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President's Message

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  • 28 Sep 2020 12:11 PM | Christopher Huys (Administrator)

    Greetings. Another month has passed since my last missive to you, and…not a lot has changed in terms of the big picture. We remain in the same “holding pattern” that we’ve been in since March, and that pattern looks as though it will remain in place for at least a while longer. So thanks for keeping the faith as we try to follow the advice of the experts, observe best practices, and wait this pandemic out. It seems our best hope for the near future is for the release and dissemination of a successful vaccine or therapeutic, and indications are that those items are getting closer to becoming a reality. But so far, nothing.

    While we’ve been unable to accomplish much in the public arena, we have been able to act on a couple of public service fronts. We’ve had two hurricanes strike the Gulf Coast in September: Laura, which had its landfall near Lake Charles, LA, and Sally, which came ashore less than two weeks later near the Alabama-Florida border. Both caused tremendous damage and left many thousands in need.

    When Laura struck the Louisiana coast, we responded, as Birmingham always does. We collected funds, we volunteered and helped at the receiving site, and all in all, at least six truckloads of food and other supplies were sent to Louisiana to aid the victims of the hurricane.

    Then, lo and behold, less than two weeks later, Hurricane Sally made landfall not far from Orange Beach, AL. And we have swung back into action. As I write this, Don Lupo and I will make a purchasing trip tomorrow to buy food and other needed items to send to south Alabama, mostly with funds our chapter contributed.

    So it’s the familiar tale – a crisis occurs, a problem arises, a concern is raised…and Birmingham responds. It makes me very proud to be a part of a group like this – always willing to reach a hand out to assist others. And others notice. When we had this month’s Leadership Call for Region 4, our regional rep decided that she would place the spotlight on Birmingham’s disaster response efforts. We were singled out and congratulated for our work on these projects.

    A thought or two: We are approaching the end of 2020, and may I say, good riddance to it. Bur as the year closes, we will begin to negotiate a new Memorandum of Agreement with the FBI Field Office, in which we will set forth the projects and activities we will be tasked with for the coming year, and we will undertake the nominating process for our chapter’s board and officers for 2021. There are several stalwart board members and officers who will be rotating off our board due to term limits. And in this most unusual year, we haven’t been able to spend time with our general membership, so it seems appropriate to ask you this now: if you’d be interested in taking a more active role in the work of our chapter and joining our board, we’d like to hear from you and discuss the prospect in depth. Contact me directly at: president@fbicaaa-bham.org, and we’ll talk about it.

    Stay strong; stay safe.

    Paul H. Franklin, President                                                                                        FBI Birmingham CAAA


  • 02 Sep 2020 12:34 PM | Christopher Huys (Administrator)

    Two guys are sitting on the couch. One turns to the other and says; “Did you know there a million dollars in the house next door?” The second guy reflects on that a moment and responds; “You idiot, there IS no house next door – that’s a vacant lot.” The first guy replies; “Then let’s BUILD one!”

    That’s a quote from Marx. Not Karl; Groucho. What does that have to do with anything? Everything. It says a lot about leadership.  You’d have to say Groucho was the leader of the Marx Brothers. Why? Well, one reason is that Groucho defined the reality of whatever situation they were in. And that’s an attribute of a leader: they define the reality for the group. They make the possible seem easy and the seemingly impossible a potentially-attainable goal. They break new ground. They chart paths.

    Each of you is, by definition, a leader. The idea for the FBI Citizens Academy involves bringing community leaders together in order to support and further the mission of the FBI. You all were invited to participate in the CA class. Ergo, you are leaders. You are dreamers, planners, organizers... You chart paths that others will follow. And you are aware that these are tough times for leaders, and all those who strive to make a difference in their community. We are constrained by the Covid-19 pandemic and by the need to keep ourselves, our family, and our community safe and healthy. So we wait. And we hope. If there’s a positive to take from these times, it’s that I suspect that we’re getting closer every day to the point where a vaccine is approved and made widely available, and perhaps that a therapeutic answer for the virus will be determined to be safe and effective. Soon, we hope and pray…soon.

    Meanwhile, it would be appropriate to single out a couple of folks for their demonstrated leadership. One is Tim Johns. Tim, a board member, is involved in scouting along with his kids. He took the initiative to invite our SAC, Johnnie Sharp, to speak to his scout troop, and the SAC graciously accepted. He attended and the results were excellent. Kudos to Tim and SAC Sharp. An article and photos will follow.

