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Director’s Community Leadership Awards


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For two decades now we at the FBI have presented what we call the Director’s Community Leadership Awards. And we present these awards to extraordinary citizens from around the country.

Each year we discover that the accomplishments that we recognize are indeed as diverse as the communities each of you serve.

From your experience and your expertise, you’re building bridges between the Bureau and the communities we both serve. And in doing so you are helping us fight crime and terrorism and you’re helping us keep your communities safer.

My name is Nestor Hernandez. I’m from Buffalo, New York. I worked for The Belle Center on the lower west side of Buffalo as the executive director. And our goal there was to take kids from cradle to college. And get those kids on a path to success.

We teamed up with the city of Buffalo, Buffalo Police, FBI, and we said we want to partner with you to help us work with these kids to give them opportunities to see exactly what law enforcement does to help improve neighborhoods and communities.

The award really represents the work that the people at The Belle Center have done to help transform and let people say that they’re doing powerful work and transformational work to improve lives of children. I think that alone speaks highly and speaks volumes about the work we do.

You are educating your fellow citizens about crimes against children, religious and cultural diversity, and the pain of social and racial injustice.

Our community, they came from a society where the law enforcement people are seen as a threat. And anyone with a uniform. So to build that relationship, it’s really, it’s our mission and our vision. And with this program, the CREST Program, the FBI Citizen Academies, the positive interaction with the community has established a good relationship and good understanding about the law enforcement, the FBI, it is a friend for them, and not foe.

Hi, I’m Mary Murphy. I’m from Birmingham, Alabama. I’m with Prescott House Child Advocacy Center. We are connected with the FBI because of investigations that they have started mainly through their task force Innocent Images. And we interview child victims for them and then work with them closely until the case is closed out, either through criminal prosecution or services with the child protective services.

We’re very honored. It lends great credence to the work that not only that we do but that child advocacy centers do throughout our state and throughout our country.

Whether you are part of a large organization or you volunteer your individual time and talent, you are shaping history and making a lasting impact on those around you. And indeed you are the catalyst for change in your communities.

I want to thank you for your commitment, your leadership, and above all I want to thank you for your partnership and your friendship.