FBI Recognizes Leaders from Around the Nation
Director’s Community Leadership Awards Presented
Recipients of the 2015 Director’s Community Leadership Awards were celebrated at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Today at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., 56 individuals and organizations—all leaders within their communities—were recognized by Director James Comey on their extraordinary contributions to education and to the prevention of crime and violence within their communities.
Comey called today “one of the very best days in the FBI’s year.”
Each recipient received the Director’s Community Leadership Award, presented every year since 1990 by FBI field offices around the country to publicly honor those who have gone above and beyond the call to service by tirelessly working to make their own cities and towns a better and safer place for their fellow residents.
The 2015 award recipients come from all backgrounds, all professions, and all parts of the country, and the issues they focus on vary greatly. But according to Comey, “They are united by a single thing—an effort to do good.”
Comey explained why the FBI publicly recognizes community leaders in this annual ceremony. “First,” he said, “we want to thank them, because they’re doing the same things we’re doing, which is trying to make life better for the American people.”
“And secondly,” added Comey, “we want to show the world what America looks like...and that this is what we do in communities all over the country.” He also hopes that the honorees inspire others, especially young people, to follow in their footsteps.
Among the individuals and organizations recognized during 2015 by FBI field offices were:
Anchorage: Samuel Johns, for helping homeless Alaskan native reconnect with their families, friends, and culture through Forget Me Not, the non-profit organization he founded.
Baltimore: Operation Pulse (People United to Live in a Safe Environment), for its work to reduce violent crime in and around East Baltimore through a variety of crime prevention programs for churches, senior groups, churches, and businesses.
Honolulu: Roy Sakuma, who for the past 50 years has taught, mentored, inspired, and brought hope to thousands of people in Hawaii and even Japan, and who has spent countless hours speaking to school children, candidly sharing his experiences regarding bullying, suicide, and insecurity.
Houston: The Houston-based non-profit K9s4COPS organization, for providing K-9s to help police find explosives, drugs, and weapons in some of our nation’s most at-risk communities and for assisting in the apprehension of more than 400 violent fleeing suspects.
Los Angeles: Omar Siddiqui, for bringing Muslim community leaders to the table to meet with Los Angeles FBI representatives and for encouraging young Muslim adults to participate in FBI-sponsored community outreach programs.
Memphis: Zulfat Suara, for her work with students in Hardeman County involving the Junior Achievement Program, which teaches students skills like managing finances and making good career choices.
San Francisco: The KlaasKids Foundation, established by the family of murder victim Polly Klaas, for its efforts in locating and assisting children exploited by perpetrators of child sex crimes in the Bay area.
St. Louis: The Fortune 500 company Emerson, through its Ferguson Forward initiative, for donating $8.5 million and operating 30 programs—focused on areas like early childhood education, youth jobs, college scholarships, and technical and trade careers—for the young people of Ferguson and North St. Louis County, Missouri.
A special thanks to the winners for giving of their time and talents to enhance the lives of others.