    And the other is Dr. Joe Popinski. Joe is about to rotate off the chapter’s Board (again), and will also be leaving the post of BMAP coordinator for North Alabama. Joe doesn’t do much for us; he’s only been active longer than any other Board member, where he has served multiple terms, has been the initiator of our Tech Committee, wrote position descriptions for our officers, edited our chapter’s by-laws, serves on the FBI CAAA’s National Board of Directors, has served as sage advisor to essentially every President we’ve ever had (I think)…other than that, he’s just loafed. Apart from his family, friends, and church involvements, of course. I joke, but the fact is that Dr. Joe has been the beating heart of this chapter for as long as I can remember. When we’ve needed something done, a hand has always shot up to volunteer to help, and that hand has most frequently been attached to Joe’s arm. All officers’ terms end, all Board members rotate off…none of us is irreplaceable. No one. Except perhaps Dr. Joe Popinski. Joe – heartfelt thanks for all you do and have done for us. Joe says he will remain an active member of the chapter, thank goodness. And Joe -- don’t think for one moment I won’t be consulting you. And my successor(s), too. Dr. Joe is like that house next door – he’s worth a million dollars.

    Be safe; be well. We’ll see you soon.

    --- Paul H. Franklin, President


  • 25 Jun 2020 12:10 PM | Christopher Huys (Administrator)

    Greetings. And once again, I hope this edition of the newsletter finds you safe and well.

    Though we are still largely in shut-down mode as of this writing, I can report that there are signs of life – efforts are underway to schedule general membership meetings with speakers, to begin very soon. Watch your inbox for announcements concerning dates and times. And there are plans for a fall Citizens Academy class in Birmingham, to begin in September. The nominating process for that class is beginning now, so if you have a name(s) of a prospect for this class, let us know.

    And there’s news from National: The FBINCAAA has created a new award -- the FBINCAAA Humanitarian Service Medal -- and has granted it to several members of our chapter in recognition of their outstanding efforts in support of law enforcement officers who were injured or killed in the line of duty, and of course, for support of the investigation into the abduction of “Cupcake” McKinney. More on this elsewhere and later, but medals and certificates have been awarded to Don Lupo, Bill Conway, Joe DiNoto, Christine Karlson, Andrew Smith and myself. Congratulations to the recipients, and thanks for the good work. It says volumes that our chapter’s work has been so auspicious that a new award had to be created to recognize it – we broke the mold.

    And – Breaking News – I have just today been informed by Tracey Ballinger at FBI HQ in Washington, DC, that our chapter has been awarded the “Chapter of Excellence” award for 2019. They are shipping our trophy to us, and it will be formally awarded in a public ceremony at a date and time TBA. I’m sure you understand.

    Another item: you have probably received and may have puzzled over the “Membership Application” that popped up in your email just recently. “Why? I thought I was already a member? Am I supposed to pay dues again? What’s all this page-after-page of chapter behavior?” Good questions, all. Let me try to explain.

    We have an excellent chapter -- a well-governed chapter -- and we have always played by the rules and colored inside the lines. But there have been other chapters that have violated rules and occasionally have even brought themselves gone “off the reservation” so to speak, brought themselves into disrepute and involved their local FBO office and even HQ into their problems. Chapters have even been dissolved over such issues.

    To attempt to eliminate such confusion and conflict, National and HQ have determined that ALL our members should be asked to sign the FBI CAAA Code of Conduct, as well as the standards of conduct and governance that the chapter must follow to remain in full compliance. We’re not “fundraising,” although if you dues are up for renewal, we’d appreciate it if you’d take this opportunity to re-up.

    We apologize if you have been confused by the application. Please continue to support us. And support us in our efforts to make our communities better – more decent, more just, and more fair. Join us, please.

    --- Paul H. Franklin, President

         FBI Birmingham CAAA   

  • 27 May 2020 3:16 PM | Christopher Huys (Administrator)

    It must be said at the outset that I am writing this column with an overwhelming sense of déjà vu. Once again, I send you greetings from my home to yours, hoping that this issue of our newsletter finds you healthy and secure. And once again it is my obligation to tell you that all our chapter’s outward-facing efforts continue to be on hold. It is our fervent hope that there will be a change for the (far) better in the very near future, but for now, we will continue to play it safe.

    Our board of directors met via Zoom again in May, and this and our other such (virtual) meetings seem to go very well indeed. The attendance is excellent, the discussion is free and open, and we transact a lot of business. It seems as though we have stumbled upon something here, and I strongly suspect that even once we are able to meet as a group in-person, we will make provisions for those who cannot be present at the meeting location to attend via Zoom or its equivalent. So that’s a good thing – we are handling administrative matters well. We are fully in compliance with National’s standards, and all is seemingly well in that regard.

