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President's Message

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  • 01 Aug 2019 2:00 PM | Ginger Ory (Administrator)

    President’s Column – 08/19

    Pardon me if this is getting repetitious, but July has been quite a month of the FBI Birmingham CAAA. Fresh off the success of our co-hosting duties for the Active Shooter workshop “Protecting Houses of Worship” in Huntsville in June, we hosted the inaugural Sub-Regional Gathering, where our chapter was joined by members of the Nashville and Jackson (MS) chapters in Huntsville. To the best of my knowledge, this was the first such event for this or any FBI CAAA chapter, and it has garnered national interest. It was terrific to spend time with our local members and our many guests, and to tour and visit the FBI’s facilities “behind the gates” at Redstone Arsenal. More about this event elsewhere in the newsletter.

    On a more serious note, when Birmingham police officer Cullen Stafford was shot multiple times and seriously injured as he pursued a robbery suspect, our chapter stepped in to help. Through the Herculean efforts of our board member, Bill Conway (who has done magnificent work on this project), and Executive Director Sandy Mangold of the National FBI CAAA, we have handled meals for the officers of Birmingham’s West Precinct for the past week. Furthermore, upon learning that Officer Stafford was shot the day before his 36th birthday – and the day of his EOD date for the Birmingham Police – we’re working on plans to host a delayed birthday party -- complete with gifts, refreshments, and decorations -- for the officer, just as soon as he is healthy enough to enjoy it.

    And one more thing: I received official notice this week that our chapter has been selected as a Chapter of Excellence by National FBI CAAA. Our representatives will be called up to receive an award to that effect at the National Leadership Conference in Houston in mid-August. The award is a testament to the hard work and dedication, as well as the inspiration and innovation, that marks our chapter as among the finest in the nation. It is heartening and reassuring to receive such an honor; however, we should  resolve that any such awards or recognition we may receive should serve as landmarks in our history…but not campsites. We may be excellent, but we can and will be even better in the future.

    More good things are in the works, and I’ll provide details as they are available. However, in closing, allow me to note an area that needs improvement: we need more opportunities for our membership to get together. The turnout for our sub-regional gathering was excellent, and it pointed to the fact that when we present an opportunity, our members show up; and we have a great time together. We will address this need and we will do better. If you have suggestions for opportunities or occasions for us to gather, please let me know. Meanwhile, this (more open events for our members) will be an item that we will be visiting more aggressively in the coming months.


    Paul H. Franklin, President                                                                                      

    FBI CAAA Birmingham



  • 01 Mar 2019 8:56 AM | Ginger Ory (Administrator)

    As I write this, we are approaching the end of February and it has been a busy time for the board and our members. As our Spring events are rapidly approaching, please allow me to call your particular attention to a special few. First, we eagerly anticipate the new FBI Citizens Academy class that is slated to begin in Huntsville on the evening of March 12th. The first evening of class is always a special time – community leaders and opinion-makers coming together to learn about the mission and methods of the FBI, new acquaintances to make, and the opportunity to share with them about the Alumni Association. And of course we hope that a good percentage of this cohort joins with us and becomes a part of the CAA’s continuing efforts. A number of us will be on hand to provide a meal and a warm welcome to the new class.

    I have just received official word that the FBI Birmingham CAAA will co-sponsor an Active Shooter Preparedness workshop for houses of worship. The workshop will take place April 4th at Rosewood Hall in the Soho section of (Birmingham suburb) Homewood. This all-day presentation will be limited to 100 participants, and holds great promise for being very timely and useful. An official announcement will follow shortly, and we will be seeking volunteers to assist us.

    Additionally, there are two extremely special events that we are working to finalize, and I can tell you that I am excited about both. But unfortunately, I can’t yet provide details until the necessary final  arrangements and agreements have been made. The most I can say at this point is that one will take place in Huntsville and will feature educational and social aspects; the other will be in Birmingham and will be a heart-warming day of community service. Watch this space – we will be making announcements on both events soon. And you’ll want to register for both early, as they should fill up fast.

    The last item – The Washington, DC, trip. There are only a few signatory annual events in the life of our chapter, and chief among them is the absolutely perfect trip to HQ, Quantico, and other major sites in the Capitol, that Paul Daymond arranges each year. If you have been on one of these trips, you understand what I’m attempting to convey here. If not, let me tell you that this is a trip you’ll remember forever – a behind-the-scenes tour of  much of what makes the FBI and our government “tick.” A trip you could never hope to duplicate on your own. The dates are April 15-17. It’s easy to do and a perfect way to get to know your fellow alumni on a deeper level. We share this tour with the Jackson, MS, chapter, and I can commend them to you as being good companions. So please seriously consider joining Paul Daymond on this trip.

