Sunday, October 11, 2009

FBI Citizens' Academy

I just completed the five-week FBI Citizens' Academy. We meet once a week in the evening for three hours at the FBI offices (mine was in Salt Lake City) and on one Saturday at the firing range (mine was at the Salt Lake County Sheriff's facility). One of the best training experience I have ever had. The curriculum consists of:

-- Practical problems involving evidence collection and preservation.
-- FBI jurisdiction and congressional oversight.
-- Structure and operation of FBI field offices and satellite agencies.
-- Fingerprint, forensic, technology, training, and other services
-- Policies and issues: ethics, discipline, communications, drug enforcement, civil rights, and future criminal trends.
-- Firearms training.

The Special Agent in Charge (SAC) and the Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) led the training; the actual Special Agents were the instructors. We covered white collar crime, violent crime, cyber crime, counterintelligence, domestic terrorism, undercover ops, victims, investigations, technology & tools, and careers. We got enter and see the gun vault (including a 1929 Thompson submachine gun) and play in the Firearms Training System (FATS simulator).

On Saturday, we saw a sniper demo: we were told roughly were he was concealed; he made four precise shots from 100 yards. None of us could spot him until he stood up. We saw an explosive demo; amazing what a little C4 can do. We shot four FBI guns -- 2 handguns and two semi-fully automatic guns. We even got to shoot the .45 Tommy gun. We participated in a SWAT team hostage training session (we were the hostages).

There is no doubt that the men and women we met -- Special Agents and support staff -- are second to none. They are very professional and personable. They are dedicated to their jobs. I was very impressed.

If you are interested in law enforcement, information security, investigations, forensics, homeland security, this is a must. It was a great experience for all of us. I want to thanks those that participated in the 12th Citizens' Academy -- Utah Division. I wish them the best, including the SAC who is transferring to the SE USA.

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