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A Message from the President November 2021

03 Nov 2021 5:42 PM | Christopher Huys (Administrator)

Greetings, all.

Let me tell you about some good things that happened in October. The first is that I’m still exhilarated over the training session that our members conducted with the Department of Homeland Security, where we (a cadre of FBICAAA volunteers) did role-playing as a team of bad guys, conducting adverse surveillance while trying to elude security force trainees in anticipation the upcoming World Games. We spent a half-day at The Galleria in Hoover, casing the place, taking photos, and being sneaky and menacing while trying not to be caught as we gathered information about secured and unsecured entrances, CCTV locations, as we sized up where to place explosives or ram a vehicle into the mall, what the police and security presence at the mall was...It was absolutely fascinating – our team built a texting group with our coordinator, and we passed information back and forth among ourselves, and even did a “dead drop” of a package...all while trying not to be spotted by the security trainees. At the end of the exercise, we had the opportunity to do a “debrief” with the trainees and their instructors to go over methods and observations. It was time well-spent; I think all our FBICAAA role-players thoroughly enjoyed the day, and I hope the experience was useful for the trainees. I highlight this event because I was told that they plan to do at least two more of these training sessions between now and Summer of 2022, when the World Games come to town. We’ll be looking for more volunteers. Don’t miss out!

The second is that we held another in our now recurring Members Meetings, this time in Birmingham at the Fish Market restaurant. Our speaker was Don Lupo, who presented us with a vast amount of information about the aforementioned World Games. If you were not aware, the World Games are likely to be the largest gathering of visitors ever to occur in North Alabama, and they will draw athletes, representatives, heads of state and other officials, and spectators from around the globe. The opportunity for the FBICAAA to play an important role is genuine, and I hope and trust that we will rise to the occasion and be a positive force in making the Games a huge success. But back to the meeting...Don did a fine presentation, the food was good, the company excellent, and chef George Sarris himself greeted us toward the end and distributed dessert – fresh baklava for each of us. A fine evening, enjoyed by all. Do plan to attend the next one, will you? We should be announcing a similar evening in Huntsville soon.

Our nominating committee is working on a slate of proposed officers to 2022-23 and nominees for open board seats for the upcoming term. And note that you will have a voice in this process because the members elect the board. The nominees will be presented at our Annual Meeting, on December 2nd in Cullman (because it’s halfway between Birmingham and Huntsville). There’s more about this meeting to come soon in an official announcement, so watch for that.

As we approach the end of the year and I look back on 2020 and 2021, the two things that amaze me most are that we’re still standing and that you’re still with us – you’ve stuck with us through the most difficult period this organization has ever endured. Your unwavering support of the FBI and your belief in the mission of the FBI CAAA is inspiring. I can’t thank you enough.

--- 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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