FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award 2014
Brian P Boetig, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Buffalo Field Office, has selected Paul Wietig, EdD, University at Buffalo (UB) Assistant Vice President for the Office of Interprofessional Education, as the recipient of the 2014 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA) for his work in developing productive relationships among law enforcement, public health officials, members of the health care community, and improving the quality of life and education within various local communities. SAC Boetig presented the commemorative award on Wednesday, December 17, 2014.
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 must have the support and understanding of the people it serves. That is why the Buffalo Division values the dedicated work of community leaders like Wietig.
When it comes to gangs, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, health care fraud, educating at-risk children, and training the law enforcement community, Wietig has developed programming and training to improve the health and safety of residents in Western New York and nationally. In his position at UB, Wietig works to develop the best cross-curricular instruction within UB’s schools of dental medicine, medicine and biomedical sciences, nursing, pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences, public health and health professionals, and the school of social work. He has worked with multiple FBI Buffalo investigative squads to achieve this goal, thereby furthering the educational mission of the FBI and equipping the next wave of medical practitioners with invaluable tools and information.
Wietig first partnered with FBI Buffalo in 2012, when he connected with the FBI Safe Streets Task Force (SSTF) on a number of projects. The relationship resulted in a joint training program in the law enforcement community involving geospatial mapping of violent street gangs in the Buffalo region. In turn, the SSTF provided graduate students at UB with training to study the causes of gang participation and violence. Wietig then worked with personnel at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, on the causation of gang-related violence.
Wietig, a graduate of the 2012 Buffalo Division’s Citizens Academy (CA), turned his newfound awareness of FBI programs into the development of new partnership opportunities.
In the areas of counterterrorism and weapons of mass destruction, Wietig initially requested a Joint Terrorism Task Force presentation for UB students. Afterwards, Wietig worked to bring the FBI and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Regional Joint Criminal and Epidemiological Investigations Workshop to UB this past summer. The program was one of five such workshops held in the entire country in 2014. The workshop brought members of law enforcement, public health, and academia together to better coordinate in the event a regional biological outbreak occurs.
Wietig is currently working with the FBI’s Western New York Health Care Fraud Task Force to bring education and awareness to UB students in the health professions. This partnership will equip health care workers with the ability to understand and identify the potential pitfalls they could encounter during their medical careers.
Following his graduation from the FBI Buffalo Division’s CA, Wietig has collaborated with the Division’s Community Outreach Program (COP) as a member of the Citizens Academy Alumni Association. In this capacity, he volunteered his time at an FBI Buffalo Community Relations Executive Seminar Training for predominately African-American inner-city teens, assisted the FBI with the distribution of child-safety materials at a local World Refugee Day event, and helped identify a social worker to assist a SSTF Youth Academy at the Belle Center for predominately Hispanic youth to discuss conflict resolution. He has invited the COP to participate in UB Care Fairs, which provide residents living near UB the opportunity to receive resources to improve their health and safety.
As the profile of UB and its health-related programs rise within the FBI Buffalo area of responsibility and the nation, FBI Buffalo looks forward to continuing its innovative working relationship with Wietig and the programs he supports.
FBI Director James Comey will present Wietig with the 2014 DCLA during a formal ceremony at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., in May 2015.