The HSI Citizens Academy program was created as a community outreach forum in which HSI special agents and managers can invite participants from local communities to learn more about the HSI mission through direct interaction and discussion with agency offices and personnel. Through the Citizens Academy program, HSI strives to enhance public awareness and understanding of HSI and its critical national security and public safety missions, and to build positive community involvement and interaction with the agency.
HSI Citizens Academy programs are developed by participating HSI field offices and are tailored to address specific topics of interest and unique needs of the respective communities they serve. The program typically entails three-hour sessions held after business hours one night a week over the course of seven to ten weeks. They do not confer any type of authority, benefit or entitlement, but do allow members of the community to gain a greater understanding of HSI’s mission through hands-on activities and direct interaction with HSI special agents and managers.
The national roll-out of the HSI Citizens Academy program occurred in April 2019 based on HSI Citizens Academy models conducted in San Juan, New York, Tampa and Los Angeles in prior years.
Candidates are nominated by HSI employees, former Citizens Academy graduates and community leaders. Participants are selected by the Special Agent in Charge of the local HSI SAC office.