After successfully completing the Sheriff’s Citizen Academy last fall (and loving it), joining the FBI Academy sounded like a logical next step.
First off, let’s clarify that I am not applying for jobs in law enforcement. Nor are these academies for employment in the sheriff’s or FBI’s offices. They are essentially classes meant for to educate and inform people in the community, as well as advocate for certain programs within their offices. You get to hear directly from people who work in different areas of law enforcement (i.e. forensics or K-9 unit), and you have to apply with a good reason for being included.
While the Sheriff’s Academy was super fun (way more exciting than any college class I ever took), the quality of participants was a little questionable. I took the class with three of my educator colleagues, and I have to admit that we developed several nicknames for people in the class (Top That, Old Man Hair, Shorts Girl…) because they asked so many dumb questions, or shared so many inane stories. Thus I assumed the FBI Academy would also have similarly loose standards.
For the FBI Academy, I applied in January (I literally think my application was the first one submitted), and was shocked when I received an email stating that I was “wait listed”! Who, me?! Even worse, my friend, David, admittedly to me (with a nervous laugh) that he got accepted (ok, ok, he is more involved in a lot of community affairs so I agree he’s more qualified). I wanted to crawl into a hole. For eight months, I had been checking that same FBI Academy page over and over, waiting for the updated application. I’m the one who encouraged him to join these stupid academies. I deserved to get in. Over Spring Break, I kept lamenting how I should have put more work into my application.
Knowing how bummed I was, David called the FBI Academy on my behalf (despite my protests). It’s too bad he doesn’t work on a used car lot because he is pretty much the most persuasive person I know. A few days later, I got a call that a spot had “suddenly” opened.
Last night was our first official night, and it occurred to me that I was totally delusional. No wonder I was wait listed! The 34 other people were legit community and business leaders. I’m talking CEOs and CIOs and Directors of Security and someone who runs an African Diamond Farming enterprise. I was like, “Hi, I’m a teacher…” We spent three hours learning about the history of the FBI and then focused on Domestic and International Terrorism.
We have to lock up any electronics and walk through a metal detector, otherwise I would post some highly classified selfies over the next six weeks. Our final day will be (and I quote) “shooting guns and blowing up stuff” over at their training facility.
Thanks, David! You’re my hero!