    But as much as we seem to be handling administrative matters well, we miss holding public gatherings, doing educational work, doing outreach with and for the FBI, providing opportunities for all our members to gather and take part in the work of the chapter…There’s been so much that we planned for 2020 – from a fall gathering at Lake Guntersville to home-and-home baseball nights with the Huntsville Trash Pandas and the Birmingham Barons, Chasing the Dragon events, Bomb-Making Awareness Training sessions, a “takeover” social event at a Huntsville shooting range, regular members meetings at restaurants in both cities, home-and-home Top Golf events in both cities…and on and on and on…

    I hope and trust that we will be able to resume our public activities soon. In fact, elected officials on both the state and national levels have urged us – all of us -- to “open up” and “restart.” But as much as we would like to comply and resume our normal activities, it is clearly not yet the time to do so. The Covid-19 infection rate is currently climbing in our state, and more Alabamians are suffering at the hands of this illness every day. And in the absence of proven therapeutics to treat the virus or a vaccine to prevent it, the best way to combat this disease is not to catch it. So with that in mind, our stance is this: we will monitor the situation. And when the FBI and local, state, and national doctors, scientists, and health officials advise that it is reasonable to do so, we will enthusiastically reengage our public activities.

    Until that time, we welcome your continued faith and support in our chapter. Please renew your dues to support us. You may note that our board has lowered renewal dues for 2020 out of consideration for the virus and its effects on our group. And if you haven’t yet done so, consider making us your Amazon Smile charitable organization. Thanks so much for you kind attention, and I hope to see you all in person very, very soon. Until then, please stay safe and healthy.

    --- Paul H. Franklin, President

         FBI Birmingham CAAA     


  • 01 May 2020 7:02 AM | Christopher Huys (Administrator)

    Greetings. I hope that this issue of our newsletter finds you safe and well. As I was considering the phraseology in which to couch our chapter’s status for this month’s column, I happened to recall an episode of the M*A*S*H* TV series – one that took place back when it was still attempting to be funny. In this particular episode, Major Frank Burns, the perennial party-pooper they called “old Ferret Face,” was sent out on a scouting patrol. When he returned from his uneventful mission, they asked what he had found and he responded; “Sighted nothing; reporting same.”

    Well, it’s a little bit like that. No public action. Everything on hold. But on the other hand, that isn’t exactly the case, either. It’s more like when you see a duck gliding along the surface of a lake: above the waterline it’s all grace and seemingly-effortless progress; but below, those feet are pumping like mad. So we’re a bit like that. Or to be absolutely truthful, we’re somewhere in-between.

    Although we are still under orders that prohibit us conducting any significant public activities (CA class, BMAP training, members meetings…all postponed indefinitely), our board met for a highly-productive and well-attended Zoom conference in April and we’ll do so again in May. We’ve been taking care of administrative and other action items that needed attending to, and we’ve knocked a lot of action items out. And when we meet in May, we will begin making plans for those projects and activities that may be resumed, when it is once again safe and permissable to do so. And by the way, if your 2020 dues are still payable, you’ll soon be notified of a special rate available to give consideration for our lost time and limited activities in response to the COVID-19 restrictions.

    So we wait. And if and when restrictions on public gatherings are eased, watch this space for news of upcoming activities. Our chapter stands ready and able to meet the challenges ahead of us to educate and inform the public and support and further the mission of the FBI. But until that time comes, please do us all a great favor and heed good scientific and medical advice, and keep yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy.

    Stay strong!

    Paul H. Franklin, President

    FBI Birmingham CAAA


  • 02 Apr 2020 2:31 PM | Christopher Huys (Administrator)

    Greetings. I hope this month’s newsletter find you all safe and well.

    I am certain that no previous edition of our monthly missive has been delivered under more unusual or disquieting circumstances. So it is through this veil of uncertainty and upheaval that I write -- a stark departure from my usual pep talk detailing our chapter’s recent accomplishments and upcoming events.

    As a nation, we are confronted with a public health crisis that is unprecedented in the past century. The Covid-19 pandemic forces all organizations, including nonprofits such as ours, to assess their activities and options during this period. Here is how we must act in response to the current crisis:

    We will hold no public meetings or events until such activities are given an “all-clear” message by both government AND public health entities. We will reassess and announce the resumption of activities when we are advised that it is safe to do so.

