Citizens Academy Lets FBI Explain Its Operations


Five FBI SWAT agents, in black bulletproof gear strapped with a mass of weapons, crept over the concrete block wall with a menacing grace, says the Miami Herald. Below, were their four targets. The two criminals in front were dispatched with bullets between their paper eyes. The rest of the SWAT team broke down the door to eliminate the rest. A hostage, a SWAT team coordinator, was escorted toward the audience — a diverse mix of educators, religious figures, and community leaders there to learn about the daily workings of the FBI. The operation happened in less than minute — as precise as the SWAT explanation the students had received in Saturday morning’s class.

The demonstration was part of the inaugural FBI-Miami Citizen’s Academy, where civilians are inducted into the complex operations of the FBI over an eight-week course. “We want to show people what the FBI is really about, because there are so many misconceptions out there,” said FBI spokeswoman Judy Orihuela. “If we can bring people here, and let them see how we work and have a little fun in the process, then maybe they’ll go out and be good spokespeople for us.” Once a week, students get a taste of the issues faced by the bureau, from the intricacies of white-collar crime to the emotional details of hate crime investigations. Of particular interest is bringing in those from communities that may be particularly wary of the FBI.


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