    I’ll close now by thanking you for your continued interest and attention. Please be in touch.

    Paul H. Franklin, President                                                                                        FBICAAA                                                        


  • 01 Feb 2019 9:30 AM | Ginger Ory (Administrator)

    As I prepared to write this column, I had occasion to ponder the purpose – the necessity – of my writing a monthly missive. And it occurred to me that, rather than dealing with the hard and fast – the dates and times and other specifics of the month just past and the one to come – my charge is more along the lines of telling you about the intangibles and the results of our efforts, things we’re working on, and items we’re excited about.

    So let me begin this month’s notes by advising you that our chapter is in exception ally good shape. We have attained a record for active, enrolled members, with still more renewals arriving regularly. If you haven’t yet renewed for 2019, please do so now. You are needed and wanted. And another unprecedented success: we just held a “Chasing the Dragon” event at Huntsville High School on 1/24. We had over 209 pre-registered to attend in-person, and thanks to FBICAAA member and WAFF News anchor Liz Hurley, the event was live-streamed on WAFF and on Facebook. Early results indicate that over 9000 followed the event live through those methods. Let’s sum it up this way: great job by Ginger Ory, by all our many FBICAAA volunteers, by the panel (including our ASAC, Todd Bobe), and of course by Liz Hurley. Phenomenal results.

    So, what’s on the horizon? We expect a fund-raising event at a local restaurant in Birmingham in February. Details should be available soon. We are in the early stages of planning for a recurring FBI Day at Children’s Hospital in early Spring. We are working with Paul Daymond to offer Refresher Training for our FBI Citizens Academy graduates, to present updated information to those graduates who attended classes several years ago. Expect an announcement of a Range Day-type event in Huntsville in the very near future. I could go on…

    Now back to you. What we need from you is this: involvement. You were nominated to attend the Academy because of your talents and abilities. You learned about the Bureau’s mission and the Alumni Association’s efforts. To do what we do, we have several committees, many connections, which create many opportunities for public service. So please, when we have public events – attend. Network. Join in. And when opportunities for service arise – join in. We are nothing without you. But with you? There is nothing we can’t accomplish. We look forward to seeing you soon.


  • 01 Feb 2019 8:59 AM | Ginger Ory (Administrator)

    As I prepared to write this column, I had occasion to ponder the purpose – the necessity – of my writing a monthly missive. And it occurred to me that, rather than dealing with the hard and fast – the dates and times and other specifics of the month just past and the one to come – my charge is more along the lines of telling you about the intangibles and the results of our efforts, things we’re working on, and items we’re excited about.

    So let me begin this month’s notes by advising you that our chapter is in exception ally good shape. We have attained a record for active, enrolled members, with still more renewals arriving regularly. If you haven’t yet renewed for 2019, please do so now. You are needed and wanted. And another unprecedented success: we just held a “Chasing the Dragon” event at Huntsville High School on 1/24. We had over 209 pre-registered to attend in-person, and thanks to FBICAAA member and WAFF News anchor Liz Hurley, the event was live-streamed on WAFF and on Facebook. Early results indicate that over 9000 followed the event live through those methods. Let’s sum it up this way: great job by Ginger Ory, by all our many FBICAAA volunteers, by the panel (including our ASAC, Todd Bobe), and of course by Liz Hurley. Phenomenal results.

    So, what’s on the horizon? We expect a fund-raising event at a local restaurant in Birmingham in February. Details should be available soon. We are in the early stages of planning for a recurring FBI Day at Children’s Hospital in early Spring. We are working with Paul Daymond to offer Refresher Training for our FBI Citizens Academy graduates, to present updated information to those graduates who attended classes several years ago. Expect an announcement of a Range Day-type event in Huntsville in the very near future. I could go on…

    Now back to you. What we need from you is this: involvement. You were nominated to attend the Academy because of your talents and abilities. You learned about the Bureau’s mission and the Alumni Association’s efforts. To do what we do, we have several committees, many connections, which create many opportunities for public service. So please, when we have public events – attend. Network. Join in. And when opportunities for service arise – join in. We are nothing without you. But with you? There is nothing we can’t accomplish. We look forward to seeing you soon.


