Each applicant to the Citizens Academy program must:

  • Be a recognized business, religious, or community leader from a diverse population;
  • Live and/or work in the Richmond Division’s territory;
  • Be at least 18 years of age;
  • Have no prior felony convictions;
  • Have no misdemeanor arrests within one year of attempting to enter the Citizens Academy;
  • Sign a waiver statement and consent to a criminal records check;
  • Agree to attend all sessions with no more than two absences; and
  • Remain active and participate in the Citizens Academy Alumni Association after graduation.

If you are interested in participating in an FBI Citizens Academy, please send a written request to Community Outreach Specialist Dee Rybiski at the FBI, 1970 East Parham Road, Richmond, VA 23228.

Please include the following within your letter:

  • Your name;
  • Your address;
  • All contact information (work and home addresses and phone numbers);
  • Any community organizations you are affiliated with;
  • What you hope to learn from participating in the Academy; and
  • How you are prepared to release the knowledge you learn back into your community.

Please note that immediate attendance in a particular session may not be possible. At such time you are selected to participate, you will be contacted directly by Mrs. Rybiski.

When is the Citizens Academy?

three citizen's academy photosThe Richmond Division began hosting Citizens Academies in the fall of 2003 and has held two Academies each year since. The spring session typically runs from April to May; the fall session from September to October. The Academy runs for eight consecutive Tuesday evenings, from 6:00-9:00 p.m. at our Parham Road facility. A Saturday session consists of a “Top Gun Challenge” at the firearms range, and once a year Academy participants are taken to our training facility at Quantico, Virginia for a tour.

Richmond Citizens Academy Alumni Association

After graduation from the Citizens Academy, you may join the Richmond FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association. Involvement in this association gives you the opportunity to work with the FBI to create crime prevention programs and other initiatives that will benefit the community, to build a number of networking and liaison contacts, and to receive special invitations to events and speaker’s nights sponsored by the Alumni Association and the Richmond FBI. Members from Richmond’s Alumni Association include business, civic, community, and religious leaders; politicians; educators; the media; ethnic organizations; and retired citizens.

As a Citizens Academy graduate, you also have the opportunity to join InfraGard, an alliance of private industry, academia, state and local law enforcement agencies, and others committed to sharing information and intelligence to protect our nation’s critical infrastructures.

In the News

1009rh-tulips.jpgDuring National Red Ribbon Week in October 2009, our Richmond FBI Office—and Community Outreach Specialist Dee Rybiski—worked alongside members of the Richmond FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Board to distribute more than 600 red tulip bulbs to a number of schools in the area. The first National Red Ribbon Week was proclaimed by Congress in 1988 on the heels of the death of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena, kidnapped and murdered by Mexican drug traffickers in 1985. Today, the Red Ribbon campaign works to raise awareness of the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, and encourages prevention, early intervention, and treatment services.