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A Message from the President December 2019

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.

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

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