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President’s Column – 12/2021


The end of the year approaches, and we are abuzz with activity – in just the last week, we had a fabulous members meeting in Huntsville and a board meeting from Birmingham; we've also been engaged in the nominating committee process, selecting nominees for next year's officers and board of directors, and to top it off there's been the inevitable sheaf of end-of-year reports and forms and such matters and things to deal with.

And lest I forget to mention it up-top, we have our Annual Meeting coming up on Thursday, December 2, at the Golden Corral in Cullman. I sincerely hope that you'll be able to make the short trek to Cullman to join us. Finding the location (especially given the prevalence and ease of GPS) is simple: I-65 to exit 304, follow East on Cherokee, and just as Cherokee is about to intersect with US 31, there's the Golden Corral. We have a good program and an excellent speaker (Jacqueline Gray Miller), so come on out, please, We'd all love to see you, and you can help transact some important chapter business as we spend time together.

And now to the other Big Deal. As I approach the end of the third year of my two-year term, this will be my final column as your President. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve you – one of the great highlights of my adult life. I want to take a moment to thank all the board members and officers who have so generously given of their time and talents to serve the chapter. I want to offer my special thanks to the FBI personnel who have made the time and the task go so very easily – SAC Johnnie Sharp, Jr., SAC Roger Stanton, ASAC's Todd Bobe, Andy Loftin...and so many more. Special thanks go to COS/PAO Paul Daymond, without whom the job would be impossible.

Over its history the Birmingham chapter of the FBI CAAA has been awarded time and time again as a chapter of Excellence, a Chapter of Distinction. What means much more to me is that in recent years we have been repeatedly awarded for our heart – we have had several of our members singled out for national recognition for their exceptional service to the community. In fact, the national organization created a new award – the Humanitarian Award – solely to recognize our chapter for its efforts to aid those in great need. So I'm proud of that, but also for our history of innovation. We were the impetus for the national CAAA to create a committee to work on human trafficking. And we – our chapter – initiated the efforts to provide relief and material aid for injured or slain law enforcement officers. And now that effort has gone national. We are hosting monthly “Link and Learn” programs on counter-terrorism. We started the “Coffee With and Agent” events that other chapters are beginning to hold. We were the first chapter to co-host Bomb-Making Awareness seminars...I could go on, but you get the idea. We get there first and we do it better. I am so proud to be a part of this chapter. I am so proud to be a partner with the FBI, helping to keep our people safe and informed. I am so proud of the people that I've been working with these several years, and all that we have accomplished together. And I am so, so proud to have held an office in this organization, and to have played some small part in all that we have done together.

So as I take my leave, please indulge me – I want to thank you, dear reader, personally. It is because YOU have taken this organization seriously, because YOU have supported the chapter – with your dues, with your attention, with your time and talents over the years – that any of this has happened. It has been a difficult and trying past two years, but because you knew the task was important and that the work we do matters – because you have stayed with us, we are still standing. We are doing more and more each month, and hope we will be back to something close to “normal” again in the near future. Please come out. Please take part. Please continue to support our chapter and to support our board and our officers as we continue to strive toward greatness. We simply can't do it without you.

Thank you again for your support. I wish you all the best.

--- Paul H. Franklin, President FBI Birmingham CAAA

 


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


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