    We will hold no in-person board meetings or committee meetings until we are advised that it is safe to do so. In their place, we will pivot to conducting such meetings through email, teleconferencing, and other “virtual” methods.

    All Outreach and Education meetings are indefinitely postponed to prevent contracting or spreading the Covid-19 virus. The Spring Citizens Academy class in Huntsville has been put on hold, and we will not be conducting “Chasing the Dragon,” “Active Shooter Preparedness,” “FBI Day at Children’s Hospital,” “Coffee with an Agent,” and other such programs and gatherings are suspended for the present time; and our planned “Bomb-Making Preparedness” class, tentatively scheduled for May, is presently in doubt -- subject to suspension and rescheduling. Stay tuned for information on when we can reschedule these events, and others like them.

    Be aware that, because of your involvement with the FBI CAAA, you may be seen as privy to “inside information,” or that family, friends or coworkers may look to you as somehow better-informed than most, and they may look to you for information and advice in this crisis. Please take care to be properly informed and factually correct in what you say and do – it’s a form of public service and may serve to keep others safe.  If you need sources for accurate information concerning the Covid-19 crisis, please obtain it from such trusted sources as these:

    And another thing – Let me make it clear that we care about each and every members of this chapter, and we care about your well-being. So please follow the advice of the experts and stay safe. We also want to know how you’re doing and if there might be anything we could do to help one another out. So be on the lookout for a notice from us. I’ll be looking into the possibility of holding a chapter “town hall” via teleconference to give our chapter’s members a chance to let us know your needs, and apprise us of your ideas. So until the next time we chat – stay safe; be well.

    Support the FBI CAAA with Amazon Smile

    And as a far more upbeat note than my earlier column (you’re welcome), I want to tell you about a very simple thing you can do to support our chapter. It’s a form of fundraising that won’t cost you a single penny. Assuming you don’t live in a cave, I’ll imagine that you are familiar with a small start-up company called Amazon. In fact, I suspect one or two of you already have an Amazon account. But have you heard about Amazon Smile? It’s a subset of Amazon, whereby the company makes a donation of a small percentage of your purchase to a charitable organization – again at no additional cost to you whatsoever. And YOU can set YOUR Amazon Smile account to automatically donate a portion of your purchases to the FBI Birmingham CAAA. Here’s how it works:

    1. From your computer, go to: smile.amazon.com.
    2. Log in to your existing Amazon account.
    3. At the top of the page, go to your account and select the option to change your charity
    4. Search for FBI National CAAA and navigate to “location: Birmingham AL.” Select it.
    5. There is also a box to check that will automatically open Amazon Smile each time you go to Amazon. It would be lovely if you were to check that box.

    And from a mobile device, it’s equally simple. Get the Amazon app, then open, pull down the menu from the upper left and select Amazon Smile, then follow the steps just like on a computer.

    This is a simple, painless step. Amazon will donate .5% of each purchase you make to our chapter. That’s not a big deal on an individual basis, but if you extrapolate that figure out over a few hundred members, it adds up, and can serve to help underwrite our chapter’s service to the community. And my thanks go to our friend and board member, Jacqueline Gray Miller, for this excellent suggestion.

    So please take a moment and do us a favor -- visit Amazon Smile, set up your personal charity as the FBI National Citizens Academy Alumni Association, Location: Birmingham. And while there, set up your Amazon account as your default setting. You’ll be making donations to the chapter at no cost to you.

    --- Paul H. Franklin, President

         FBI Birmingham CAAA


  • 24 Feb 2020 9:26 AM | Christopher Huys (Administrator)

    Lately, I’ve become hyper-aware of the cycles that occur in our chapter. Certainly board meetings leap to mind – probably because I must call them, set the agendas, etc.; but there are others as well, and there are those that are sources of excitement and enthusiasm. We express our appreciation to board members and committee heads who have rotated off or whose terms have ended, and we warmly welcome our new board members, officers, and committee and project heads. We have a great crew heading up our chapter, and our future looks bright.

    A perfect example of our cycles is that, as March arrives and spring approaches, we anticipate the launch of a new Citizens Academy class in Huntsville. And as you all no doubt remember from your own experiences, the Alumni Association will be present in force, to warmly welcome the new students into our very special company (remember – we are a select group of community leaders, nominated by our peers to attend the CA class) on their opening night, and to provide a meal for the class and the alumni and FBI staff in attendance.

