Charlotte, 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.
Our recent activities include:
The 2012 Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA) for North Carolina was presented to Mrs. Emily Fitchpatrick. Mrs. Fitchpatrick is the founder and executive director of Hope House Programs (HHP) in Asheville, North Carolina. HHP is a national initiative dedicated to helping domestic underage victims of human trafficking. The faith-based network began in 2008 and provides outreach to minors who are sexually exploited, shelter for those who are rescued, and leadership training for those who want to move beyond their current situation. Human trafficking victims may be held through force, fraud, and/or physical or psychological coercion. The number of cases is growing nationwide. The FBI cannot combat human trafficking alone. We work with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and national victim-based advocacy groups in joint task forces that combine resources and expertise on the issue. While the FBI investigates the crime, Mrs. Fitchpatrick and her organization provide an invaluable service to help these victims start a new life.
2012 Charlotte DCLA Winner Emily Fitchpatrick
Mrs. Emily Fitchpatrick, the executive director of Hope House Programs (center), accepts the Director’s Community Leadership Award from FBI Charlotte Community Outreach Specialist Stacie Keen (left) and Assistant Special Agent in Charge James Jewell right at a luncheon in Asheville.
Twenty participants recently graduated from the Charlotte FBI’s 11th Citizens Academy session. The FBI’s Citizens Academy presents a unique opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the FBI and the community. It brings together a cross-section of community leaders who learn firsthand about our operations and initiatives, which demystifies our work and creates new contacts and channels for working together and sharing information.
Charlotte also hosts Multi-Cultural Advisory Committee (MCAC) meetings. The MCAC was designed to serve as a proactive opportunity to discuss individual and group issues affecting various communities by engaging in open dialogue to promote general communication, awareness and education. The group meets with division executive management on a quarterly basis.
We recently hosted Community Relations Executive Seminar Training (CREST)—one with the Haitian community and another with the administrative staff of Central Piedmont Community College. A CREST—similar to a Citizens’ Academy but conducted in less time (8-10 hours)—was designed to reach out to a specific community/organization to foster a better understanding with the FBI. The CREST curriculum is customized to meet the needs of the group or organization, which chooses the discussion topic(s).
Among our other ongoing efforts:
Attending various minority (such as Asian, Indian, Muslim, and Hispanic) community events;
Partnering with other law enforcement agencies to participate in National Night Out and other community initiatives;
Meeting with minority groups and civic organizations to talk about what the FBI can do with them and for them and hosting CRESTs and Town Hall meetings as needed to dialogue on key issues;
Sending special agents and others from the FBI into schools, businesses, and civic meetings to explain emerging crime and security threats and to provide specific advice on how to prevent being victimized by these threats;
Supporting our Citizens’ Academy graduates, who band together in the North Carolina Citizens’ Academy Alumni chapter to create crime prevention programs and other initiatives that benefit communities;
Taking target practice on Citizens’ Academy range day
Coordinating drives to bring food, gifts, and toys to the less fortunate during the holidays and other times of the year; and
Partnering with the American Football Coaches Association and its National Child Identification Program to distribute Child ID kits at football games, zoo events, and other locations.