Members, mark your calendars for Tuesday, June 22 at 6 p.m. for our next Quarterly Briefing. The presentation topic of Domestic Terrorism & Hate Crimes will include a debrief on a case from San Diego.
In-person quarterly briefings have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual member briefings are being held periodically via Zoom and details are emailed to members.
Previous briefings have included:
- FBI’s Art Crime Team and recent trends in art crimes, the prevalence of forgeries, and how collectors and galleries can protect themselves from fraud
- Election security, including representatives from the San Diego County Registrar of Voters, FBI Public Corruption Squad, and U.S. Postal Inspectors.
- Executive Assistant Director John Brown from the National Security Branch at FBI Headquarters highlighted the threat posed by the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party to the economic and national security of the United States.
- An FBI Hostage Negotiator provided a briefing about managing your emotional state during a crisis.
- A Secret Service agent provided a fascinating briefing on counterfeit currency.
- FBI Supervisory Special Agent Oscar Medina, from the Joint Terrorism Task Force, provided an Unclassified Case Briefing on Countering Violent Extremists.
- US Attorney Robert Brewer provided an overview of the Southern District, his priorities, and what is needed from the public to continue protecting our communities.
- Harbor Police Chief Stainbrook and City of San Diego Homeland Security Program Manager Matthew Brown briefed members about security in the Port of San Diego.
- Michelle Hart, FBI Special Agent from the Violent Crimes Squad, highlighted a case involving an international murder investigation and conviction(s) following a federal jury trial. The case was featured on the CNBC docu-series, Deadly Rich.
- Todd Hemmen, FBI Supervisory Special Agent with the Violent Crimes Against Children and Civil Rights squad, briefed members about human trafficking, a $150 billion per year industry. If you think you may have information about a potential trafficking situation, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) at 1-888-373-7888.
- Jim Verdi, FBI Special Agent Bomb Team, provided a fascinating briefing about the Escondido bomb house case.
- A Special Agent from the San Diego FBI Division’s Public Corruption Squad and the Public Corruption Task Force presented on public corruption, including several San Diego area case examples. Public corruption, the FBI’s top criminal investigative priority, poses a fundamental threat to our national security and way of life. The FBI is uniquely situated to combat corruption, with the skills and capabilities to run complex undercover operations and surveillance: fbi.gov/investigate/public-corruption.
Each year, the FBISDCAAA invites members in good standing to join special tours. Upcoming tours are on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recent tour highlights include:
- At the Coast Guard San Diego sector, members saw an H60 helicopter and several vessels.
- Members enjoyed a behind the scenes visit to the San Diego Sheriff’s Regional Crime Laboratory.
- At a “Top Gun” tour of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, members learned that newly winged aviators go through about 100 hours of simulator training and flights in their first year on the F-18.
- Southern California’s Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON): The busiest radar facility of its kind in the world, members learned that the 230+ air traffic controllers on staff are responsible for 18,000 miles of air space across 46 public airports.
- San Diego International Airport: After a walking tour of Terminal 2, members got an exciting up-close drive on the airfield and learned about the measures the airport takes to secure the airfield, including the Engineered Material Arresting System (EMAS), the Perimeter Intrusion Detection Fence, the Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighting (ARFF) Station, Air Traffic Control Tower, Spooky Eyes, Blast Fence and Thermal Imaging.
- San Diego Border Patrol: The group traveled along the border and saw various fence structures, a WW2 bunker, and Friendship Park. From the time the US-Mexico Boundary Commission first met at Friendship Park in 1849, at the end of the US-Mexico War, people have met at Friendship Park to visit across the international boundary. During this time, the park has been characterized by goodwill and an absence of violence.
Each year, a new cohort participates in weekly meetings and briefings. Learn more about FBI Citizens Academy nominations. The next class is scheduled to begin in fall 2020.
Membership Social Events
Our 2019 FBISDCAAA holiday party at Tom Ham’s Lighthouse was a lot of fun. Previous member events include happy hours and a summer garden party.
FBI Teen Academy
The FBI San Diego Division hosted 70 high school students for two, one-day Teen Academies in summer 2019. Teens learned about good decision making, FBI careers, human trafficking, violent extremist recruiting, the FBI deadly force policy, the dangers of drugs, met a drug dog, learned how to take fingerprints, role played a felony car stop with SWAT agents, and practiced split second decision making with the Firearms Training Simulator (FATS). They also had a delicious lunch, sponsored by the FBISDCAAA, during which they had small group career mentoring sessions with agents and professional staff. At the end of the day, graduates received certificates and were designated as “Teen Ambassadors”, eligible to volunteer at information booths for community outreach events throughout the year.
Junior Special Agent Graduation
In April 2019, our chapter supported 20 students from the Monarch School in becoming FBI Junior Special Agents, including presentation of a badge and certificate. The Monarch School provides children with educational skills and tools to overcome the odds against homelessness, and the Junior Special Agent Program gives fifth graders in disadvantaged neighborhoods the information, skills, and discipline they need to stay away from gangs, drugs, and crime. The FBISDCAAA is proud to support this program as one of our community outreach projects. Students learn about the FBI’s mission and core values, and how law enforcement serves and protects their communities.
FBISDCAAA hosted a successful holiday party for the 5th Graders at Monarch School San Diego in December 2019. The Adopt-A-School event is part of the FBI Community Outreach Program. Students presented FBISDCAAA representatives with a thank you card and Hershey kisses. The lesson they were practicing is that it is important to express gratitude when they receive.