Birmingham, 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. It works specifically to help reduce crime, violence, terrorism, and civil rights violations through community-based partnerships, collaborative efforts, and special events, all in support of the FBI’s mission.

FBI Citizens’ Academy

The Birmingham FBI Citizens’ Academy reaches out to business, civic, religious, and community leaders and provides them with an inside look at the FBI. The goal is to increase public awareness about the FBI, its mission, its activities, and its people; to provide an avenue for the FBI to hear and respond to community issues and concerns; and to strengthen relationships and improve understanding between the FBI and the communities it serves.

Who attends? Business, civic, and religious leaders, each nominated by a Bureau employee or a previous Academy graduate. You must be at least 21 years old (with no prior felony convictions) and live and work in the area covered by the Birmingham field office. Please note: because classified techniques used in criminal and national security cases are discussed, nominees must undergo a background check and get an interim security clearance.

Who teaches and for how long? The special agent in charge and his senior staff. Classes generally meet nine times, with eight class sessions and graduation. Each session is two hours and has around 20-30 students.

The curriculum? Fascinating! Topics include terrorism, violent crime, white-collar crime, cyber crime, legal issues, employment opportunities, firearms safety, and the deadly force policy. There are also practical, “hands on” exercises with our Field Intelligence Group and Evidence Response Team.

Community Relations Executive Seminar Training (CREST)

The FBI CREST is a shorter, more focused version of the Citizens’ Academy, conducted in partnership with a community group at an off-site location. Students learn about the mission, goals, history, and internal workings of the FBI, but the sessions are customized to meet the needs of each organization.

CREST serves as a means to exchange information between the FBI and the participating communities. Through this exchange, criminal problems affecting communities are identified and addressed. Topics include counterterrorism, foreign counterintelligence, cyber crime, public corruption, major thefts/violent crime, white-collar crime, civil rights, and recruitment and hiring.

FBI Safe Online Surfing Program

The mission of the FBI-SOS Internet Challenge is to promote cyber citizenship among students by engaging them in a fun, age-appropriate, competitive online program where they learn how to safely and responsibly use the Internet.

During the program, students complete an online, grade-specific examination. Topics are introduced at grade-appropriate levels and include:

  • Protecting personal information
  • Online predators
  • Cyberbullying
  • Instant messaging
  • Social networking
  • Cell phone safety
  • Gaming safety
  • Reporting
  • Copyright and fair use

The program runs from September through May; the highest scoring schools are presented trophies for winning the competition.

FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA)

This special award, presented on behalf of the Director of the FBI, was formally created in 1990 as a way to honor individuals and organizations for their efforts in combating crime, terrorism, drugs, and violence in America. It recognizes people for their service above and beyond the call of duty to help keep America and its kids safe.

The Birmingham Division’s 2012 DCLA recipient was Prescott House. Prescott House was founded in 1987 by retired Jefferson County District Attorney David Barber and is believed to be the second oldest children’s advocacy center in the United States, serving Jefferson and surrounding counties in Alabama, providing services to children who may have witnessed or been victims of abuse or trauma.

  • DCLA recipients for 2011
  • Sparks presentation
  • Birmingham press release
  • National press release

Public Speakers

FBI Birmingham offers public speakers on a variety of topics pertaining to the FBI’s investigative mission. Requests for speakers should be made in writing and sent to FBI Birmingham, Attention: Request for Speaker. The following information is necessary to process a request:

  • Date, time, and place of presentation;
  • Approximate length of presentation;
  • Specific topic(s) to be addressed;
  • Intended audience (industry professionals, general public, students, etc.);
  • Deadline for response;
  • Address to send response; and
  • Contact name and telephone number to obtain additional information.

Please allow two weeks of advance notice for all requests for speakers. All requests are subject to availability.

For more information on any of the FBI’s outreach efforts, please contact at (205) 279-1457

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