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Message from President Andrew Smith

09 Jun 2013 12:00 AM | Anonymous

Andrew Smith

Dear Fellow Alumni,

Wow! It’s been a busy spring for the FBI Birmingham Citizens Academy Alumni Association! Here’s a summary of what we’ve been doing:

Helping Fellow Citizens Academy Alumni
In March, we as  a chapter supported the Bresette Family after they experienced a tragic event while at the Birmingham airport. The father, Ryan, is a member in the FBI Kansas City Citizens Academy Alumni Association. Your chapter established a fund so that anyone who wanted to could contribute to show their support for the Brasette. I am pleased to report the fund now totals $10,005.93. These funds will be disbursed to the family in the near future. Thank you for keeping the Bresettes in your thoughts and prayers.

Spring Citizens Academy Graduation – May 14
On May 14 we graduated our scheduled spring class. The class was comprised of 26 leaders in the Huntsville community. Their eagerness and commitment to furthering the mission of the FBI in the community was transparently evident and confirmed by the overwhelming addition of many to the active rolls of the FBICAAA Birmingham. SAC Schwein was in attendance and gave a thoughtful speech and answered questions from the group. As always, Paul Daymond was the “host with the most” and kept the proceedings on track. Joe Popinski, Deb Jaramillo and I were afforded the opportunity to present the benefits and importance of being a part of the FBICAAA and I thank Paul and the leadership of the FBI Birmingham field office in giving us this important venue to showcase who and what our chapter is all about. I want to personally congratulate each of the graduates and hope to see each of you often at future FBICAAA events.

Air Traffic Control Tower Tour – May 18
On the heels of graduation (Saturday May 18), a group of 23 registered FBICAAA members and friends visited the Huntsville/Madison Air Traffic Control Tower (HSV ATCT) at the south end of the airport. Our host, Mr. Don Schrader, Manager of HSV ATCT was our guide along with a number of other ATC personnel. Due to the size of the group, we were split into three groups and were guided through three different operations – the radar room, the radar training room, and the actual control tower. We spent about 15-20 minutes in each area. It was insightful and quite educational especially in light of what air traffic has become since September 2001. The training the controllers go through is not only intense but the time to become certified can take years. Additionally, each controller has to be certified in each discipline so be assured as you fly that the folks taking care of us on the ground are as concerned for our safety as much as we would hope they are! I want to thank the HSV ATCT for their hospitality and personally thank Mr. Schrader for the amount of his Saturday he dedicated to our chapter. As a side note, Mr. Schrader asked me if he could go through the FBI Citizen’s Academy! I told him I would submit his name to Paul for consideration. After the tour, a number of us met at Greenbrier BBQ for some anxiously anticipated lunch before heading home.

So what’s next and how can you be more involved in your FBICAAA chapter?

Safety Day – Jun 12
Our FBICAAA chapter will be supporting the Safety Day at SMDC/MDA on 12 June by handing out Child ID Kits.  The Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) with participation by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) are hosting their annual Safety Day on Wednesday, June 12 and the FBI-CAAA has been asked to support the effort. The Location will be the Redstone Arsenal, Von Braun-III building from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM. If you would like to participate let me know and I’ll make sure you get plugged in.

Community Awareness for Youth Day – Aug 17
The next event is the Community Awareness for Youth (CAFY) in Huntsville. This event will be held on August 17 and is a partnership between the Huntsville Police Department, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and Madison County in their Vision of building bridges in their community towards having one city with one vision of success for all; especially our youth! Many organizations will be participating as will the FBICAAA Birmingham. The event will include live bands, free food, free give a-ways and school supplies (as long as they last).  They also hope to have some local celebrities to mentor the youth that day as well.  The first year of the CAFY event they had over 1,000 attendees and last year they had over 2,500 attendees and they expect over 3,000 this year. Our chapter will attend and hand out bracelets, pencils and the Child ID Kits, al furthering the mission of the FBI in the community. This will be a fun  event and I encourage you to consider attending. Our chapter’s board approved $200 to go to supporting the events of the day. On a FBICAAA note, Harry Hobbs, PhD, is the Community Relations Officer for the Huntsville Police Department and coordinator of this event. Harry just graduated from the Citizen’s Academy on May 14 so if you see him put him to work for us (I think he’ll be busy enough)! 

Law Enforcement Open (LEO) Golf Tournament – September 16
In September we will be hosting our first annual Law Enforcement Golf Tournament (LEO). This will be a fund raiser for our chapter but also a fund raiser for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund in Washington DC. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is dedicated to honoring all of America’s law enforcement heroes – those who have died in the line of duty and those who continue to serve and protect. That mission is accomplished through the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, as well as programs such as Officer of the Month, Officer Roll Call and others. The date is September 16 with the event being held at the Highlands Golf Course in Birmingham. We are looking for sponsors, golfers, and workers. Be on the lookout for additional information by visiting the FBICAAA-Birmingham website.

Alumni Field Trip – October 1-4
In October we will be making the annual trip to Quantico Virginia. Participants will visit the FBI training facilities as well as the FBI Headquarters in Washington DC. This will be a treat for all that make the trip as the FBI Headquarters building has had limited access since 2001. Our chapter has stepped up to the plate and has filled all available slots. We even have a waiting list which is a testimony to you and our chapter’s commitment to supporting the FBI mission in the community.

I invite all alumni to be active and engaged. As we promote the mission of the FBI in our communities, we as graduates have a meaningful opportunity to be good citizens for a stronger America.

Stay informed.  Say alert.  Stay vigilant.

            The FBI Birmingham Citizens Academy Alumni Association (FBICAAA) is a nonprofit organization separate and apart from the FBI.


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