FBI Citizens’ Academy – Week 8

Week #8: Victim Services/Support and FBI Recruitment

This weeks’ final evening covered the FBI’s victim support services and FBI Special Agent recruitment. It was very interesting to learn not only does the FBI have a victim services program, but how extensive it is (what it offers victims to help with what was likely a very traumatic experience). It goes without saying that the recruitment part was of great interest to a lot of folks since we were all hopped up on several prior weeks of FBI knowledge and presentations of the interesting stuff they do! Realistically, there were really only two or three folks who even qualified to be recruited as a Special Agent, and only one or two of those who were truly interested.

This presentation was short and to the point and provided a good capstone to the class prior to graduation.

The victim services/support presentation had a lot to compete with. We weren’t far removed from range day, counter-espionage and anti-terrorism presentations, and all the other exciting stuff the FBI is responsible for. That doesn’t mean the material was boring, it was just hard to elevate such a somber topic to the fast-paced Hollywood-esque levels of guns and bad guys.

Basically, the victim services/support is exactly what it sounds like: the FBI has a dedicated team of folks who specialize in helping those affected by crimes that the FBI is involved in handling. From child porn to white collar crimes and everything in between. The FBI offers all sorts of assistance for a ton of topics…basically anything that could help a person recover from the damage (physical, emotion, mental, even monetary) of a crime can be offered at their request. Just as strongly as the FBI mobilizes to investigate a crime, the victim services folks mobilize to help on the personal side of things.

Next came the recruitment presentation. Each field office is equipped with a recruiter who handles Special Agent applicants (as well as non-Agent employees who happen to work for the FBI) for that office’s area of responsibility. They seem to have no shortage of folks wanting to check out what the mythical “Special Agent” position can offer. Like any high-level fast-paced program, the requirements are high to even qualify for possible recruitment. The actual selection and nomination to the FBI’s academy in Quantico, VA is even more stringent.

We got to watch the “so you’ve been selected to attend the academy video…now what?” video that they hand out to new recruits. It was pretty cool to see a video “from the inside” and to get a taste of what they go through. The video highlighted the separation from family and friends and the limited contact you’ll have with them for the duration of the academy. It also underscored the intense studying and physical requirements that will be demanded (or else!).

I’ll admit, the thought of looking into being a Special Agent certainly passed through my mind. I think you’d have to be lacking a pulse to not at least think about it! The slippery slope I almost fell down was when I realized I meet pretty much all of the requirements to apply for the academy. Just when my interest got humming, I read the part about changing locations is expected of Special Agents. Whoops…can’t do that (nor do I want to) now that I’ve cast seeds and started to grow roots in Charlotte! Not fair to the family nor my mortgage note!

The FBI’s website is actually really thorough in explaining the process and requirements. I highly recommend a read if you’re interested (whether for personal knowledge or to truly test the waters): https://www.fbijobs.gov/11.asp

Leave a Reply