The FBI Announces the Recipient of the 2021 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award
Special Agent in Charge Eric B. Smith is pleased to announce Sheryl Harris, Director for the Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs, as the recipient of the 2021 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA) for the Cleveland Field Division.
The Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer affairs is a civil enforcement agency that protects county residents from unfair and deceptive sales practices. Consumer Affairs founded and coordinate Scam Squad, a senior financial fraud task force that unites county-based local, state, and federal law enforcement, consumer protection, and social service agencies in the fight against fraud.
Even though 2020 has been a difficult year to navigate, Harris, one of the leaders on the Scam Squad, was creative in finding ways to have a positive impact in the lives of Northeast Ohio residents. While all in-person meetings were initially cancelled, Harris immediately adapted and put on virtual monthly meetings. These meetings were vital to law enforcement and community partners exposing the latest trends in scams, especially related to the COVID-19 national pandemic. Harris continued to provide law enforcement and community partners material to pass out to consumers on how they could protect themselves from the latest scams.
Harris is also one of the members of the Department of Justice Elder Justice Initiative (EJI) for the Northern District of Ohio. Harris has been an EJI member for nearly three years and is one of the leaders the FBI and DOJ continually count on to assist in their community outreach.
This has helped FBI and DOJ become more involved in the community by putting on presentations for the most at-risk demographics when it comes to being a victim of fraud. Harris has set up multiple speaking engagements for the FBI and DOJ over the years, to include her integral part of planning and participating in the “Fighting Against Elder Fraud” conference. This conference was held in November of 2019, and united numerous agencies and was an information sharing event that educated social workers, attorneys, and caregivers for the elderly about resources available to help recognize and prevent fraud. Prior to COVID-19, Harris was working with the FBI and DOJ to set up a presentation for our law enforcement partners on how to respond to elderly victims of fraud.
Sheryl Harris joins the ranks of former Cleveland recipients: The Foundry, Anita Gray, The Fatima Family Center, Robby’s Voice, Dr. Tom Collins, Yvonne Pointer, Fred Szabo, Jimmy Malone, the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, and Toledo’s Second Chance organization.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric B. Smith said, “It is a privilege to honor Sheryl Harris with the 2021 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award. Harris shows compassion and persistence in helping every community member she comes across. In a year where others may have taken the time to focus on their personal wellbeing, Harris has been and continues to be willing to stand on the frontlines in order to assist the most vulnerable among us. The FBI looks forward to our continued working relationship with Sheryl.”
For any questions regarding the FBI’s Community Outreach Program, visit www.fbi.gov or contact Cleveland FBI’s Community Outreach Program at 216.522.1400.
For questions regarding this press release, please contact SA Vicki Anderson at 216-522-1400 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.