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Citizens academy offers look at what the FBI does

The FBI is offering an inside look to members of the local community through the FBI Citizens Academy.

The citizens academy is a free nine-week course designed to showcase the day-to-day operations of the FBI to citizens and leaders in the community. The spring class starts March 1.

“This academy strengthens our partnerships with the local community through transparency,” said Samantha Madrid, FBI Albuquerque Field Office community outreach specialist. “Many people attend the academy and find things out about the FBI that they never knew.”

The academy, taught by FBI special agents, offers firearms training, counterterrorism training and more.

The class has been conducted in Albuquerque annually since 2006 with roughly 30-40 participants.

The class is on Wednesdays from 5:45-9 p.m. at the Albuquerque Field Office.

A special incentive of the firearms training class is learning to fire the Thompson submachine gun, a classic weapon from the early 1900s that began the modern era of machine guns.

After completing the citizens academy, attendees may join the Citizens Academy Alumni Association, which allows members access to tours of FBI headquarters at Quantico, Va.

Applicants must be at least 18 years old with no prior felony convictions and can’t be under investigation as a suspect in a criminal case. A background check will be conducted as well.

The application deadline for the spring 2018 citizens academy is Sept. 22.

According to the FBI website, candidates are nominated by FBI employees, former citizens academy graduates and community leaders; applicants can also self-nominate.

For information, go to

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