FBI Newark
Public Affairs Specialist Amy Thoreson
May 3, 2019

FBI Honors Longtime New Jersey Community Activist with Director’s Community Leadership Award

NEWARK, NJ—Perry Mays, of Pleasantville, New Jersey, received the Director’s Community Leadership Award from the Federal Bureau of Investigation at a formal ceremony in Washington, D.C. Special Agent-in-Charge Gregory Ehrie nominated Mays for the award, which will be presented by FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Mays serves as Chairman of the Atlantic County Coalition for a Safe Community. Established in 2010, the organization’s mission is to combat crime and violence in Atlantic County’s shore communities and neighboring municipalities. Mr. Mays has supported numerous awareness events in conjunction with the FBI’s Newark Division. These events have afforded the FBI the opportunity to reach more than 700 children in Atlantic County, while working closely with fellow law enforcement officers, first responders, educators, and religious and community leaders.

“With Mr. Mays’ help, the FBI has established a critical connection with the youth in Atlantic County, some of whom we hope will follow his example,” said Special Agent-in-Charge Ehrie. “When communities have advocates like Mr. Mays, who take a stand, who give of themselves, who believe in helping their neighbors, it strengthens us all.”

Before retiring, Mays spent 32 years working for AtlantiCare, organizing more than 200 drug marches as well as gun surrender programs and HIV/AIDS seminars. His tireless efforts helped shut down several known drug houses in the community and earned a Weed and Seed crime prevention and community enrichment grant for Atlantic City and Pleasantville, which are plagued by drug and gang-related violence. In 2013, Atlantic County recognized Mays’ work, naming him recipient of its annual Martin Luther King, Jr. award.

In addition to his other community work, Mays is a Sunday school teacher at the Holy Trinity Assembly of God parish in Mays Landing. He has four children and remains actively involved with multiple community groups.