2023 Special Awards

The Federal Law Enforcement Foundation honors the legacies of the following individuals by annually presenting an award in their names to a worthy member of the same federal agency. It signifies noteworthy accomplishments within their respective agencies and reflects upon the very best in law enforcement.

Chester A. Arthur
1829 – 1886
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Chester A. Arthur
1829 – 1886

Chester A. Arthur, the 21st President of the United States, has the unique distinction of holding the highest position within the Customs Service in New York as Collector of Customs, and was the first President to enact general federal immigration laws. His presidency was perhaps best known for political integrity and legal reform.

Prior to his becoming President, in 1871 Chester Arthur was appointed as Collector of Customs for the Port of New York, an extremely influential and powerful position at the time, where he served for the next seven years. However, with a change in presidential administration in 1878, a number of government employees holding influential positions were replaced, including Arthur. Arthur returned to his law practice in New York until 1880, when he was elected Vice President under James A. Garfield. When Garfield was assassinated in 1881, Arthur became the 21st President of the United States. Arthur served from 1881 to 1885, during which time his administration was responsible for civil service, immigration and tariff reform.

In the years leading up to Arthur’s presidency, political positions at many levels were handed out based upon personal relations and party affiliations, rather than merit. This system of graft, also known as the spoils system, was inherently corrupt and inefficient, and was even indirectly responsible for the assassination of President Garfield. Arthur’s appointment to the Collector of Customs position was, in fact, based on this system. As President, however, Arthur sought to correct the wrongs of the past through the passage of the Pendelton Act, which established a modern civil service system based upon competitive selection of candidates through testing and other impartial qualifications. Further, in 1882, his administration enacted the first federal immigration laws which established basic requirements for admission into the United States, and levied a modest fee to cover the costs associated with the processing of each immigrant. It has been said that no man has ever entered the presidency more distrusted – and retired more respected – than Chester A. Arthur.

President Arthur, through his actions, showed that he was a man of integrity, action and courage. It is for these traits the ICE Chester A. Arthur Award for Public Service is proudly given.

Martin J. Burke
1943 – 1999
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Martin J. Burke
1943 – 1999

Martin J. Burke was born on December 21, 1942 in the Bronx, NY, where he was raised and educated. After graduating from high school, he served six months training in the US Naval Reserves. He was a graduate of Westchester Community College where he attained an AAS in Police Science and Mercy College where he received a BS in Social Science.

He entered the Division of State Police on February, 24, 1966, and served as a Trooper in Troops B, K, and SP Manhattan, until May 1, 1975, when he achieved the rank of Investigator. He remained in that position until April 28, 1977, when he was appointed Senior Investigator, assigned to the Governor’s Security Detail in New York City. On June 27, 1978, Mr. Burke was appointed Major, in charge of security for the Governor, assigned to the Governor’s Security Detail in Albany, NY. On June 7, 1984, the Governor’s Security Detail was reorganized into the Protective Services Unit and Major Burke remained in charge of that Detail until his Service Retirement on March 30, 1995. Marty made many lasting friendships during his distinguished career with the State Police. His State Police Personnel record is replete with numerous letters of appreciation from high-ranking officials and ordinary citizens alike. During his tenure, Marty worked tirelessly and literally around the clock at times, to ensure the personal safety of the Governor and his family and other public officials he was assigned to protect. Upon his retirement, Marty was appointed by President William J. Clinton and was confirmed by the United States Senate to the position of United States Marshal for the Southern District of New York. He served with distinction in that capacity until his untimely death on September 23, 1999. He is survived by his wife Diane, and three sons.

John F. Capano
1960 – 2011
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John F. Capano
1960 – 2011

The John F. Capano Award was introduced in 2020 by Special Agent-in-Charge John B. Devito to recognize an outstanding ATF Special Agent that exemplifies the qualities of selflessness, courage and honor in support of the ATF mission to serve and protect our citizens from violent crime.

On December 31, 2011, Special Agent John Capano, age 51, went to a local pharmacy to pick up a prescription for his father. Upon entering the store, Agent Capano walked into an armed robbery in progress with the suspect demanding prescription narcotics from employees. Agent Capano identified himself, and without hesitation intervened to protect those inside. The suspect fled the premises and Agent Capano immediately gave chase to apprehend him. During the subsequent struggle with the armed suspect, Agent Capano was fatally wounded. The suspect then attempted to engage with responding law enforcement officers, but was shot and killed. Special Agent John Capano was survived by his wife and two children.

During his 24 years of distinguished service at ATF, Agent Capano served as a Certified Explosives Specialist, often sharing his explosives expertise by training state and local law enforcement officers, as well as ATF’s international partners across the world. In 2008 and 2010, Agent Capano volunteered to fight in the global war on terrorism; serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan, where he earned the ATF Foreign Service Medal for his exceptional work and leadership.

