FBI holds academy for teens interested in law enforcement

Beccah Hendrickson Image
Friday, August 16, 2019
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FBI holds academy for teens interested in law enforcement. Beccah Hendrickson has more on Action News at 5 p.m. on August 15, 2019.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The day after being involved in a tense standoff, the FBI office in Philadelphia opened its doors to nearly 100 teenagers from the area who want to be involved in law enforcement.

"It is a priority of us to partner with our community, and any opportunity we have to do that, we should take advantage of it," said Assistant Special Agent Stanley Meador.

Agents say they hope this is a good program to work on community relations. Zahir Humphries, 19, of southwest Philadelphia says he's seen the problems first hand in his own neighborhood.

"When crimes, different types of crimes, big crimes happen, there's always tension between the two," said Humphries.

Now he wants to help bridge the divide.

"I don't want to live like that. I don't want to go through that. With me, I want to set an example, set a new cycle," he said.

The teen academy was pre-planned, but given the timing of it, a lot of the kids came in wanting to know more about what happened and the officers who risked their lives.

"When I woke up this morning to attend this gathering, I looked for an update. It was a horrifying story," said Humphries.

He says he followed the coverage, then watched closely as special agents showed him the different weapons and protective gear used in fieldwork, similar to what members of the FBI Evidence Response Team used during the shooting.

"Our mission is to protect the American people. Here's an example of where we tried to protect the American people," said Meador.

Despite the danger of that mission, Humphries said he's more certain than ever it's his future.

"When you leave your house, there's a chance you're not coming back. So what's the difference between working in law enforcement and just walking out your door," he said.