Heroes in Our Community
|Director Robert S. Mueller congratulates representatives of four of the nation’s largest billboard companies—Clear Channel Outdoor, Adams Outdoor Advertising, Lamar Advertising, and the Outdoor Advertising Association of Georgia. In little more than a year, their efforts in our Digital Billboard initiative have been instrumental in apprehending 18 people sought by authorities.|
A high school teacher who spends his afternoons and weekends counseling at-risk kids. A family that turned personal tragedy into an outpouring of hope and healing for others. A Hollywood actor who has become a tireless advocate for children.
Today, in a first-of-its-kind ceremony at our national Headquarters in Washington, D.C., we paid tribute to more than 50 civic leaders and humanitarian-minded organizations from across the country. Each is a 2008 winner of our Director’s Community Leadership Award, which since 1990 has celebrated those who have made significant contributions to public wellbeing and security. The award is presented annually by the Special Agents in Charge in all of our 56 field offices and by our Community Relations team at FBI Headquarters.
This year’s winners are a special group. They have worked to combat such scourges as child abuse, domestic violence, gangs and drugs, violent crime, illiteracy, and racial and religious prejudice. They have championed such causes as interfaith dialogue and global compassion. They have tended to the needs of at-risk youth, immigrants and refugees, and the families of fallen firefighters and law enforcement officers.
The honorees come from all walks of life. They include a mayor and a pastor, an imam and an investigative reporter, a pediatrician and a former professional football player. Many have worked with us directly—to investigate and prevent crime and terrorism, to raise awareness about our mission, to build new and stronger relationships with all segments of society, or to publicize wanted fugitives and missing persons.
We have posted here a list of the winners and their achievements—along with a high-resolution photograph of each attendee with FBI Director Robert Mueller. Here are just a few of their inspiring stories:
Memphis, Tennessee: Dr. Mohammed Moinuddin has dedicated himself to helping local Muslim refugees and to improving relationships among Jewish, Christian, Hindu, and Muslim communities. Why does he do it? He asks: “Don’t we all want a better, more peaceful city to live in…with a better understanding between people of different faiths, ethnicities, and backgrounds?”
Albany, New York: After a 10-year-old girl was struck down by a stray bullet, Pastor Charles Muller channeled his anger and frustration into a highly successful gun buy-back program to help keep weapons off the street. His said his choice was easy: “We could either turn our head and have a deaf ear…or do something about it.”
Sacramento, California: On the job, Assistant U.S. Attorney Laurel White of the Eastern District of California has seen it all while prosecuting online child predators. She also spends much of her free time warning her community about the dangers lurking on the Internet. She said her mission is to “educate parents and their kids…and work with schools to help them implement Internet safety curriculums of their own…to prevent these crimes from ever occurring in the first place.”
El Paso, Texas: Susan Oliva—Director of the Advocacy Center for the Children of El Paso—has worked to create a “safe place where children victimized by severe physical or sexual abuse could be given the opportunity to be heard and to heal.”
Congratulations to all the award winners—we are proud to call you our partners.