In addition to providing training for new agents and our law enforcement partners here and overseas, the FBI also offers members of the community an up close and personal look at how it operates through its Citizens Academy program.
The Citizens Academy program brings the community’s civic, business, and religious leaders together to experience firsthand how the FBI investigates crimes and threats to our national security and learn about the various tools and techniques we employ to carry out our mission.
Classes generally meet weekly in the evenings for four hours, over a period of seven or eight weeks, and are taught by agents and experts from our Laboratory and Training divisions.
As portions of the Citizens Academy curriculum mirrors new-agent training, class members get plenty of hands-on instruction in diverse areas of practice ranging from firearms; fingerprinting; collecting evidence from a crime scene and investigative techniques.
The course covers topics including, but not limited to:
- FBI jurisdiction and Congressional oversight
- Structure and operation of FBI field offices and satellite agencies
- Intelligence and counter terrorism
- Firearms training
- Practical case work including:
- Evidence collection and preservation
- Investigative techniques
- Training & negotiation
- Case presentation
Graduates become eligible to participate in local and National Citizens Academy Alumni activities.
Potential Candidates for the Citizens Academy must be business, civic, religious, or community leaders, who meet the following criteria:
- Must be 21 years of age
- Must have no prior felony convictions
- Must live and/or work in the jurisdiction of the local Field Office of the FBI; and
- Must pass a background check
Applicants must be nominated by a Bureau employee, or a Citizens Academy Graduate in good standing and must be approved by the Special Agent in Charge, San Diego. For information about the next Citizens Academy and the most recent nomination form, visit the FBI San Diego website.
Due to the use of classified materials which may relate to case work techniques, National Security discussions, or other curricula, all prospective attendees must consent to and pass a background check and security clearance and sign Non-Disclosure Agreements.
FBI San Diego Citizens Academy – In the News
In February 2019, CBS 8 reporter Marcella Lee interviewed the senior team leader of the Evidence Response Team (ERT), Agent Dudley, and our very own Community Outreach Specialist Yadira Dickey for a story highlighting the Citizens Academy. “Our goal is to increase awareness in the community. We’re real people, trying to keep people safe,” said Yadira Dickey, Outreach Specialist at the FBI’s San Diego Field Office.