In 2015, President Barack Obama posthumously awarded Special Agent John Capano with the Medal of Valor. The Medal of Valor is awarded annually by the President of the United States to those public safety officers who have exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect human life. “The ATF family is grateful and honored the President has awarded Special Agent John Capano the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor, the highest national award for valor by a public safety officer,” said B. Todd Jones, ATF Director at that time. “Throughout an extraordinary career in public safety, Special Agent Capano exemplified courage, honor and selflessness. This is a fitting honor for a brave man.”

This award recognizes Special Agent John Capano’s selfless action and courage exhibited in the face of fire, and honors his 24 years of dedicated service to both the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, as well as the public he gave his life to protect.

James M. Fox
1937 – 1997
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James M. Fox
1937 – 1997

James M. Fox was born on December 23, 1937, in Chicago, Illinois, where he was raised and educated. He graduated from Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1960 and earned a law degree from the University of Illinois College of Law in Champaign, Illinois.

Mr. Fox joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation in September 1962 at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and was appointed Special Agent in May 1963. Thereafter, he accepted assignments in New Haven, San Francisco, and Chicago before returning to Headquarters. After another tour of duty in San Francisco, Mr. Fox was redeployed to the New York City office in September 1984, where he was appointed Special Agent in charge of the Foreign Counterintelligence-Soviet Division. In July 1986 Mr. Fox was designated Deputy Assistant Director in charge of the New York City FBI office. In December 1987, Mr. Fox was designated Assistant Director of the New York Division. In this capacity, Jim Fox distinguished himself by leading some of the country’s most important investigations to successful conclusions.

After retiring from the bureau in 1993, Mr. Fox graced Mutual of America by joining the company in the position of Executive Vice President, Audit and Real Estate Management. During his brief tenure with Mutual of America, Mr. Fox heightened the Company’s reputation for professional integrity and responsibility. Both his wit and wisdom made an impact on his colleagues.

John W. Maltz
1937 – 2013
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John W. Maltz
1937 – 2013

The John W. Maltz Award was introduced in 2007 by Special Agent in Charge John P. Gilbride to recognize an outstanding DEA supervisor who, through exceptional effort, has promoted interagency cooperation and effective transnational law enforcement in support of the DEA mission.

John Maltz is a legendary figure in DEA history, having served with distinction as the longest reigning chief of the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force, the oldest and most successful counter drug initiative in the country. John Maltz graduated from Hofstra University in 1964 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. Shortly thereafter, he joined the DEA’s predecessor agency, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, and soon distinguished himself as an exceptional narcotics investigator.

In 1969, Mr. Maltz was promoted to the position of Group Supervisor, and established the first drug intelligence program in New York City. He was the first chief of the DEA’s Regional Intelligence Unit, and later the Unified Intelligence Division, where he pioneered the concept of collocating DEA personnel with investigators and intelligence analysts from the New York City Police Department and New York State Police in order to achieve a fully integrated tactical and strategic intelligence platform from which to launch drug enforcement operations.

In 1983, following an assignment in DEA Headquarters, Mr. Maltz returned to New York, where he was named Associate Special Agent in Charge and Chief of the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force (NYDETF). During his 11 year tenure as Chief of the NYDETF, Mr. Maltz oversaw the dismantlement of the world’s most prolific and violent drug trafficking organizations, all while building a renowned multi-agency coalition with a global reach that continues to serve as the model for all other drug task forces. Mr. Maltz’s courage, determination, and passion for cooperative law enforcement continue to serve as a source of inspiration for all DEA employees throughout the New York Field Division.

Albert E. Whitaker Jr.
1907 – 1990
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Albert E. Whitaker Jr.
1907 – 1990

Al Whitaker was born on September 23, 1907, in Providence, Rhode Island. He attended Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and had a remarkable career in public service that earned him a reputation that thrives even beyond his 47 years of service to the country.

Whitaker joined the Secret Service in 1930 initially as a clerk in the New York Field Office. He progressed through the ranks to eventually become Special Agent in Charge of the Newark Field Office before his law enforcement career was interrupted briefly in 1942, when he was furloughed for military service during World War II. During his years with the military, Whitaker served the U.S. Army as a tank commander and then worked on the Manhattan Project, which developed the atomic bomb. He was awarded the Legion of Merit, one of the highest commendations of the U.S. Armed Services.

Resuming his work with the Secret Service in 1946, Whitaker was soon assigned to New York as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge. Two years later, he was promoted to Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office – a position he held for an astounding 28 years. He retired in 1977.

Whitaker and his wife Margaret remained active participants and generous contributors to a number of philanthropic causes, including the Association of Former Agents of the United States Secret Service, for which they left a significant donation in their will.

Chester A. Arthur Award

Special Agent Kevin Kurtz

 

Martin J. Burke Award

Kevin R. Kamrowski
District Sex Offender Coordinator 
District of New Jersey

 

John F. Capano Award

Sgt. Mark Lee
Rochester PD

James M. Fox Award

ASAC Andrew Pachtman

 

John W. Maltz Award

D-25 El Dorado Task Force

 

Albert E. Whitaker, Jr. Award

Stephen Perazzo