Jackson Field Office of the FBI recruiting participants for the Citizens Academy
The Citizens Academy gives a behind the scenes look at the FBI
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Jermicha Fomby, the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Field Office in Jackson, has made it his mission to bring more community engagement to the work of the agency in this state.
Wednesday afternoon he talked exclusively with us about the FBI Citizens Academy, and the opportunity it gives for those who participate to make a difference.
“I think the most important part of the Citizens Academy as it relates to the community and the FBI is a combination of transparency, accessibility, and then just true engagement,” Fomby said.
Fomby, the Special Agent in Charge of the Jackson Field Office of the FBI, says one of his goals is to demystify the FBI. He also hopes the Citizens Academy will help showcase personnel and the way the FBI works.
“It is not just to have presentations to give a perspective, but it’s also for representatives of the community to ask questions, to seek clarity, to get an understanding for that,” Fomby said.
The Citizens Academy is hosted by the local field office. There is a recruiting process where individuals are identified. Up to 25 candidates can participate in each group.
Fomby said, “We will put them through a series of discussions and briefings and presentations, demonstrations, but also practical exercises, that give different perspectives and provide insight into the organization.”
Fomby also says the Citizens Academy helps to bridge gaps.
“If we don’t understand the needs of the community, that’s a problem. If we don’t understand the importance of how to meet the needs, but also, if we’re inflexible in our ability to meet those needs, then we’re back at square one with the inability to do so,” Fomby said.
We talked with two participants about the importance of the Citizens Academy.
Elaine Craig said, “I wanted to learn a little bit more about the FBI. I wanted to be able to see what they kind of do behind the scenes and get that kind of interactions with them to learn more about what they do.”
Janet Parker said, “The expertise, the, you know, the things they cover from crimes against children to cyber security. I mean that’s really just such a variety of expertise and I was just really grateful for that opportunity.”
Fomby added, “It is the best six weeks of your life.”
Groups meet once a week for three hours. Three sessions of the Citizens Academy are planned next year. The application process for the Jackson area begins in February.
If you are interested in applying for the FBI Citizens Academy, you can get more information here.
Want more WLBT news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Copyright 2022 WLBT. All rights reserved.