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Citizens Academy

Washington Field Office Community Outreach
FBI Citizens Academy

The next FBI Citizens Academy will be held in spring 2016 at the FBI’s Washington Field Office in Northwest, Washington, D.C. All applications must be submitted no later than COB on Monday, February 1, 2016. Citizens Academy classes will be held each Thursday evening (5:30 to 9:00 p.m.) from April 7 through May 19, 2016. The graduation event will be held on Saturday, May 21, 2016. All applicants must either reside or work within Washington, D.C. or Northern Virginia. For Citizen Academy classes in your area, please check the website of your local FBI field office.

The Citizens Academy provides business, religious, civic, and community leaders with an inside look at the FBI, building mutually beneficial relationships along the way.

The goal of the Citizens Academy is to:

  • To be a catalyst for improving the quality of life within the individual communities through law enforcement-related and awareness programs;
  • To project a positive image of the FBI in the communities we serve and to build new partnerships and initiatives within these venues;
  • To improve our understanding of the individual community by establishing and enhancing the flow of information between the FBI and the community; and
  • To identify crime problems affecting specific communities not currently being addressed and to develop proactive initiatives that respond to those problems.

The Curriculum

Attendees typically gather one night a week over the course of six to eight weeks and learn about the mission, goals, history, and inner workings of the Bureau. They are provided with an overview of FBI and Department of Justice policies and procedures; background on the structure and operations of an FBI field office and resident agency; details on the legal basis for our jurisdiction and issues relating to congressional oversight; a summary of the services we provide to local and state law enforcement agencies; and firearms demonstrations. Attendees are also given practical problems involving the collection and preservation of physical evidence.

The curriculum and teaching methods are similar to those used at the FBI Academy. The classes are taught by FBI staff and/or representatives deemed appropriate by the special agent in charge. The following topics are included in the Citizens Academy curriculum:

  • Terrorism
  • Cyber crime
  • Counterintelligence
  • Public corruption
  • Major thefts/violent crimes
  • Field Intelligence Group
  • White-collar crime
  • InfraGard
  • Civil rights

Program Requirements

Potential candidates include business, civic, religious, or community leaders who:

  • Must be at least 21 years of age;
  • Must have no prior felony convictions;
  • Must live or work within the jurisdiction of the Washington Field Office; and,
  • Must pass a security check assessment.


Candidates are selected by Washington Field Office executive management with the assistance of the community outreach program staff. Citizens Academy Alumni Association members are prohibited from being part of this selection process. Candidates are notified by letter and by e-mail of their selection and must confirm that they can commit to specified program dates prior to the first class date.