How FBI Junior Special Agent Program Tries to Improve Law Enforcement Image


The snitches-get-stitches mentality among her students is a sore spot for Detroit school principal Tamara Johnson, reports the Detroit Free Press. Students don't tell on their friends, she says. And they don't trust cops. “When they think about law enforcement, it's all bad. [ ] I don't think they see the police or FBI as people who can help anymore,” said Johnson. The nation's top cops are hoping to change that mind-set. The FBI has an outreach program that places agents and specialists into schools and neighborhoods across metro Detroit and throughout the U.S., hoping to build trust and relationships — and recruit future agents.

The program's motto: “The better we know our communities, the better we can protect them.” One recent stop for the FBI was Johnson's school: University Preparatory Academy-Ellen Thompson Campus. The elementary school is participating in a six-week FBI Junior Special Agent Program, in which more than a dozen students are learning how to become FBI agents. The program involves physical fitness training — the kids learned all FBI agents must be in tip-top shape — and investigative techniques. This week, kids got a feel for what it's like to chase around bad guys with a 30-pound bulletproof vest strapped around them.

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