I am a recent graduate of the FBI Citizen’s Academy in Los Angeles. The Citizen’s Academy was set up to in 2000 as part of the FBI’s Community Outreach Program.
According to the Bureau, “The goal of the Citizens’ Academy is to foster a greater understanding of the FBI’s role in the community through open discussion and to support the FBI’s efforts to deliver information about their role, tools, tactics, jurisdiction and vision for the future in national law enforcement, homeland defense and counter terrorism on all levels.”
How to do they do that? Through talks and demonstrations over eight weeks with an array of Special Agents, a diverse and welcoming group, who speak about their areas of expertise from counter terrorism, criminal activities, counter intelligence, white collar crime, cyber crimes, use of deadly force and more.
The object, of course, is to spread the word about the good works of the Bureau and to garner support, and even help from the community in carrying out its mission.
Led by the L.A. office’s Assistant Director in Charge, Salvador Hernandez, the FBI puts on an insightful program.
It made me wonder if a similar program would work for agencies of the state. Perhaps not to the extent that the Citizens’ Academy does, but somehow reveling the inner workings of some state agencies may bring more support, or perhaps needed reforms. Transparency for the public is a good thing.
Anyone interested in the FBI Citizen’s Academy should visit fbicaa.org.