Special Agent Siobhan Johnson
(312) 829-1199
April 19, 2024

FBI Chicago Announces Recipient of Director's Community Leadership Award

CHICAGO—The Chicago Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced today that The Salvation Army North and Central Illinois Division of STOP-IT program has been named the 2023 recipient of the division’s Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA). Established in 1990, the DCLA honors individuals and organizations for their efforts in preventing federal crimes and enhancing law enforcement efforts in their communities. This award is given annually to recipients in each of the FBI’s 56 field offices.

The STOP-IT program works with local, state, and national partners to fight human trafficking through trauma-informed strategies. The program provides direct services to sex and labor trafficking survivors of all backgrounds regardless of age, race, or immigration status. Services are aimed at supporting survivors’ efforts to leave their situations and rebuild their lives, which can include offering safe shelter, food, and clothing. Survivors receive access to medical, legal, and mental health services, and individuals looking to access resources can contact STOP-IT via a 24-hr. hotline: (877) 606-3158.

The STOP-IT program is also part of a larger effort to enhance the community’s response to human trafficking incidents. In addition to providing services directly to survivors, STOP-IT creates educational opportunities for the public to help citizens prevent, identify, and respond to human trafficking incidents in a supportive, victim-centric manner.

Receiving the award on STOP-IT’s behalf is Assistant Program Manager Erica Royea. Royea joined DCLA recipients from across the country in Washington, D.C., this week to receive the official award in a ceremony hosted by FBI Director Christopher Wray.

“Our success as both a law enforcement and an intelligence agency hinges on our ability to foster and maintain genuine partnerships with people in all communities,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “People like this year’s Leadership Award recipients not only identify what others need, but they are willing to roll up their sleeves and provide services. They are building bridges and relationships while putting in the work to have hard conversations and find a common purpose. They do it out of kindness and compassion with a sincere belief that justice—in its many forms—requires all of us to do the right thing in the right way."

“FBI-Chicago is honored to recognize The Salvation Army’s STOP-IT program and the employees that provide critical support for sex and labor trafficking survivors,” said acting special agent-in-charge Dennaris T. Coleman. “This program exemplifies the FBI’s work to find justice for the most vulnerable members of society. We appreciate the positive impact STOP-IT has made in our community and are honored to present this award.”