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National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund Honors Awardees at Annual Gala During National Police Week

Memorial Fund President & CEO Craig W. Floyd presents a Lifetime Achievement and Excellence in Media Awards

May 12, 2017

Washington, DC—The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is pleased to announce that Ralph M. Purdy and Joe Akers are the recipients of its Lifetime Achievement Award and ‘Patriots Day,’ a movie about the Boston Marathon bombing, and the Manhattan institute’s Heather Mac Donald are the recipients of its Excellence in Media Award. The awards were presented during the Legacy of Honor Gala, held May 12, 2017, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC.

The Legacy of Honor Gala, a special event held during National Police Week, celebrates individuals, organizations, and corporations that have assisted in the Memorial Fund’s mission to tell the story of American law enforcement and make it safer for those who serve.

The Memorial Fund’s Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a deserving organization or individual who has taken a long-term leadership role in helping the Memorial Fund honor the service and sacrifice of individuals in the law enforcement profession. Mr. Purdy began his illustrious law enforcement career in 1956 as a security guard with the New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs. He is the president emeritus of the United Federation of Police Officers and one of the Memorial Fund’s founding members. Mr. Purdy donated the first $5,000 to Congressman Mario Biaggi, the founder of the Memorial Fund and original sponsor of the bill which introduced legislation to build the national monument in Washington, DC. The Memorial recognizes those who gave the supreme sacrifice in the performance of their duties. 

Also receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award is Joe Akers, former executive director of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives. Before serving as executive director, Mr. Akers was president of the Blue Knights, Md., from 1979 to 2013. Akers began his law enforcement career in 1972, serving more than 24 years with the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, DC, retiring as a lieutenant in 1996. He served on the Memorial Fund’s Board of Directors for approximately 20 years.

“The dedication that Ralph Purdy and Joe Akers have shown the Memorial Fund through the years is truly appreciated,” said Craig W. Floyd, Memorial Fund President & CEO. “They have esteemed records in law enforcement service, and they were both strong assets to the organization, from the creation of the Memorial to the construction of the National Law Enforcement Museum across the street.” 

The Memorial Fund’s Excellence in Media Award is presented to individuals or groups within the journalism, news, media and/or entertainment industries who have made an exceptional contribution to the law enforcement profession. 

At a reception preceding the Gala, Heather Mac Donald, the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, received an Excellence in Media Award. Ms. Mac Donald has been a constant voice in support of law enforcement officers. She has courageously attacked the myths surrounding the use of force, racial profiling and other unpopular views in support of our nation’s law enforcement profession.

The film ‘Patriots Day’ follows the story of fictional Boston Police Officer Tommy Saunders, as he watches the FBI, Boston Police Department and surrounding municipalities join forces to catch the terrorists behind the 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon.

The investigation was led by FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Richard DesLauriers with the help of Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis. The movie traces the steps of the terrorists as they plant the bombs that killed three near the marathon finish line on Boylston Street, then later murder Massachusetts Institute of Technology Police Officer Sean Collier before carjacking and kidnapping Dun Meng. Law enforcement officials captured one of the terrorists alive, and he was found guilty on all counts.  

“I’m proud to announce the selection of Heather MacDonald and ‘Patriots Day’ as recipients of our 2017 Excellence in Media Awards,” said Floyd. “Ms. MacDonald articulates her perspective in a manner that is fact-based, without fear of being labeled or marginalized,” he shared. “The portrayal in ‘Patriots Day’ of the outstanding work and sacrifice the law enforcement officers in the Boston area made following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing is a superb reflection on the men and women in law enforcement who worked countless hours to find and hold the terrorists accountable for their actions. The officers, runners and citizens of the city are a true testament to the motto ‘Boston Strong.’”

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About the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
Established in 1984, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a private non-profit organization dedicated to telling the story of American law enforcement and making it safer for those who serve. The Memorial Fund maintains the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, which contains the names of 21,183 officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history. The Memorial Fund has begun construction of the National Law Enforcement Museum, which will tell the story of American law enforcement through high-tech, interactive exhibitions, historical artifacts and extensive educational programming. For more information, visit www.LawMemorial.org.

Steve Groeninger
sgroeninger@nleomf.org
(202) 737-7135