    And our board is hard at work in this (still new) year, renewing our commitments to long-term projects -- beginning anew to arrange “Chasing the Dragon” showings in both Birmingham and Huntsville, planning efforts to deal with human trafficking in conjunction with our partners at The Wellhouse, and of course, much, much more, such as a second annual FBI Day at Childrens of Alabama, and a second sub-regional gathering that we expect to offer  – a Summit at the Lake, bringing several chapters together at Lake Guntersville in the Fall. But as certainly as these cycles recur, we continue to innovate. In fact, our chapter probably initiates more new projects than any other chapter in the nation does or ever has. This year we have an important new project; a ground-breaking one, unique to the Birmingham chapter that we hope and expect will be a long-term commitment for our chapter. Let me tell you a bit more about it.

    Four of our members – Dr. Joe Popinski, Tom Polk, TJ Knight, and I – attended training last year on the DHS’s Bomb-Making Awareness Program. We are now authorized to train volunteers to visit merchants and others and teach them to recognize efforts to obtain the materials to make explosive or incendiary devices. Now to you: If you would like to receive this BMAP training and become a Community Liaison officer, we would love to have you. We anticipate holding training sessions (4 hours) in Birmingham and Huntsville in March, and already have several volunteers signed up to attend the training sessions. There are still several slots available, so if you’d like to participate in a potentially life-saving program, call us or write us and volunteer to attend training. We’ll get you on board right away.  

    Thanks for your attention and support.

    --- Paul H. Franklin, President

         FBI Birmingham CAAA

                                                                                                                


  • 28 Jan 2020 7:23 AM | Christopher Huys (Administrator)

    Greetings. I hope this issue finds you well and happy. It seems I’ve just had my first deep breath of this month – it’s really been busy around here. We had our first board meeting on the 12th of January, followed by the Annual Meeting later in the afternoon. Thanks to all of you who came out to join us at the Vestavia Hills Library. I hope you enjoyed Dr. Joe Popinski’s program, which was an excellent overview of the Bomb-Making Awareness Program, which will be one of our signature projects in the days to come. A highlight for me was the opportunity to present well-deserved Chapter Leadership Awards to Bill Conway, Joe DiNoto, Chris Karlson, and Dr. Joe Popinski, for their outstanding efforts over the past year. And let’s take the opportunity to welcome Jennifer Cofer (our new Membership chair), Jacqueline Gray Miller, Chris Huys, James Watts, Tim Johns, and Gary McCullors to our Board of Directors. We look forward to working with them for the coming years.

    We followed that meeting up with an all-day Strategic Planning session at Lake Guntersville State Park’s Lodge. You should have been there – it was magic. We got so much accomplished, and have so much in the works that we’ll be rolling out for you soon. One of the things we found was...we love Lake Guntersville State Park. We love it so much that we’re thinking in terms of hosting a gathering there in the fall. We are likely to call it The Summit at the Lake, and we’ll likely invite several other chapters to join us for social time, informational presentations and discussion groups, outings in the beautiful natural settings, and networking opportunities. Look for more information as the date approaches.

    At the end of the month, I got a call from our Executive Director, Sandy Mangold, concerning the two police officers who were shot and killed in the line of duty in Waikiki, Hawai’i. The Honolulu chapter had never dealt with a situation anything like this, and Sandy asked me to help out. I called their President, Jason Fujihara, and we struck up a working relationship that became a firm friendship over the several days and the several long conversations. We leveraged some of our (unfortunate) experience from having assisted in three police shootings and a child abduction in 2019 to help the Honolulu chapter navigate the process of supporting the law enforcement groups involved in the case – providing food, beverages, and more to the investigators and the affected precinct, and in raising $20,000 in donations to go to the survivors of the two officers. It’s a source of considerable pride, that when a crisis occurs and the chips are down, the FBI Birmingham CAAA is where they look for leadership and direction.

    And you’ll surely remember that I’ve been harping on the need for more and more frequent opportunities for our members to gather. We’re on it. Look for news of a social event in Birmingham in February, followed closely by an event in Huntsville. There’s great things happening in our chapter. We hope to see you at an FBI CAAA event soon. Be well.

    --- Paul H. Franklin, President

         FBI Birmingham CAAA


  • 23 Dec 2019 8:08 AM | Christopher Huys (Administrator)

    Happy New Year! With this issue of the newsletter, we begin both a new year and a new decade together.

