Women in Federal Law Enforcement Honors Exceptional Heroism at Annual Conference

Every year, Women in Federal Law Enforcement (WIFLE) requests agencies nominate individuals who have risen above the typical call of duty to protect and defend this nation and its laws. WIFLE recognizes award winners at their annual leadership training in a variety of categories. This year, WIFLE honored 24 women in law enforcement and the law enforcement community for their dedication to public service.

WIFLE provides awards in nine categories. Here are highlights from each category:

Julie Y. Cross Award

The Cross award is given to law enforcement officers who perform an act of “exceptional courage and heroism” or who demonstrate an “unusual degree of stamina and willingness to go beyond the call of duty.” This year three agents received the award, Samantha T. Constant, a Maritime Enforcement Specialist for the U.S. Coast Guard; Rachel N. Quinn, a Special Agent for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations; and Lindsay S. Shaffer, a Special Agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Elizabeth Smith Friedman Intelligence Award of Excellence

The Friedman Intelligence award is presented to federal law enforcement personnel who perform sustained levels of intelligence analysis; innovative intelligence integration functions; increased situational awareness to further investigative operations, secure/protect an event, reduce/prevent crime, and prevent terrorism. This year’s award recipients were Lauren Morris Krebs, an Intelligence Research Specialist with the Homeland Security Investigation division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Kenny Jo Ritchie, a Supervisory Intelligence Research Specialist with The Office of Field Operations in Customs and Border Protection.

Outstanding Federal Law Enforcement Employee Awards

This award is for women in federal law enforcement who not only demonstrate remarkable performance in their work but also act as a role model for other women in law enforcement. Seven unique women achieved this award this year. Their accomplishments range from takedowns involving Chinese nationals attempting to steal U.S. technology to severe fraud against the U.S. government through entitlement programs.

These distinguished women are Amanda Y. Anderson, Special Agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations; Chelsea Huff, Tactical Law Enforcement Team Pacific Tactical Operator with the United States Coast Guard; LiQin “Katie” McKenna, Special Agent with the Homeland Security Investigations division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Nicole L. McNamee-Wicks, Special Agent with the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General; Deborah L. Michaels, Supervisory Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation; DeLeassa Penland, Special Agent with the United States Attorney Southern District of New York; and Deborah Rocco, Senior Special Agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

Outstanding Advocate for Women in Federal Law Enforcement Award

WIFLE presents the outstanding Advocate Award to an individual who has worked to reduce systemic barriers to career advancement for women in law enforcement. This year’s Advocate Award went to Michele Aguilar, the Deputy Assistant Director of Mission Support at the Office of Field Operations with Customs and Border Protection.

Top Prosecutor Award

WIFLE also recognizes several prosecutors each year who led prosecution involving federal crimes such as trafficking of women or children, trafficking of human beings for forced labor, commission of crimes of violence against women or a minority group, a civil rights violation, any terrorist related violation against the United States, or commission of any corporate or government fraud. This year’s awards focused on fraud, child exploitation, and terrorism. Maureen Cain, an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Sarah Elizabeth Paul, an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, received this year’s awards.

WIFLE Leadership Award

The WIFLE Leadership Award focuses on individuals who facilitated public-private partnerships to create a system to prevent crime. These women both learn from past crimes and work proactively to prevent future crimes. Two Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agents received this awards, Amy Fryberger and Desirae Tolhurst.

WIFLE Partnership Award

The Partnership Award honors an individual who worked with state and local police groups on a federal task force. Specifically, investigating individuals engaged in the trafficking of women or children for sexual exploitation or any individual for forced labor, crime(s) of violence against women or any minority group, civil rights violation(s), any terrorist-related violation(s) against the United States, or any corporate or governmental fraud. This year’s recipient was Sergeant Lissa J. Kennedy of the Grand River Dam Authority.

WIFLE Foundation Public Service Awards

Each year WIFLE reviews all the nomination received in every award category and selects women with careers of over 20 years in public service to receive the Foundation Public Service Award. These women are recognized for their longstanding leadership and position as role models for other women. This year’s Public Service Award recipients were Michelle L. Maglione, Special Agent for the Homeland Security Investigations division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Colleen M. Manaher, Executive Director, Planning, Program Evaluation and Analysis in the Office of Field Operations at Customs and Border Protection; Lisa M. Olivieri, Special Agent in Charge at United States Secret Service; Pamela A. Smith, Commander New York Field Office of the United States Park Police; and Stephynie E. Velez, Special Agent at the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

WIFLE Scholarship

The WIFLE Foundation offers scholarships to individuals committed to law enforcement in order to foster the professional development of those in the field. Scholarships are awarded based on academic potential, achievement, and actions done serving their local community. Three individuals received awards this year: Haley Jenkins of Tennessee, Alyssa Lee of Ohio, and Eryn Elizabeth Lloyd of Maryland.

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