FBI Citizens Academy gives a glimpse into working for the agency

Do you have what it takes to be a federal agent? Well, if you do not, then you can still get a glimpse of what being in the Federal Bureau of Investigation is like.

The FBI Citizens Academy met at the Port Authority Training Center to learn about the FBI specialty teams and spent time on the firing range shooting everything from an FBI issued handgun to the historic Tommy Gun. It is a national program and this was the first time it was held in Southwest Florida.

FBI Special Agent Davis Christy says, “Citizens Academy is an opportunity for community leaders to partner with the FBI and a partnership enable a series of lectures on the mission of the FBI and the specialties FBI has to bring to bear to conduct federal investigations. Our hope is after they graduate the Citizens Academy they can go on and educate people in the community as a peer in a way that we can’t.”

After graduating the Citizens Academy, the FBI hopes participants can educate people in the community as a peer in a way that the agency cannot.

The students get hands on training in everything from hazardous evidence response team protocols to flying small drones inside building to gathering intelligence for the Special Weapons and Tactics team.

Academy participant and sugar farmer, Ken McDuffie, said “In-depth details about what the FBI does to protect us as a country and its citizens and we’re very grateful to have them open it all up. Very educational about what they do and what these guys in these ladies go through to protect our country.”

Some soon to be graduates have a better understanding of what the FBI does on a daily basis and only a few weeks left in the programs.

“It was a privilege to be chosen to come through this, absolutely recommend,” said Michele Yovanovich, who is the dean of students at Florida Gulf Coast University. “When I go to work I tell folks if they ask you to do it absolutely you should do it.”

RESOURCES:

FBI Tampa Field Office Community Outreach (Citizens Academy)

Reporter:Rich Kolko
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