Linking community service, prevention and law enforcement is a key component of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) mission. The FBI’s Community Outreach Program supports the Bureau’s initiatives by helping to build bridges between the rich diversity of Oregon’s cultural, religious, ethnic and professional communities - empowering citizens with a voice and educating these communities on the FBI’s role in keeping our citizens safe.
Antonia Fabian Kreamier, FBI Community Outreach Specialist for the State of Oregon, works in concert with the FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association (FBI CAAA), Oregon youth and a wide variety of cultural leaders to help incorporate communities into the mission and efforts of the FBI. Kreamier integrates her work into schools, neighborhoods and businesses throughout Oregon to help build relationships and trust – discovering potential future agents along the way.
Alumni Background Brings Oregon FBI Opportunity
In fact, Kreamier’s involvement in the FBI CAAA is what led to her role as FBI Community Outreach Specialist just over five years ago. “It is a funny story,” Kreamier says. “I attended the FBI Citizens Academy program in Phoenix, Arizona, graduated from the program in April of 2011, moved to Oregon that May and was hired by the FBI in August of 2011. Today, I am running the very program in which I learned about the FBI.”
Training Future Leaders and Helping Youth Inform Older Generations
Kreamier’s main goal and focus as Community Outreach Specialist is to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the different cultural, religious and professional communities. She places high emphasis on Oregon’s youth. “Our youth are going to be our future leaders. With the various cultural communities that make up the State of Oregon, we rely on our young people to help us convey information to the older generations,” Kreamier says. “We work with and through the youth of these different cultural, ethnic and religious communities to help bridge the gap between the FBI and older generations and spread truth about who we are and what our mission is.”
Oregon FBI Junior Special Agent Academy members learning about law enforcement equipment.
Included in her work with Oregon youth, Kreamier oversees the Youth Leadership Academy, a three-day program that offers high school students across Oregon training in leadership skills and education on law enforcement, cross-cultural communications and team building – characteristics that organizations like the FBI are looking for in recruits. Students are able to meet FBI agents at the field office, participate in hands-on simulations, learn about terrorism, cybersecurity, public corruption, polygraph exams, evidence response, SWAT and FBI operations.
Kreamier also runs the Junior Special Agent Academy for Oregon’s 7th and 8th graders. The program aims to provide a positive law enforcement role model for students, using fun and informative lessons on things like how to process fingerprints and introduction to law enforcement uniforms and equipment. They go on tours to the FBI field office to meet agents and learn key operations of the FBI, social skills and citizen responsibility. The group is currently focusing on the dangers of social media and how to be safe, emphasizing consequence and how to avoid risk altogether.
Building Trust and Relationships Across Diverse Oregon Communities
Teaching Oregon’s youth about the FBI is only one aspect of Kreamier’s job as Community Outreach Specialist. She also works to build positive relationships and trust among communities who must confront issues like immigration, religious and racial profiling, and violent crime.
The FBI’s Community Relations Executive Seminar Training program (CREST) helps to do just that. FBI CREST is a shorter, more focused version of the FBI Citizens Academy, conducted in partnership with specific community groups at offsite locations. The program is designed to build trust and strengthen relationships between the FBI and the communities we serve.
“CREST takes a cultural, religious or ethnic group and provides them with specific training in areas that they want to learn about in hopes that we can become partners,” Kreamier says. “We aim to clear up any misinformation. Some communities can confuse the FBI with Immigration and Customs Enforcement or Homeland Security. That is not us. CREST acts to teach the different Oregon cultural communities what our mission is, dispelling misinformation and better equipping our relationships. CREST also acts to bridge the gap between the various communities themselves.”
Kreamier explains that working with the various cultures in the community has been the most rewarding part of her role as Community Outreach Specialist. “I have had the pleasure of meeting with multiple cultural leaders and it has humbled me on so many levels,” Kreamier says. “My dad was an immigrant, so I understand somewhat. These people come to our country with nothing but hopes and dreams. I am learning and understanding my own dad’s life in coming to this country through all of the variations of cultural communities that I have worked with as Community Outreach Specialist.”
“The cultures are all so very different yet we are all very much the same. It is humbling to get to meet and work with these people and provides a constant sense of humility. I am always honored when I am invited to attend a dinner or special event from one of the various communities. It is one of the most rewarding things about my time with the FBI.”
How FBI CAAA Can Assist With Community Outreach
Another important aspect of Kreamier’s role as Community Outreach Specialist is running the fall and spring Citizens Academies each year. “We consider our Citizens Academy members to be an elite group of people,” says Kreamier. “They are chosen by a panel to be a participant in the Academy. We look for people within the different cultural, religious, ethnic and professional communities. We really hand select the members of our citizens academies.”
Kreamier explains that members of the FBI CAAA work together with the FBI in a number of ways. “Our Citizens Academy members are advocates with us in helping to build that bridge within communities and dispel misinformation. They can always bring to the table things that can help,” Kreamier explains. “I am one person doing a very large job. If there is something that I am missing as far as an opportunity that might benefit our Academy and Alumni Group as a whole, by all means they can help facilitate that.”
One way Citizens Alumni assist the FBI is by helping put them in touch with the right people. Certain skills and specialties that are valuable in keeping our communities safe are sought out in the selection of Academy members. “For example, an Intel cybersecurity person may have access to people that want to learn more about cybersecurity and the latest trends within that arena,” Kreamier says. “The Academy member can get that group together for us.”
Academy members can also help with the various youth development programs. A number of youth advocacy specialists are selected for the FBI CAAA since youth is such an important part of the FBI initiatives.
“Our Citizens Academy offers so much for one another that it doesn’t have to be solely FBI missioned,” Kreamier says. “That is another awesome thing about the Citizens Academy. We help to put these people together and connect them to make them stronger in their efforts in the private sector. The things members get to do above and beyond the FBI are probably endless. It is about the leadership.”
For example, each year the FBI joins Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement partners in supporting the Oregon Special Olympics. “It’s a lot of fun,” Kreamier says. “We hand out medals to the athletes throughout the summer. Actually just last Sunday, a handful of people from my office handed out medals to the athletes at a Special Olympics swim meet. There are always up and coming tours or activities such as the above mentioned the Alumni can get involved in.”
“Board membership opportunities also give alumni a lot of opportunity and a lot of say,” Kreamier says. Board membership allows alumni members to get involved and help the FBI with its mission. The Board helps to facilitate speakers and elects the events and activities each year. The FBI CAAA is currently seeking new board members. We are also taking nominations for the up and coming spring Citizens Academy, so if a member knows someone that they feel would be a good fit for the Academy, go ahead and nominate them.
Antonia Fabian Kreamier has provided a fresh and enthusiastic voice for Oregon’s FBI Community Outreach Program in her five years of service. She is an inspiration for FBI CAAA and the Oregon community at large and we look forward to seeing more of her work reflected in our community in the future. Ms. Kreamier can be reached at [hidden email].