FBI Los Angeles Announces Recipient of Director’s Community Leadership Award
The Honorable Dean Douglas Pregerson, United States District Court Judge, has been named the 2014 Los Angeles recipient of the Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA), an honor awarded annually by the FBI to recognize community leaders, announced David L. Bowdich, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI in Los Angeles. Since 1990, the FBI has publicly recognized individuals and members of organizations who have made exceptional contributions in the effort to combat violence, crime, and terrorism in America, and who have implemented prevention strategies.
Judge Pregerson has demonstrated a life-long commitment of service to the public and has made significant contributions to improve the well being of youth, low-income families, and the under-served in the community.
Among his many civic activities, Judge Pregerson served as a commissioner of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission and as President of the Los Angeles Parks Commission, where he helped oversee the largest municipal recreation and parks agency in the country. During Judge Pregerson’s tenure as president, the 1994 Northridge earthquake and its aftershocks drove tens of thousands of frightened people out of their homes. They began living in parks, quickly overwhelming the limited sanitation facilities, as food and basic necessities began to run out. Judge Pregerson and others helped to coordinate rapid and successful relief efforts on behalf of those displaced by the quake. Judge Pregerson is a dedicated member of the Southern California Metropolitan Board of the Salvation Army. In this capacity, Judge Pregerson has been an important contributor to the Salvation Army’s partnership with the FBI in hosting the Junior Special Agents Summer Camp program, made up of youth residing with their families at the Salvation Army’s Westwood Transitional Village. The young people tour the federal courthouse, take part in specially created mock trial simulations, and participate in question and answer sessions coordinated by Judge Pregerson, to include speakers from various federal agencies. Under Judge Pregerson’s leadership, children undergoing a stressful transition have been given inspiration and hope.
“Judge Pregerson has gone beyond the call of duty to improve the lives of countless Southern California residents in need,” said David Bowdich, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “His investment in the community pays substantial dividends towards the betterment of our society.”
For several years, Judge Pregerson served as a board member of Bet Tzedek Legal Services, a non-profit organization that provides legal services annually to approximately 12,000 impoverished clients of all backgrounds throughout Los Angeles County. In addition, Judge Pregerson has been an advisor to the board of the GSA/Salvation Army Bell Homeless Shelter for two decades. The Bell Shelter provides short term and transitional housing, comprehensive mental health services, and vocational training programs to 350 men and women. Nearly one-third of the Bell Shelter residents are veterans.
As part of his work with the Salvation Army Metropolitan Board, Judge Pregerson was recognized for his leadership role in creating Operation Angel Island, which provided housing and vocational opportunities on the Bell Shelter campus for displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Judge Pregerson co-founded his court’s Conviction and Sentence Alternatives (CASA) program. CASA is a post-plea diversion program that offers eligible defendants alternatives to incarceration and effectively addresses offender behavior, rehabilitation, and community safety.
Judge Pregerson and 59 fellow recipients of the Director’s Community Leadership Award attended an official ceremony with FBI Director James Comey at the FBI’s Headquarters in Washington, D.C. on Friday, May 1, 2015.
“This year’s honorees have distinguished themselves in remarkable ways through their hard work, their leadership, and their strength of character,” said Director Comey. “They are ordinary citizens, but what they have accomplished is nothing short of extraordinary.”