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Community Outreach

Tampa Community Outreach

Tampa, like each of the FBI’s local field offices, has a community outreach program that complements and strengthens our many efforts to protect you, your businesses, and your families in concrete ways through a range of activities and initiatives.

Our activities include:

Director’s Community Leadership Award

The Tampa Division’s 2015 recipient of the Director’s Community Leadership Award is Linda A. Walker, program manager for the Hillsborough House of Hope, Inc., which provides temporary shelter for women who have been incarcerated in the Hillsborough County Jail following their release until they can locate permanent housing and employment.

Ms. Walker has been with the Hillsborough House of Hope since 2003. She organizes resources, monthly activities, and outreach opportunities for the residents; heads fundraising efforts; and manages existing properties. While all of these responsibilities are noteworthy, her passion is helping people become productive citizens. She works extremely hard to provide job opportunities for formerly incarcerated women and to reunify them with their children.

Ms. Walker previously served as a board member for the Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County.

Citizens Academy

The Tampa Division holds two FBI Citizens Academies annually, one in Orlando and one in Tampa. This eight-week program brings together a cross section of approximately 25 civil, religious, and community leaders to learn firsthand about the FBI’s operations and programs, not only demystifying our work but creating new contacts and channels for working together and sharing information.

Potential candidates for the Citizens Academy must be at least 21 years of age, must have no prior felony convictions, must live or work within the jurisdiction of the local FBI field office, and must pass a background check.

Applications are currently being accepted for the fall 2016 Citizens Academy, which will be held in Tampa beginning September 22, 2016. The application deadline is July 15, 2016. Due to high demand, the selection process is competitive and acceptance is not guaranteed.

Among our other ongoing efforts:

  • Meeting with minority groups and civic organizations to talk about what the FBI can do with them and for them and hosting town hall meetings as needed to dialogue on key issues;
  • Sending our special agents and others from the FBI into schools, businesses, and civic meetings to explain emerging crime and security threats and to provide specific advice on how to prevent being victimized by these threats;
  • Supporting our Citizens Academies graduates, who have formed an alumni chapter to create crime prevention programs and other initiatives that benefit communities;
  • Serving on committees and boards for businesses, schools, community groups, and social and health services;
  • Reaching out to others who are less fortunate; assisting them with cleaning and painting residences and homes and providing them food, gifts, and toys during the holidays and other times of the year;
  • Encouraging citizens to step forward to report crime and serve as witnesses in court;
  • Participating in “Red Ribbon Week,” which educates youths and adults on the dangers of drugs and alcohol, and encouraging all to wear red ribbons to signify their commitment to stay drug-free;
  • Partnering with the American Football Coaches Association and its National Child Identification Program to distribute Child ID kits at football games and other events; and
  • Hosting a six-week FBI Junior Special Agent Academy for middle school students that provides our agents and other law enforcement professionals a venue to share life-changing topics with “at risk” kids. Examples of discussion topics include drugs, gangs, peer pressure, computer safety, and good decision-making.

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 Tampa requires six weeks’ advance notice for all requests for speakers. All requests are subject to availability.

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