Omaha, 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 goal is to engage the communities we serve to develop relationships and build partnerships that can help to prevent crime. To achieve this goal, we use a variety of programs and tools that enable us to interact with the community while working together to address challenges. Among the programs we offer are:
FBI Citizens’ Academy
Offered in each of the FBI’s field offices, the Citizens’ Academy provides community leaders with an inside look at the structure and operations of the FBI. Through presentations by special agents and other FBI experts, participants learn more about our mission, our methods, and our work to protect the community. Twice a year, we hold an eight-week Academy on Tuesday evenings from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.—one in the spring in the Des Moines Resident Agency and one in the fall in the Omaha Field Office.
The Citizens’ Academy alumni during a tour of FBI Headquarters. A recent Citizens’ Academy during Range Day.
For more information and nomination forms, see our Citizens Academy webpage.
Community Relations Executive Seminar Training (CREST)
Members of a recent CREST learning about
CREST enables the FBI to partner with organizations in the community to develop specialized training seminars helpful to the group and its members. The program is a shorter, more focused version of the Citizens’ Academy and is led by agents and professional staff. Presentations can include topics such as cyber security, identity theft, counterterrorism, gangs and violent crime, civil rights, evidence recovery, or other subjects of interest to the host organization.
See our CREST webpage for more information.
Director’s Community Leadership Award
Each year, we present this prestigious award to an individual or organization that has worked to combat crime, terrorism, drugs, or violence in America.
Our 2012 recipient was Herb Hames for his development of a strong reputation as a key community leader and volunteer in the Omaha area.
Engaging Young People
We seek to create positive role models; develop academic and social skills; and prevent crime, drug, and gang associations among area youth. Working with parents, local schools, community organizations, and our law enforcement partners, we stress positive choices and healthy lifestyles. We have partnered with Central Park Elementary School in Omaha for the past 20 years, and we sponsor its Junior Special Agent program. Our Citizens’ Academy Alumni Association recently kicked off an FBI- SOS (Safe Online Surfing) program in the states we cover— Nebraska and Iowa. In May 2010, the Harry Anderson Middle School of Millard Public Schools in Omaha was named the national winner of the SOS challenge.
We participate in many special community events each year. Agents and professional support staff give public speeches, presentations, and demonstrations to groups throughout the states of Iowa and Nebraska. We visit schools, businesses, community centers, and other venues to talk about the work we do and ways that members of the community can partner with us to help keep our neighborhoods safe.
Among our other ongoing efforts:
Meeting with minority groups and civic organizations to talk about what the FBI can do with them and for them and hosting town hall meetings as needed to dialogue on key issues;
Supporting the graduates of our Citizens’ Academies, who often band together in local alumni chapters to create crime prevention programs and other initiatives that benefit communities;
Serving on committees and boards for businesses, schools, community groups, and social and health services and launching drives to bring food, gifts, and toys to the less fortunate during the holidays and other times of the year;
Encouraging citizens to step forward to report crime and serve as witnesses in court;
Participating in “Red Ribbon Week,” which educates kids and adults alike on the dangers of drugs and alcohol and encourages them to wear red ribbons as a sign of their commitment to stay drug free; and
Partnering with the American Football Coaches Association and its National Child Identification Program to distribute Child ID kits at football games and other events;