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FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award

FBI Louisville November 18, 2010
  • Louisville Press Office (502) 263-6000

Elizabeth A. Fries, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Kentucky Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced the recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award 2010. Fries presented the award today to A.J. “Bud” Fekete of Louisville, Kentucky, at a ceremony held at the McMahon Fire Department.

Fries stated that since 1990, the FBI has publicly recognized the achievements of individuals and organizations whose efforts in the crime, drug, gang, violence prevention, or education fields have had an exemplary impact on the community. Each of the FBI’s 56 field offices annually recommends to the FBI Director one person or organization deemed worthy of this prestigious award.

Fries stated that Mr. Fekete has worked very closely with the FBI for many years in promoting emergency preparedness among the local community. Mr. Fekete, along with SAC Fries, serves as co-chair for the Louisville Metro/Jefferson County WMD Executive Crisis Group (The Group). The Group, which was established in 1998 is a collaborative initiative among Public Safety and Public Health officials from local, state, and federal government agencies along with representatives from critical infrastructure in the public utility and private sectors. Its mission is to plan for and appropriately respond to terrorist events involving weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the metro area. The Group has been a role model for communities nationwide. In 1999, representatives from The Group were requested to brief then-Attorney General Janet Reno on the organization and its successes. These successes have only increased and expanded under the leadership of Mr. Fekete.

In 1986, Mr. Fekete retired as deputy chief from the Louisville Division of Fire and Rescue. Thereafter, he worked with Louisville Metro Emergency Management Agency (EMA) where he was promoted to assistant director. In 2002, Mr. Fekete retired from Louisville EMA and was hired by Louisville Metro Health Department, where he continues to serve as a focal point for community response to consequence management in the event of a terrorist event. In cooperation with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Mr. Fekete managed a training contract for Community Based Emergency Preparedness (CBER). This program was designed to offer public health officials from across the United States an opportunity to experience first hand one of the most successful public health, community emergency response systems. The program provided an opportunity for participants to meet key representative and response personnel from agencies in the community that the Health Department will work with during emergencies. The training included representatives from the FBI and combined classroom presentations, panel discussions, and field excursions which provided a comprehensive experience required for bio-terrorism and all hazards preparedness planning and response. At the request of other communities, Mr. Fekete’s CBER Team traveled to Alaska, Hawaii, Arizona, Ohio, Indiana, and West Virginia to provide CBER training.

Mr. Fekete has also led Louisville Metro in the Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI). Through this program, the community has become better prepared in protecting itself during health emergencies. This has been accomplished through mass inoculation training initiatives at the Louisville fairgrounds, establishing agreements with the local banking industry to utilize their drive thru windows for inoculation points of distribution, and working with the United States Postal Service for mass distribution of prophylactics in the event of a WMD incident.

Fries concluded by saying Mr. Fekete’s many accomplishments, influence and commitment to protecting our local community and his close partnership with the FBI and other community organizations exemplifies the qualities deserving of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award.

A.J. “Bud” Fekete with Special Agent in Charge Elizabeth Fries (11/18/10)