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Dick Wolf Receives 2011 Distinguished Service Award from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund

Award Recognizes Wolf’s Longstanding Support of American Law Enforcement in Creative and Meaningful Ways

October 19, 2011

Washington, DC — The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has selected Dick Wolf, creator and executive producer of the Law & Order franchise, as recipient of its Distinguished Service Award for 2011. The award was presented at the Memorial’s 20th Anniversary Gala on October 12 in Washington, DC.

The Distinguished Service Award is the nonprofit organization’s highest honor, given annually to an individual or organization that has made an exceptional and lasting contribution to the law enforcement profession. Dick Wolf was chosen as this year’s recipient for his longstanding support of American law enforcement and the work he has done to humanize the law enforcement profession. The crime-related TV shows he has created and produced throughout his career, especially the extremely successful Law & Order franchise, highlight the compassion, courage, and skill displayed by officers under the most difficult circumstances.

“According to the Department of Justice, fewer than 10 percent of Americans have any positive interaction with law enforcement professionals,” said Memorial Fund Chairman & CEO Craig W. Floyd.  “As a result, most citizens draw their images of law enforcement from the media, movies or television,” he said, “but thankfully, we have Dick Wolf creating many of the cop shows we see on TV.”

"This award is the best way we know how to recognize Mr. Wolf’s many contributions to the law enforcement profession and to say thank you," said Mr. Floyd.

Unfortunately, Mr. Wolf was unable to be at the gala to accept his award. However, the event’s Master of Ceremonies, actor Richard Belzer of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, accepted on Mr. Wolf’s behalf. Two members of the United States Park Police Honor Guard presented the Distinguished Service Award to Mr. Belzer, who graciously accepted and thanked both officers. “I may play a cop on TV, but these [the two officers presenting the award] are the real heroes,” he said. Mr. Wolf filmed an acceptance speech, expressing his gratitude for the award, and for the service and sacrifice of America’s law enforcement professionals.

Dick Wolf is the 16th recipient of the Memorial Fund’s Distinguished Service Award. Previous awardees are:

  • Target (2010)
  • Vice President Joe Biden (2009)
  • House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (2008)
  • Cynthia Brown, publisher of American Police Beat (2007)
  • President Bill Clinton (2006)
  • Motorola (2005)
  • U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (2004)
  • Police Unity Tour (2003)
  • President George H.W. Bush (2002)
  • United States Mint Police (2001)
  • U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno (2000)
  • John Walsh, host of America’s Most Wanted (1999)
  • U.S. Representative (ret.) Mario Biaggi (1998)
  • The DuPont Company (1997)
  • U.S. Senator (ret.) Claiborne Pell (1996)

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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 honoring the service and sacrifice of America's law enforcement officers and to promoting officer safety. The Memorial Fund maintains the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, which contains the names of 19,298 officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history. The Memorial Fund is now working to create the National Law Enforcement Museum, which will tell the story of law enforcement in America through high-tech, interactive exhibitions, historical artifacts and extensive educational programming. For more information, visit www.LawMemorial.org.

About the National Law Enforcement Museum
Authorized by Congress in the year 2000, the 55,000-square-foot National Law Enforcement Museum will be a mostly underground museum located adjacent to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC’s Judiciary Square. The Museum will tell the story of American law enforcement through high-tech, interactive exhibits, collections, research and education. Museum construction has commenced with a projected opening in late 2013. The Museum is an initiative of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, a private non-profit [501(c)(3)] organization established in 1984 and dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of America’s law enforcement officers and to promoting officer safety. For more information about the National Law Enforcement Museum, visit www.LawEnforcementMuseum.org.

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