  • 13 Feb 2017 9:27 PM | Ginger Ory (Administrator)

    Greetings Fellow Alumni,

    I know I speak for our entire Board of Directors when I say we are very excited about the opportunities 2017 holds for our organization.  Thank you in advance for your commitment to the success of our chapter.  While we are still putting final touches on the calendar, I wanted to share the events we already have on the calendar for 2017:

    • Monthly Board Meetings (the 3rd Tuesday of each month)
    • March, May, August and November meetings will be held in Huntsville

    All other meetings will be held in Birmingham

    All members are welcome at our board meetings

    •        Partnership with Hazardous Devices School

    Members in good standing have the opportunity to engage with the Hazardous Devices School from March through September 2017 by participating in a training session

    Please call me for more details if you are interested in volunteering for this unique opportunity!

    We started with 42 opportunities to serve and currently have 6 opportunities still available

    •        Chasing the Dragon Presentation
    • This documentary was produced by the FBI on the growing opioid epidemic

    Subject matter experts will be on hand to discuss the issue after the film is shown

    • Birmingham event will be held at Boutwell Auditorium on March 6th from 930am-Noon

    FREE and open to the public however reservations required through Event Brite

    • Huntsville event date and time TBD (will be in the evening)
    •         Quarterly After-Dark Events

    These evening events allow us to socialize as a group and interact with SAC Stanton

    • We are planning at least two Huntsville and two Birmingham events

    The first will be at the March 18th Huntsville Havoc game  http://huntsvillehavoc.com/view/huntsvillehavoc/

    •   Discounted $11 per person reserved seats - Alumni and Family are welcome
    •   Time for pre-game social and any other pre-game activities to be announced   soon
    •   700 pm game starts
    •   Stay tuned for Event Brite invitation
    •      Huntsville Citizens Academy
    • Classes begin March 21st and graduation is May 16th
    • We welcome all Alumni to come and make the class feel welcome
    • Also, we will need food and drink donations for opening night
    •       Active Shooter Workshop Conducted by Department of Homeland Security
    • Wednesday March 22nd – all day event
    • Discovery Center III, 655 Discovery Drive, Huntsville
    • Open to the public by reservations required
    • Co-sponsored by FBICAAA and InfraGard
    •         CAFY (Community Action For Youth)
    • July 29th - Huntsville Jaycee’s Building - Volunteers needed to staff FBICAAA booth
    •        National Night Out
    • October 3rd at Huntsville Jaycee’s Building - Volunteers needed to staff FBICAAA booth
    • Birmingham event date TBD
    • Annual community-building event that promotes police-community partnerships
    •         Range Day in Fall 2017 - Birmingham
    • Open to all Members in good standing
    • SWAT Team Demonstration
    • Bomb Demonstration with Bomb Techs
    • Joint event with InfraGard
    •        Tour of FBI Hazardous Devices School in the Fall of 2017
    • Many of our alumni will have had first-hand experience about what goes on at HDS
    • Please consider supporting the FBI through volunteering to role-play in an HDS training session
    •        Annual Quantico Trip
    • October 23rd – 27th
    • Travelling with Alumni from Milwaukee Chapter this year
    • Maximum 20 Attendees (Alumni in good standing and one Guest only for HQ and Quantico portions)
    • Registration to open soon
    • Interpol is once again among the organizations being toured

    Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions related to our Chapter.  I welcome your feedback and participation.

    Jonathan Kirby

    President - Birmingham FBICAAA

    jkirby@redfcu.org

    256-722-3514 (o)

    256-539-8783 (c) 


  • 11 Nov 2013 6:30 AM | Anonymous

    Andrew Smith
    Dear Fellow Alumni,

    Today is Veterans Day, November 11th. Today is a day our Nation holds dear and celebrates with pride because of those it shines the light on - our Armed Forces. We are privileged to possess the freedoms we do because of those who currently serve and those who have served. Their selfless sacrifice, commitment, and dedication is an inspiration, one which is truly and rightly called our Nations' blood and treasure. We recognize and thank them. We also thank the families who lend to us their very own. Let us use today to thank our veterans and our military and show our appreciation and support. God Bless America and God Bless our Military. 

    2013 is fast coming to a close! October was a busy month for your FBICAAA Chapter. Two major events took place, both with tremendous member involvement. On October 1 through October 4, your Chapter partnered with the FBICAAA Honolulu Chapter to travel to Quantico VA to visit FBI Headquarters as well as the FBI training facility in Quantico VA. Our Chapter fielded the maximum number of participants, selling out the slots available. Interest was so strong there was a waiting list.  st. The good news was that Honolulu ended up with a few extra spaces allowing all desiring Birmingham FBICAAA Chapter members the opportunity to go on the trip. Although Quantico was closed due to the government shutdown occurring during the time of their visit, the FBI and other governmental agencies that were operating were gracious hosts.