    2019 was a year of great challenges and great accomplishments for us. I recounted much of the year in last month’s column, but as surely as I thought 2019’s crises were behind us, we were greeted with another tragedy – a Huntsville police officer was shot and killed in the line of duty. Once again, we rose to the challenge of feeding and supporting the local police in the wake of a tragedy. This time, special recognition goes to Board member Joe DiNoto and Treasurer Chris Karlson for handling local efforts in such an exemplary manner. Many thanks to Joe and Chris for their superior service. And we were assisted by Sandy Mangold, Executive Director of our national organization, who was able to marshal national companies’ support to augment the local help.

    As proud as I am – as we are – of our chapter, and as much as we sincerely believe that we have the best FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Chapter in the nation, we have room for improvement. We could do more and better outreach into the community, there are initiatives that we could undertake, we have committees that could function more effectively; but above and beyond those items, the most pressing issue for us is that we could and should have more opportunities for members to get together.

    That last item is the one we will focus on with laser-like intensity this year. We WILL have multiple opportunities for our membership to come together, socialize, network, and learn from one another, as well as to enjoy programs and presentations from FBI personnel.

    The first general membership event is on the horizon – we will hold our Annual Meeting at 2:00 on Sunday, January 12th, in the Community Room of the Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest. We hope you’ll make plans to attend. You will receive more information about the event under separate cover, but please join us.

    --- Paul H. Franklin, President

         FBI Birmingham CAAA


  • 17 Dec 2019 8:44 AM | Christopher Huys (Administrator)

    It’s far from an original thought, but as I sit down to formulate my thoughts for my final column of 2019, the first thing that pops into my head is; “Omigosh – this year has gone by so fast!” Yet here we are, staring at the calendar for the final days of 2019. Simply shocking…

    So a few items to help recap our year: We began 2019 with tragedy – a fatal shooting of a Birmingham Police officer. Our chapter rose to the occasion, providing food for the slain officer’s precinct, then providing funds for his out-of-town relatives to attend the funeral. On a far lighter note, we held the inaugural “FBI Day at Childrens” in early Spring – an enormous delight for the kids at the hospital. We held “Chasing the Dragon evenings in Huntsville and Birmingham, with attendance greatly augmented by live streaming. We held the first Sub-Regional Gathering at Redstone Arsenal in summer, attracting attendees from Nashville and Jackson (MS). We co-sponsored Active Shooter Preparedness for Houses of Worship in both cities, attracting capacity crowds. Then when another Birmingham Police Officer was seriously wounded in a running shootout in late spring our chapter provided food and support for day after day to assist the West Precinct, where Officer Stafford was assigned. Soon after that incident, several of our number attended the National Leadership Conference, where four of our members received Presidential awards for Meritorious Service and our chapter received the prestigious “Chapter of Excellence” trophy – the highest honor possible. Fall arrived…more or less (we entered October with 100-degree heat and drought) and we were called upon again when a 3-year old child was abducted from a birthday party. We fed hundreds of meals over many days for the investigative team, and then we were specifically requested by the Chief of Police to lead a grid search through neighborhoods in NE Birmingham to look for the missing child, or evidence. Sadly, that story had a most tragic ending. A couple of weeks later, however we gathered at a Birmingham restaurant for a lively “FBI After Dark” evening. Good food, good crowd, great program…apparently, though, we had such a good time that the restaurant closed down the next week. Rough crowd, right?

    All in all, this year has been quite a ride. The highs have been tremendous, the lows sometimes difficult to endure. But through it all we have continued to grow in number and in reach. As we approach the holidays, I am most thankful for the many opportunities – to attend the CA class back in ’15, later to serve on the board, and later still for the trust you’ve shown by allowing me to hold office. I am grateful – so grateful – for ALL the staff at the FBI Birmingham Field Office, and for the support and trust they give us. It’s humbling. And I am thankful for our hardworking officers and board members; and especially thankful for each and every one of our members. As good as this organization is and has been for 16 years now, it’s all because of each and every one of you. To all you interested, active, engaged members, thank you so very much. For those who haven’t yet had the chance to join us at events and meetings, please do so. The FBICAAA is one of those “bathwater” organizations – you know the type: where once you get in and get used to it, it’s actually not so hot...We are different. We are special. Come and be special with us – be an active part of the alumni chapter in the nation. You will love it. I hope you can join us at the FBI FO’s luncheon on 12/13, or the FBI After Dark that’s soon to be announced in Huntsville, or our Annual Meeting, which we will hold in early January.

    Thanks for everything. Best wishes for happy and blessed holidays, and I hope to see you very soon.


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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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