FBI Buffalo Presents 2013 Director’s Community Leadership Award
|FBI Buffalo December 03, 2013|
Brian P Boetig, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Buffalo Field Office, has selected Gary Mervis as the recipient of the 2013 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA) for Mervis’ work as chairman of the Project Exile Advisory Board and his role as chairman and founder of Camp Good Days & Special Times Inc. SAC Boetig presented the commemorative award on Tuesday, December 3, 2013, at 11:30 a.m. at Camp Good Days & Special Times Inc. at 1332 Pittsford-Mendon Road in Mendon, New York.
The DCLA is a special award presented on behalf of the Director of the FBI. It was formally created in 1990 as a way to honor individuals and organizations for their efforts in combating crime, terrorism, drugs, and violence in America. Each year, the SAC of each FBI field office has the opportunity, with input from FBI employees, to select an individual or organization that has made a significant difference in the lives of others in their community. For the FBI to successfully conduct investigations and protect the American people from crime and acts of extremism, it has to have the support and understanding of the people it serves. That is why the Buffalo Division values the dedicated work of community leaders like Mervis.
Mervis played a major role in bringing Project Exile to Rochester, New York, by providing the community-partner component of the program. Modeled after the original Project Exile in Richmond, Virginia, the Rochester program is a joint law-enforcement and community initiative that has helped to remove more than 14,000 illegal guns from the streets of Rochester and Monroe County.
As chairman of the Project Exile Advisory Board in Rochester, New York, since its implementation in 1998, Mervis and representatives from more than a dozen law enforcement agencies and community groups gather for regular Project Exile Advisory Board meetings. Community groups include the city of Rochester’s Pathways to Peace and other faith-based leaders, thereby advancing operations between law enforcement and minority groups.
Mervis’ Project Exile was the impetus for Project T.I.P.S. (Tips, Information, Programs, and Services) outreach events that make a creative effort to solve trust issues between residents and law enforcement. Several Project T.I.P.S. events are held during the summer to allow residents in high-crime areas to interact with law enforcement, gain access to resources, and enjoy a cook-out in a non-confrontational setting.
Mervis’ leadership qualities extend beyond his continuous efforts to make the streets of Rochester and Monroe County safe. He is also the chairman and founder of Camp Good Days & Special Times Inc., which offers children who have been diagnosed with cancer a residential camping experience to allow them to enjoy being kids while undergoing therapies to treat their cancers. Through this organization, Mervis has launched Cancer Mission 2020, a campaign to support and create legislation related to the advancement of cancer research.
Mervis is a graduate of the FBI Buffalo Division’s Citizens Academy program, which brings together civic, business, and religious leaders to experience firsthand how the FBI investigates crimes and threats to our national security and to learn about the various tools and techniques the FBI employs to carry out our mission.
FBI Director James Comey will present Mervis with the 2013 DCLA during a formal ceremony at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., next spring.
To read about the people and organizations who have previously received the DCLA for their service to help keep America and its communities safe, visit http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/partnerships_and_outreach/community_outreach/dcla.