    The second event, Range Day, was held on Tuesday October 29. This annual event is one of our  most popular Chapter events. The day was marked by perfect weather, 17 alumni members, 2 retired agents, 16 members of the media (print and TV), and numerous FBI personnel. SAC Schwein was on site for the entire morning. Our Chapter provided lunch for all attendees featuring baked chicken, potato salad, cole slaw, baked beans, and some sweets for dessert. The day was a huge success as always. I thank the FBI Birmingham Field Office for providing the weaponry and the ammunition. A more detailed account of Range Day soon will be available on our website at fbicaaa-bham.org.

    So what's next? The first upcoming event is the graduation of the 2013 Birmingham FBICAAA academy. Graduation is scheduled for Tuesday December 10th. Any alumni wishing to attend the graduation are welcome. Call me to make sure your name gets on the list. My cell phone is 205-482-6594.

    The next and final event of the year will be our annual meeting. This is an important meeting as we all meet in one place to report to you, the alumni, what your Chapter has done. In addition, it is the time when you and I, as alumni, vote on submitted names for Board seats for 2014. This is an important meeting and one I encourage you to attend.

    It has been a great year for your Chapter. Our Chapter depends on involvement from you and all alumni. I welcome your involvement and thoughts and serve at your pleasure. Take an interest, become involved, and I look forward to seeing you at the annual meeting of the FBI Birmingham CAAA.

    S
    tay alert, stay informed, stay vigilant.

    Your President,
    Andrew Smith

  • 04 Jul 2013 12:00 AM | Anonymous

    Dear Fellow Alumni,

    Andrew Smith

    We have reached our half way point through the year and although we have been busy over the past six months the coming six months is shaping up to be a hive of activity. Before I begin I want to wish everyone a Happy 4th of July!

    Fourth of July:
    The Fourth of July is a seminal moment in our nation’s history. The holiday commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain.

    This Declaration of Independence was precipitated by the legal separation of the original thirteen colonies from Great Britain which occurred on July 2, 1776. Once the resolution of independence had been proposed and voted on, the Congress then devoted itself to the Declaration of Independence which explained their decision. The wording of The Declaration of Independence was approved on July 4, 1776.

    John Adams, a Founding Father of the Untied States, wrote to his wife Abigail the following in a letter on July 3, 1776:

    The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.

    Adams's prediction was off by two days. From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress. And this is why we celebrate the Fourth of July as we do, with fireworks, patriotic events, and all manner of pomp. What a great country we are privileged to live in.

    LEO Golf Tournament:
    After much discussion and input from your Board of Directors, the decision has been made to cancel the LEO Golf Tournament scheduled for September 16th of this year. This event was to raise money for an extremely worthwhile cause, the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund as well as being a fund raiser for the FBICAAA. However, it proved to be a daunting task in coordination, logistics, securing sponsors and timing. A gallant effort was undertaken by many but with budget cuts, sequestration, and a soft economy, coupled by our alumni leaders having to drive the coordination while working full time jobs, the Board determined if we were going to do this we were going to do it right. As a result, we felt we could not represent the Alumni at the level we wanted with these headwinds in our face. Having said that, we will redirect our energies to those events that further the mission of the FBI and serve our Alumni.

    FBI After Dark:
    The good news is I have been coordinating with Paul Daymond to schedule an After Dark event with SAC Schwein. Although a date has not been scheduled, I do know it will be held in the early part of August on either a Tuesday or a Thursday. Times and venue have yet to be determined but when I do know I will put it on our website. The topic to be discussed will be recent events relative to the NSA and/or the IRS. Be sure not to miss this informative event. This event will be held in Birmingham however, I have asked Paul to see if SAC Schwein’s schedule can accommodate a similar event in the Huntsville area in the near future.

    Range Day:
    The day we as an Alumni live for!! We have a date! Range day will be Thursday, October 29th at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s range facilities. The FBI will be providing the ammunition and will bring their weaponry. This is a must attend event and we as an Alumni are privileged to have this opportunity. Our responsibility will be food and refreshments so be thinking of how you can help in that regard. This event will be attended by the local Birmingham media, focusing on the FBI so wear something nice in case you get caught on camera!

