FBI community awards honor Portland Police Chief, community members
PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) Community support is key in helping the FBI conduct investigations. Every year, the FBI gives recognition to those community members and organizations for their support. On Friday, the FBI gave out two awards to locals right here in Portland.
The NEIA Law Enforcement Ethics Award is an award given to an officer who maintains the highest ethical standards, displaying integrity, respect fairness, and service. And it was handed out to none other than Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell.
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“The last 2-and-a-half years have really been about focusing on gun violence, shootings, protests, and riots and things like that nature,” said Lovell. “To have someone recognize you and say hey you’ve been doing the job in a way we think it’s honorable just means the world to me.”
Chief Lovell said Portland is now turning the corner and says the bureau’s staff is increasing and wants to continue to focus on the most important thing, the community.
“I’ve always come in this work with a servant’s heart, we are public servants, we’re here to serve the community. So, to me community is the core of everything we do,” he said.
The FBI also honored Jon and Jennifer Epstein, who received the Directors Community Leadership Award. An award that recognizes efforts in combating crime, terrorism, drugs, and violence.
The Epsteins tragically lost their 18-year old son, Cal, in 2020, after he consumed a counterfeit pain pill that was laced with fentanyl. Since then, they have dedicated their lives to raising awareness among families and youth about the dangers of fake pills.
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“Maybe the most valuable part of this is more people learning about what happened because many kids and many families aren’t aware of fentanyl being put into fake pills,” said Jon. “People are dying because they just don’t know.”
Their message has reached more than 70 businesses and organizations. They’ve made public appearances at schools in 12 states and have reached over 30 million users on social media. Though they are grateful, they say, they still have work to do.
“The recognition definitely feels good but when we survey youth and ask them who knows about fentanyl and fake pills only about a third of youth understand the risk,” said Jennifer.
The Epsteins cause has gotten national attention and they’ve recently joined forces with the Ad Council to do a multi-year campaign.
“They’re blasting it on social media where the kids are,” said Jon. “That’s really exciting, that’s going to reach millions of people.”
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