Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Award From Anti-Defamation League

The United States Park Police is proud to be the recipient of the Anti-Defamation League's "Shield Award."

This award recognizes law enforcement professionals for their significant contributions of protecting people from hate groups, hate crimes, extremism, and terrorism.

The United States Park Police received two of these awards.

The first award was to the Force as a whole for its response to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum shooting in June 2009.

The second award was to Detective Kevin Fornshill for his ongoing and long term investigations of hate crimes.

The United States Park Police was the first uniformed law enforcement agency on the scene of the terrorist assault on the museum. Our officers secured the scene, initiated the investigation, assisted in the building's evacuation, and handled the incident until the death of Special Police Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns turned this scene into a homicide to be handled by the Metropolitan Police Department.

Detective Kevin Fornshill has handled investigations into hate groups and individuals, provided training to our agency as well as many others concerning hate crimes, and is considered a subject matter expert on these crimes. His long term investigations and intelligence gathering has kept our community safer.

Other recipients of the ADL Shield Award are the Norfolk Police Department Criminal Intelligence Unit, the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Joint Terrorism Task Force CT-4, and Holocaust Memorial Museum Special Police Officers Jason McCuiston and Harry Weeks.

The most moving segment of this awards ceremony was the presentation of this award to Holocaust Memorial Museum Special Police Officer Stephen Johns. Officer Johns received this award posthumously, having been murdered in the line of duty. His mother and son received this award for him.

With several hundred people in attendance, the room was quiet as Officer Johns' mother spoke about her son. Most of us never met her son, but we all know of him and think of him.