    Thank you to all the alumni, the Board, and all the volunteers for a great year so far. I am looking forward to our upcoming events and joining with you in furthering the mission of the FBI in our communities.

    Stay alert, stay informed, stay vigilant.

    Your 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.

  • 28 Mar 2013 4:47 PM | Anonymous

    Dear Fellow Alumni:

    Andrew Smith

    As you are now no doubt aware, the Bresette Family experienced a tragic event while at the Birmingham airport on March 22, 2013.  Upon learning of the father's (Ryan) membership in the FBI Kansas City Citizens Academy Alumni Association, I wanted us as a chapter to acknowledge our support of him and his family.  With the tragedy so fresh (less than 24 hours), writing this letter on behalf of the alumni was one of the hardest tasks I've ever undertaken.

    I am posting it on our website as it is representative of us and our Association's support of the Bresette family.  Click HERE to read the letter.

    Ryan Bresette texted me Saturday evening acknowledging the receipt of the letter and the fund that has been established to benefit the family.  He thanked our Chapter and asked that we pray for him an dhis family.

    Click HERE to learn more about the Bresette Family Benefit Fund established by the FBICAAA or to make a donation.

    Sincerely,
    Andrew Smith

  • 02 Jan 2013 2:31 PM | Anonymous

    Andrew SmithDear Fellow Alumni:

    It is an honor and privilege to serve as your President  for the Birmingham/Huntsville chapter of the FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association.

    As a 2007 graduate of the Academy and having served on the Board and Executive Committee over the past two years, I have had the opportunity to work with some of the finest and most dedicated alumni the FBI Citizens Academy has to offer.  

    We are fortunate that those who went before us laid a solid and enduring foundation to provide the continuity needed for future success.  Don Lupo, thank you for your leadership over the past two years. Our alumni association is one of the largest, fastest growing and most active associations in the entire country. This didn’t happen on its own. It came under the leadership of a tireless, focused, driven leadership since our founding. 

     

    After reading Don’s farewell message you know 2012 was a very busy year. 2013 promises to be equally active.  We will participate in pre-game festivities of the BBVA Compass Bowl on Friday January 4th, allowing us to promote our mission and hand out Child ID kits.  We are hosting our first annual LEO (Law Enforcement Open) golf tournament fund raising event in April. A portion of the proceeds to go to the Fallen Officers Fund.  Additionally, our alumni association will work with the FBI and North Alabama communities to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights movement. These are exciting times and we have the privilege to be a part of these events. 

         

    Special thanks to the FBI for allowing our association the opportunity to undergird the FBI mission. The FBI’s mission is to protect us, our children, and our businesses from the most dangerous threats affecting our nation. I look forward to working with SAC Rick Schwein in collaborating in this shared mission and welcome him to the Birmingham/North Alabama field office. He has pledged his support and commitment to our endeavors and I am most appreciative and grateful.  And as always, I thank Paul Daymond for his support and leadership. 

     

    This brings us to the serious business of who we are and why we do what we do. The word freedom is one we use to describe who we are as Americans. But those freedoms aren’t free. They came at a price and continue to be costly for those and the families of those who defend our freedoms every day. It is against the forces of destruction that we fight, those that wish to undermine our way of life, encroach on our freedoms, and slowly and subversively erode those rights so that we lose our individuality and our identity. At its core, that is what terrorism does. It forces us to react, usually to our detriment. Benjamin Franklin said “those that give up an essential liberty for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety”. The FBI is on the front line protecting our liberty and safety to ensure the America we have known and love will endure for the benefit of every American citizen.

     

    We do live in challenging times. As citizens of this great country, we need to continue to be responsible, we need to be engaged in protecting our community, and we need to aid the security and law enforcement officials where necessary and become active in this daily endeavor. The FBICAAA allows you and I to do just that. The key word for the FBI is vigilance, to get ahead of the next game changing event.  I will assist this effort any way I can and I know you will also, so that our families, friends, children, grandchildren, and all those who follow us will say they stood up, not stood down; that they rolled, not rolled over; that they held up the ideals that the stars and stripes stand for - nobility, goodness, and freedom.     

     

    I am excited about the 2013 year for our chapter. We have a strong and seasoned board that is committed to our mission. Please be proactive in asking how you can participate. We will be busy and our success depends on your involvement. It is our alumni association and it only gets better with active participation from each of you. 

    I look forward to serving with you as your President for 2013.

     

    Have a safe and Happy New Year.

     

    Andrew Smith

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


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